|20 February, 2019

Kuwait and Iraq seek closer trade ties

The Iraqi minister welcomed the prospect of establishing a joint free trade zone with Kuwait

A ship is docked at a Al-Basra oil platform in the Middle East Gulf September 21, 2014. Image for illustrative purposes.

A ship is docked at a Al-Basra oil platform in the Middle East Gulf September 21, 2014. Image for illustrative purposes.

REUTERS/Essam Al-Sudani

BAGHDAD - Kuwait’s Minister of Commerce and Industry Khaled Al-Roudhan said on Wednesday that his current visit to Iraq aims to eliminate any hurdles that could encumber the progress of bilateral trade ties.

The Kuwaiti minister’s remarks came amid talks with his Iraqi counterpart Mohammed Al-Ani, where he pointed out that Baghdad now seeks economic prosperity after ridding its soil of terrorism. He said bilateral trade remains unsatisfactory, citing a genuine Kuwaiti desire to improve relations in that field, while time is now ripe to accomplish that goal.

The Iraqi minister welcomed the prospect of establishing a joint free trade zone with Kuwait, describing it as a measure that would rejuvenate bilateral trade. He said the Kuwaiti minister’s visit will prove instrumental in propelling ties to new heights.

Kuwait’s commerce minister arrived in Baghdad earlier on Wednesday heading an official delegation on a two-day official visit. He was received upon arrival by his Iraqi counterpart Mohammed Al-Ani and Kuwait’s Ambassador to Baghdad Mohammad Al-Zamanan.

Al-Roudhan will meet with Iraqi President Barham Salih, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi and Parliament Speaker Mohamed Al-Halboussi. He will also hold an open meeting with several Iraqi bodies such as the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Transport, Industry and Minerals, the Central Bank of Iraq, the General Authority for Border Ports, the National Investment Authority, the Fund for the Reconstruction of the Affected Areas and the General Administration of Customs.

The minister will hold a meeting with the Union of Chambers, the Federation of Industries, the Federation of Businessmen, the National Business Council and the Economic Council to discuss means of developing trade relations between the two countries. The minister is accompanied by an official delegation comprising representatives of several governmental and international bodies.

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