South Africa and Iraq sign bilateral agreement on economic and technical cooperation
16 Nov 2012
The Minister of Trade and Industry Minister, Dr Rob Davies signed a bilateral agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation with Iraqi counterpart, HE Khairullah Hasan Babakr in Cape Town, today. The agreement is aimed at strengthening economic ties between the two countries by exploring trade potential in various sectors.
Minister Davies said that trade between South Africa and Iraq was valued at R197 million for last year and in 2007 South Africa imported goods totalling R1.7 Billion.
“Trading trends indicate that we are operating below potential, but they are improving. We have exported a significant amount of value-added goods ranging from vehicles, helicopters, machinery and electrical equipment. There is also a potential for trade in citrus products, nuts and melons,” he said
Davies announced that as a first step to implementing the Bilateral Agreement on Technical and Economic Cooperation, the Department of Trade and Industry will be sending a delegation to Iraq next year comprising of government officials and the private sector on an International Trade Initiative (ITI). The Department of Trade and Industry will also seek ways to assist the Iraqi’s with the challenge of obtaining South African Visas, as there is no embassy in Iraq. Iraqi citizen obtain their Visas in Jordan.
Iraq’s Minister HE Khairullah Hasan Babakr said that trade relations between South Africa and Iraq have generally been conducted through intermediaries and it was envisaged that from the signed agreement, a guideline to trade directly would be formulated.
“Iraq is recovering from the devastation of war and has potential in various sectors, especially the infrastructure sector. We have moved from a controlled economy to a free market system and have also introduced new laws opening opportunities to foreign investors to invest in Iraq in different sectors, especially infrastructure,” he said.
Sidwell Medupe, Departmental Spokesperson
Tel: 012 394 1650
Cell: 079 492 1774
Issued by: Department of Trade and Industry
16 Nov 2012
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