Egyptian Iraqi Free Trade Zone agreement effective
Iraq-Egypt, Economics, 2/27/2001
Enforcement of an Egyptian Iraqi free trade zone agreement came into effect Monday in Iraq, where all customs outlets were notified of the laws and endorsement of the agreement by Iraqi leadership and parliament.
"By virtue of the agreement, which was published in the Iraqi official Gazette, commodities between the two countries will be exempted from customs duties and related taxes," said Iraqi Minister of trade Mohamed Mahdi Saleh.
In statement to Egyptian journalists accompanying an Egyptian businessmen delegation currently visiting Baghdad under Mohammad Shita, Head of the international group for investments, Saleh said that the agreement will be applicable to commodities of Egyptian and Iraqi origin.
Saleh said he agreed with Egyptian Minister of Economy and Foreign Trade Youssef Boutros Ghali to keep the Iraqi Trade Ministry posted on the formula of the Egyptian certificate of origin to generalize it on quarters concerned in Iraq.
The Iraqi Trade Minister added that the upcoming period would witness the signing of a protocol to organize settlement of payments of bilateral trade yields in order to provide a framework of transactions between the Egyptian and Iraqi private sectors.
The two states are working on increasing the volume of trade to $ 2 billions this year, he said, noting some procedures were taken to speed up entrance of Egyptian commodities into Om Al-Qasr Port via upping unloading capacity.
Saleh elaborated that the volume of Iraq's trade hits $ 10 billion, to climb to $ 30 billion when sanctions are lifted.
'Iraqi exports hit $ 41 billion since the beginning to implement the oil for food deal, but only $ 10 billion-24 percent-arrived in Iraq, because the United Nations cut nearly $ 14 billion-34 percent-in addition to other $ 17 billion in frozen contracts,' said Saleh.
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