Iran poised to participate in reviving Iraq’s industrial sector

February 20, 2016

TEHRAN – Iran intends to invest in the construction and renovation of Iraq’s industrial facilities, in a move to participate in the country’s industrial development, Iranian Industry, Mining, and Trade Minister Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh made the remarks on Thursday in his meeting with Iraqi Industry Minister Mohammed Sahib Al-Daraji.

On Thursday, Nematzadeh also met Sami Raouf Al-Araji, the head of the National Investment Commission of Iraq, and Ali Al-Allaq, the head of the Central Bank of Iraq, the IRNA news agency reported.

Nematzadeh noted that Iranian companies are particularly keen to take part in projects to build industrial parks in Iraq.

Meanwhile, Sahib Al-Daraji said many industrial units in Iraq are decrepit and need to be repaired and renovated, a project that Iranian companies could undertake due to their adequate knowledge and technology in the field.

In his meeting with Raouf Al-Araji, Nematzadeh said Iranian firms are willing to launch joint investment with Iraqi companies to carry out industrial projects in Iraq.

Al-Araji announced the readiness of National Investment Commission of Iraq to sign letters of understanding with Iran, saying the commission is already working on projects in collaboration with Iran.

For instance, he said, Iranian companies are in the course of building the Rumaila power plant which aims to add 3,000 megawatts of electric power to Iraq’s national grid.

Iran first signed the deal for the construction of The Rumaila power plant, located near Iraq’s Basra, in July 2015.

The facility will be completed in four years, with the first unit expected to join the national grid in early 2017.  

According to Al-Araji, telecommunication, agriculture, electricity, oil and gas are among the areas in which the two countries can cooperate.

Meanwhile, Nematzadeh and Al-Allaq discussed ways to remove current obstacles in the banking and monetary transactions between the two sides.

Later in the day, Nematzadeh met Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi and also visited a number of Iran’s ongoing projects for production of drugs and building stadiums in Iraq.

Heading a delegation, Nematzadeh travelled to the country on Wednesday to attend Iran’s second exclusive exhibition in Baghdad.

On Wednesday, Nematzadeh signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Iraqi Trade Minister Malas Mohammad Abdulkarim. Based on the agreement, Iran would export basic food commodities to Iraq.

The Iranian minister also visited the production lines of SAIPA and Iran Khodro, Iran’s two major auto manufacturing companies, set up by joint investment in the city of Iskandariya, south of Baghdad.

Nematzadeh left Baghdad for Tehran on Thursday.

In September 2015, Iranian Finance Minister Ali Tayyebnia said that the annual trade between Iran and Iraq, taking transit and tourism revenues into account, could rise to $20 billion from currently $12 billion. 

Iraq was the 2nd leading importer of Iranian non-oil goods in the previous Iranian calendar year, which ended on March 20, 2015, according to the Iran Customs Administration.       

Iran exported $6.182 billion of non-oil goods to Iraq and imported $60.369 million of non-oil goods from the country.