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Saudi Arabia, Iraq Aspire to Build 'Comprehensive Cooperation'

Saudi Arabia, Iraq Aspire to Build 'Comprehensive Cooperation'

Tuesday, 25 January, 2022 - 10:15
Participants at the Saudi-Iraqi Business Council in Riyadh on Monday. (Asharq Al-Awsat)

The Saudi-Iraqi Business Forum got underway in Riyadh on Monday, with a wide participation of ministers, officials and businessmen in the two countries.

Emphasizing a new page of comprehensive cooperation at all levels, Saudi and Iraqi ministers announced the signing of a power linkage agreement to enhance regional electricity trade, in addition to renewable energy projects and opportunities for joint investments in the oil, gas, agriculture, petrochemicals and smart cities sectors.

Highlighting the supportive political will, Saudi Minister of Commerce Dr. Majid Al-Qasabi pointed to the factors of growth and prosperity for Saudi-Iraqi economic relations.

He stressed the need to launch an annual joint business forum and to establish a database of investment opportunities available in both countries, as well as to develop a joint action plan to translate aspirations and hopes into real opportunities that contribute to strengthening trade and investment relations.

Dr. Hamid Al-Ghazi, Secretary-General of the Iraqi Council of Ministers, affirmed the Iraqi government’s support for the Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council to open a new page in the historical relations.

The pillars of Saudi Vision 2030 are a major starting point for the strategic partnership between the two countries, he emphasized, adding that the Green Middle East Initiative, the Green Saudi Arabia and the Green Belt Project in Iraq present important areas of cooperation.

Ghazi noted that a delegation from the Iraqi ministry of Agriculture will visit the Kingdom next week to discuss opportunities for cooperation and partnership in the fields of agriculture, irrigation systems and manufacturing industries.

The political will in the two countries is real and serious towards developing economic relations, he said. This is confirmed by the growth in the volume of trade exchange by 15 percent last year, according to the Iraqi official.

The participants in the Saudi-Iraqi Forum, organized by the Federation of Saudi Chambers, reviewed investment opportunities in promising economic sectors, while the forum witnessed the signing of a number of agreements and memoranda of understanding between Saudi government and private agencies, in several vital areas.

Ajlan Al-Ajlan, President of the Federation of Saudi Chambers, stressed the importance of consolidating Saudi-Iraqi ties to become a distinguished model of a successful trade and investment partnership.

According to Al-Ajlan, Iraq ranks 11th among Arab countries in the volume of trade exchange with Saudi Arabia, noting that these numbers were to some extent motivating, but were not commensurate with the historical relationship between the two countries, and do not reflect the aspirations of both sides.

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