Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Commerce and Chairman of the Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi reiterated the strong relations between Saudi Arabia and Iraq, which have common interests and are united by historical ties.
In a statement to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) on the occasion of the Saudi-Iraqi Business Forum being held in Riyadh on Monday, Al-Qasabi said that the leaderships of the two countries are keen to take the relations to new heights in various fields and invest all capabilities and opportunities for the benefit of the two sides.
The minister said the Saudi-Iraqi relations, in light of the follow-up by the leaderships in the two countries, are at their best and witnessing significant growth, adding the Saudi Iraqi Coordination Council is keen to boost cooperation in various fields, including economic, development, security, investment, tourism, cultural, and media.
Al-Qasabi stressed the council’s endeavor to remove all obstacles to encourage investment, provide an opportunity for businessmen to learn about the advantages of the commercial and investment sectors, and adopt effective means that contribute to the development of border areas and stimulate promising investment opportunities.
The trade exchange volume between the Kingdom and Iraq amounted to SR17.7 billion ($4.7 billion) during the past five years. The two sides have engaged in joint projects including cooperation in energy, petrochemical industries, transportation, logistics services, irrigation systems, agricultural equipment, food industry, contracting sector, and real estate development.
Federation of Saudi Chambers (FSC) Chairman Ajlan bin Abdulaziz Al-Ajlan noted that the forum will be held in the presence of ministers and economic officials from Saudi Arabia and Iraq and with a wide participation of Saudi and Iraqi businesspeople.
Commercial discussions during the forum will be focused on main economic sectors that form a priority on the cooperation agenda between Riyadh and Baghdad in light of the Saudi Vision 2030 and the plans of the Iraqi economy in the next stage.
Al-Ajlan also referred to the vital role of the coordination council and the Saudi-Iraqi Business Council in introducing investment opportunities and encouraging commercial partnerships between Saudi and Iraqi businesspeople.
He also pointed out to the steady improvement in economic relations between the two countries in a way that contributes to increasing Saudi exports to Iraq and increasing the Saudi imports from Iraq that enjoys good economic elements in various economic fields, in addition to the investment flow between the two sides, noting that there are several Saudi companies working in Iraq and other are eagerly willing to expand their investments in Iraq.
The FSC president also expressed hope to increase the commercial exchange volume between the two countries after the opening of the land crossing between the two countries in Araar, especially that the Kingdom is planning to establish and operate the logistic zone on this border crossing to act as a special economic zone and after opening a commercial attaché in the Saudi embassy in Baghdad.
He also referred to a joint desire by the Saudi and Iraqi sides in enhancing economic cooperation, increasing the levels of trade exchanges, and providing the proper environment for that, due to the big investment opportunities and economic potential for both countries, expressing hope for the forum to reach positive recommendations and outcomes that can support the future of economic relations between the two countries.