Egypt's Minister of Trade and Industry Tarek Kabil listens during an interview with Reuters after Euromoney Conference in Cairo - Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
CAIRO – 2 December 2017: Egyptian companies have negotiated deals worth $16 million with their Iraqi counterparts during Baghdad International Fair, Minister of Trade and Industry Tarek Kabil said Saturday in a statement.
The new business deals involved various sectors such as ceramics, electrical appliances, home furnishings, furniture, food products, garments, hand products and leather products, the statement added.
The Baghdad International Fair has been held in late October with the participation of 18 countries. Egypt participated with 80 companies in different sectors in a 1500 square-meter pavilion, which saw a big turnout, according to the statement.
Egypt’s participation in the exhibition reflects the country’s keenness on enhancing bilateral trade and investment as well as fostering a partnership with Iraq, particularly in the fields of building and construction, Kabil said.
He added that the Exports Development Fund has recently approved to support the shipping costs of Egyptian exports to Iraq by 50 percent for all products, referring to the importance of reinstating the land route between both countries.
Egypt and Iraq are exerting efforts to increase bilateral trade that amounted to $1.2 billion in 2016, according to remarks made by the Iraqi ambassador to Egypt in late February.
Before the 1991 Gulf War, the volume of trade between the two countries was at its peak, standing at $3 billion.
One of the main fields of cooperation between both states is oil. Egypt’s Petroleum Minister Tarek el-Molla said last year that Egypt has struck a deal with Iraq to import 12 million oil barrels annually, and is negotiating to double this amount starting January 2018.
An agreement was reached last April between Egypt and Iraq's state oil marketing company SOMO to sell the oil to Egypt. The first shipment was received last May.