Official says Saudi exports to Iraq expected to rise

Other News Materials 28 October 2007 06:54 (UTC +04:00)

With tension mounting on the Iraqi-Turkish border, Saudi exports to Iraq are expected to increase, the chairman of the Saudi Exports Development Centre, Dr Abdul Rahman Al Zamel, said yesterday.

He said the value of Saudi exports to Iraq stood at more than 3.2 billion riyals last year.

In a statement, Al Zamel said Dubai is now the main transit point for exports destined for Iraq, Jordan and Kuwait.

"Large quantities of consumer products like chicken and soft drinks are exported to Iraq on a daily basis," Al Zamel said.

Meanwhile, statistics on Saudi foreign trade have revealed growth in direct Saudi exports to Iraq.

These exports increased by 91 per cent to 484 million riyals last year, compared to 253 million riyals in 2005.

Indirect Saudi exports to the UAE, Jordan and Kuwait amounted to more than 2.7 billion riyals in 2005.

Al Zamel said the Kingdom is now a key exporter to Iraq and is expected to play a more significant role in the Iraqi market.

"We have been noticing a big turnout from Iraqis for Saudi products, particularly foodstuffs. If the crisis in Iraq's neighbouring countries such as Turkey continues, more Iraqi traders will go for Saudi products," he said.

"Saudi exporters are looking forward to the opening of the Jadeedat Arar border post on the Saudi-Iraqi border," Al Zamel said.

Right now the border post is closed due to security concerns.

The UAE is the top Arab importer of Saudi goods.

According to statistics on Saudi foreign trade, exports to the UAE reached more than 11 billion riyals last year.

Kuwait comes second with 4.7 billion riyals. Egypt and Jordan are third and fourth with 4.4 billion and 2.4 billion Saudi riyals, respectively.

Large quantities of Saudi exports to the UAE, Kuwait and Jordan are re-exported to Iraq. ( Gulf )