Saudi-Iraqi Economic Forum Begins in Jeddah

The Saudi-Iraqi Economic Forum began today in Jeddah. The forum was presented by the Federation of Saudi Chambers, in the presence of the Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister, Dr. Mohammed Ali Tamim; the Minister of Commerce, Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qasabi; the Minister of Investment, Eng. Khaled Al-Falih; the Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources, Bandar Al-Khorayef; and the participation of more than 300 Saudi and Iraqi companies and several government and private agencies.

The Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister reiterated in his speech at the forum his country’s readiness to overcome all obstacles and review any regulations. He said the doors of Iraq are open to Saudi investors, calling for the establishment of partnerships between the business sectors of the two countries.

Dr. Al-Qasabi said Iraq is a country rich in its resources and has all the means for successful investment, but it needs knowledge more than money. He expressed willingness to harness all Saudi capabilities and knowledge in terms of organizations and procedures for the benefit of Iraq. The minister noted that the volume of trade exchange, despite its growth, is still below the aspirations of the Saudi and Iraqi leaderships and the businessmen and citizens of the two countries.

Meanwhile, the President of the Federation of Saudi Chambers, Hassan bin Mujib Al-Huwaizi, praised the growing Saudi-Iraqi relations and the efforts of the Joint Coordination and Business Council, stressing that Vision 2030 opens enormous prospects for commercial and industrial partnership.

For his part, the head of the Saudi side in the Saudi-Iraqi Business Council, Eng. Mohammed Al-Khorayef, called on Iraq to activate free trade and exchange agreements with the Kingdom and to allow trucks from the two countries to enter directly to enhance exports and intra-trade.

The head of the Iraqi side in the Saudi-Iraqi Business Council, Dr. Nawaf Al-Kharbit, indicated that Iraqi companies are looking forward to obtaining loans provided by Saudi financing funds, and he called for the implementation of customs exemptions for the exports and products of companies from the two countries.

The forum highlighted investment opportunities in Iraq and the Kingdom, activating the Arar border crossing, and increasing exports and intra-trade. It also reviewed the efforts of the Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council and witnessed the signing of four agreements between Saudi and Iraqi companies in the fields of iron industries, cables, food, and plastic products. The forum also called on Saudi and Iraqi investors to quickly launch the business of the Saudi-Iraqi Investment Company to finance projects worth $3 billion.

Source: Saudi Press Agency

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