Iran, Iraq tackle trade troubles

Iran, Iraq tackle trade troubles
Wed Dec 20, 2017 12:47:56

Iranian officials reached agreements with the head of Iraq’s General Customs Authority, Munther Abdul Amir Asad Haider, on issues hindering bilateral trade.

(financialtribune) -- According to Iran’s commercial attaché, Nasser Behzad, who represented the Iranian side along with an economic team from the Iranian Embassy in the business meeting held in Baghdad, the two sides agreed to clear Iranian food and dairy exports without undergoing border examination and screening, provided the quality approval certificate is presented by Iranian organizations within the framework of Iraq’s regulations.

Behzad added that new tariff cuts will be implemented for Iranian exports as of early 2018, Iran Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mining and Agriculture’s news portal ( reported on Tuesday.

As per the agreement, tariffs on gold, silver and mineral products will go down from 5% to 0.5%, while it is set at 10% from the current 10-40% for food, dairy and plastic products.

For construction materials, stone, cement, leather, animal hides industries and cars, the rates will reach 15% from 5-30%, and 30% from 5-40% for electrical appliances, TV, home appliances, tobacco and cigarette.

   New Era of Economic Relations

Iran-Iraq trade is entering a new era, as war against the self-styled Islamic State terrorists has ended and the neighbor is looking to recover.

“Today the post-IS Iraq is considered an economic opportunity for Iran and there’s a big market ready to recover,” Nasser Kan’ani, the head of Iraq’s Special Committee at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, was quoted as saying by IRNA during the fifth monthly meetings of Iran-Iraq Chamber of Commerce.

Citing Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, Kan’ani noted that the damage inflicted on Iraq during the war is estimated at $100 billion. Kan’ani said since Iraq does not produce much, it can be a unique market for doing business.

During the same meeting, Yahya Al-e Es’haq, the head of Iran-Iraq Chamber of Commerce, warned that there is an economic war going on today in Iraq and any inaction or delay would lead to Iran losing this market to rivals.

“Consumption and culture of consumptions patterns [in Iraq] are completely consistent with the Iranian culture and all the conditions demand that we focus on the advantages of this market without attention to obstacles,” Al- e Es’haq told IRNA.

He noted that the Iraqis plan to increase their oil production to 10 million barrels per day (from 4 million) to compensate for lost years.

According to Hamid Hosseini, secretary-general of Iran-Iraq Chamber of Commerce, Iran exported 9 million tons of goods worth $4.78 billion to Iraq since the beginning of the current fiscal year (started March 21) up until December 13.

Deputy Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade Ali Yazdani said Iraq’s exports to Iran decreased between 2012 and 2016 from $96 million to $48 million.

Iran’s main exports to the neighboring country include agro products, foodstuff and fruits such as watermelon, tomato and cucumber. Other Iranian exports to Iraq include canned food, tomato paste, chicken, egg, meat, construction materials (mainly rebar, tiles and ceramics), steel and evaporative cooler as other commodities Iran exports to Iraq.

Hosseini added that the Iraqi government has agreed to hold a joint business meeting in the Iranian month starting Jan. 21.

Keyvan Kashefi, the head of Kermanshah Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, believes that the failure of Iranian businessmen in the Iraqi market compared to those from Turkey is due to the high end prices of Iranian products and weak export incentives.

Earlier on Saturday, the first gathering of Iranian and Iraqi trade and industrial players was held at Iran’s Embassy in Baghdad.

According to Behzad, it was the first gathering of Iranian and Iraqi businessmen and investors at Iran’s Embassy in Baghdad following the official declaration of Iraq’s departure from Chapter 7 of the UN Charter.

Representatives of chambers of commerce of Iraqi provinces, union of industries and investment committee, as well as a number of Iraqi businessmen and investors from Iranian companies active in Iraq attended the gathering coordinated by Iran’s Commercial Council in Iraq.

Officials in the gathering underlined the expansion of bilateral relations and elimination of obstacles.

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