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Iran, Iraq discuss expansion of economic cooperation

Tehran, July 16, IRNA-Iran and Iraq on Saturday explored possible avenues for bolstering of bilateral cooperation in various economic fields.

Secretary-General of Iran's Chamber of Cooperative Mohammad Reza Ramezani, in a meeting with Iraq's Minister of Trade Abd al-Basti Karim Mawlud in Tehran, expressed the chamber's readiness to actively participate in reconstruction of Iraq.

He said a permanent trade complex of Iran and Iraq will be set up in Iraq in cooperation with the Chamber of Cooperative which will serve to upgrade the level of bilateral economic cooperation between the two sides.

He cited the level of current Tehran-Baghdad trade exchanges as low, saying Iran's cooperative sector can boost bilateral cooperation in various agricultural, industrial, technical, engineering, housing and transportation fields.

Ramezani called on the Iraqi minister to facilitate transportation of Iranian businessmen in order to expedite expansion of trade exchanges.

He said a high committee on Iraq will be set up at the office of Iran's first vice-president to invest in various economic sectors of that country, adding the Chamber of Cooperative, as representative of 70,000 unions and cooperative societies, has already entered into joint venture projects in Iraq.

The official stressed the importance of bolstering economic cooperation between Iraq and Iran and said the Chamber of Cooperative will reopen its bureau in Iraq once related legal license is issued and economic security is restored to that country.

He added the International Union of Cooperative, World Council of Credit Unions (WCCU) and the United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan also called for boosting of Tehran-Baghdad economic ties.

The Iraqi minister, for his part, expressed hope that mutual trade cooperation would receive further boost after establishment of economic security in his country.

Mawlud said his country attaches importance to expansion of trade cooperation with neighboring states.

He called for implementation of an MoU signed between the two countries, underscoring the need for expansion of mutual cooperation.

He also expressed the hope that through formation of a working group between the two sides' experts the MoU would be implemented as soon as possible.

The MoU between Iran and Iraq was signed about two years ago but only two clause of the agreement have been implemented so far.

"During the upcoming meeting with Iran's Commerce Minister Mohammad Shariatmadari, we are to discuss implementation of the MoU," he concluded.

... Payvand News - 7/16/05 ... --

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