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Iran, Iraq explore avenues for expanding trade

Tehran, Jan 20, IRNA -- Visiting Iraqi Finance Minister Abdil Abd al-Mahdi met with Iran Commerce Minister Mohammad Shariatmadari in Tehran on Thursday, discussing ways for expansion of bilateral trade exchanges.

Shariatmadari said that Iran attaches importance to trade with Iraq and is keen on signing free trade agreements, establishment of bank cooperation and arranging some parts of trade exchanges in the frameworks of border markets.

He said the opening up letters of credit (LCs) in two countries need government guarantees.

He said that Export Development Bank of Iran has agreed to cover 300 million dollars of LCs.

Iran exported 750 million dollars worth of technical-engineering services during the past six months, he said.

Iran has earned 2.7 billion dollars from export of engineering services last year.

He further proposed the establishment of a joint technical-engineering company.

The Iraqi minister, for his part, said that the volume of Iran-Iraq exchanges was at a low level, calling for a boost in trade cooperation.

He called on Iranian officials to establish a permanent market in Iraq.

The Iraqi official criticized the 9-percent trade exchanges among the Islamic states, saying the current world trade situation is discriminatory to the Islamic nations.

He termed the export of wheat from Imam Khomeini port to Iraq and bolstering the Iran-Iraq transit as 'effective' in increasing the level of bilateral trade.

He underlined the adoption of joint policies, saying that Iraq should use the Iranian experience in country's reconstruction after war.

Iraq is involved with security and political issues, he said, adding the upcoming election would create a peaceful situation in Iraq, he added.

The Iraqi official added that rectifying the investment law, insurance law and independence of Iraqi Central Bank, adopting certain laws for the activities of foreign countries' banks in Iraq and establishment of official export-import gateways were among the measures taken by his country's officials.

... Payvand News - 1/22/05 ... --

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