Iraqi trade and industry minister, KhairullahHasanBabakr signed an agreement with his South African counterpart Rob Davies for strengthening economic ties between Iraq and South Africa by investing in different sectors.
Cape Town – They signed the bilateral agreement on economic and technical cooperation on 15th November.
Trade between South Africa and Iraq was R 197 million last year, said Davies. But, in 2007, South Africa imported goods totalling R 1.7 billion from Iraq.
Davies said, "Trading trends indicate that we are operating below potential, but they are improving. We have exported a significant amount of value-added goods ranging from vehicles, helicopters, machinery and electrical equipment. There is also a potential for trade in citrus products, nuts and melons".
Davies announced that his department would send delegation to Iraq next year as a first step of implementing the agreement. The delegates would comprises with Iraqi officials and private sectors on an International Trade Initiative (ITI).
He said that there is no South African embassy in Iraq. Iraqi citizen get their visas in Jordan. They want to made an embassy there.
Iraqi trade minister Babakr said the trade agreement between Iraq and South Africa has been done through intermediaries. He added, he get the positive sign at the time of agreement, a guideline would be announced for direct trading.
"Iraq is recovering from the devastation of war and has potential in various sectors, especially the infrastructure sector”, Babakr said. Also added, "We have moved from a controlled economy to a free market system and have also introduced new laws opening opportunities to foreign investors to invest in Iraq in different sectors, especially infrastructure".
Source: [All Africa]