ABU DHABI- Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy, has discussed the need to strengthen joint efforts to raise the level of economic, trade and investment cooperation between the UAE and Iraq with Mohamed Shi'a Al-Sudani, Minister of Industry and Minerals of the Republic of Iraq, during a meeting held recently in Abu Dhabi.

The two parties agreed to form a joint working team, or technical committee, to enhance investment cooperation and to identify related priorities in vital sectors of Iraq as it undergoes reconstruction. The proposed group will facilitate the necessary procedures and address the challenges that may be faced by UAE companies and investors wishing to enter the Iraqi market. The formation of a joint business council for promoting cooperation between the business communities of both countries was agreed upon as well.

The meeting was attended by Abdullah Al Saleh, the UAE Ministry of Economys Under-Secretary for Foreign Trade and Industry, Mohammed Thani Murshid Al-Rumaithi, Chairman of the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Juma Al Kait, Assistant Under-Secretary for Foreign Trade Affairs at the UAE Ministry of Economy. Other officials from the Ministry of Economy and the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as well as members of the Iraqi delegation, were also present.

Mr. Al Mansoori emphasised the UAEs commitment to enhancing cooperation with Iraq in all fields, particularly those involving economic, investment and commercial collaboration. He also noted the countrys desire to raise the level of trade exchange in light of the possibilities and opportunities available in both countries.

He pointed out the reliance on the private sector to push forward bilateral relations through investments and joint projects, noting that the UAEs private sector comprises several major companies involved in various highly productive investment and service sectors. He added that the UAE has accumulated the necessary expertise and capabilities to help expedite the development and reconstruction of Iraq.

The Minister also referred to possible and very promising opportunities for cooperation in the field of small- and medium- sized enterprises, SMEs, noting that enhancing cooperation in this area can be achieved through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding. He explained that the UAE has made great achievements in broadening the role of this sector and supporting entrepreneurs.

Al Mansoori went on to highlight the possibilities and opportunities for bilateral cooperation in the field of innovation, noting that the UAE has launched a National Innovation Strategy which aims to make the state one of the most innovative countries in the world by 2021.

Mr. Al-Sudani stressed the keenness of the Republic of Iraq to enhance its economic, investment and trade cooperation with the UAE and to increase the volume of their trade exchange in light of the mutually beneficial opportunities and possibilities their countries offer.

He pointed out that amidst its stage of economic recovery and reconstruction, Iraq will be relying heavily on the UAE, its private sector and investors, especially in terms of benefiting from their expertise, potentials and capabilities, He emphasized that UAE investors are very welcome in Iraq and will be given high priority.

The Iraqi Minister expressed the desire of Iraqi companies to take advantage of the ideal trade position of the UAE to re-export their products through the country, given its extensive experience and capabilities in this regard.

Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2017.