Egypt and Iraq private sectors have great partnership potentials: Iraqi PM

Habiba Hamdy , Tuesday 13 Jun 2023

The private sector in Egypt and Iraq have a great partnership potential to carry out major tasks in various sectors to push economic development in both countries,” Prime Minister Mohamed Al-Sudani said on Tuesday.

Egypt-Iraq business


In his opening speech at the Egyptian-Iraqi Business Forum, PM Al-Sudani stressed that “there are favourable opportunities for establishing a distinguished partnership between businessmen in the two countries."

The Egyptian-Iraqi Business Forum was attended by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly as well as various ministers and private sector representatives from both countries.

In his speech at the forum, PM Madbouly said Egypt is keen on enhancing partnership and cooperation between Egyptian and Iraqi public and private companies.

“A favourable investment atmosphere must be created to allow the private sector to play its role as a key contributor to economic growth and development,” Madbouly argued.

Iraq: Open for business

For his part, PM Al-Sudani said Iraq possesses both the stability and budget to support expansion in various economic activities.

He stressed that his government places a premium on creating an investment-friendly environment and maximizing the role of the private sector in his country’s economy.

The government has streamlined approvals for many economic activities such as pharmaceutical manufacturing and agricultural projects to facilitate this process, Al-Sudani noted.

The Iraqi government also supports farmers by paying prices for crops above global market rates, he said.

Iraq is collaborating with Egypt on developing modern irrigation techniques to conserve water and enhance farming productivity, Al-Sudani added.

Meanwhile, Iraq’s Minister of Trade Athir Al-Ghurairy cited directives from PM Al-Sudani to attract more investments from Egypt into his country.

Reconstructing Iraq: An Egyptian role

Egypt is ready to play a bigger role in Iraq’s reconstruction efforts, stressed Madbouly.

“Egyptian companies have taken serious steps in implementing exemplary reconstruction and other infrastructure projects in Iraq using our expertise on national and developmental projects,” PM Madbouly noted.

Al-Sudani said that construction of new cities is a top priority for his government.

“Public-private partnership will build thousands of new housing units, new factories, and create job opportunities,” he argued.

Higher targets

Speaking at the forum, Egypt’s Minister of Trade and Industry Ahmed Samir stressed that Egypt is keen to increase trade and investment relations with Iraq.

A speedy implementation of agreed-upon bilateral agreements between Egypt and Iraq, as well as trilateral agreements between the two countries and Jordan, could strengthen cooperation on the industrial and commercial levels and thus lead to stronger economic development for all sides, Minister Samir argued.

The current volume of trade exchange between the two countries, which is estimated at $500 million annually, is but a fraction of what could be reached, Samir said.

Egyptian investments in Iraq stands at $200 million while Iraqi investments in Egypt stands at $500 million, he added.

There is plenty of room for the two sides to increase the volume of their investments in each other’s country to push both national economies forward, Samir suggested.

The rehabilitation of state-owned factories in Iraq, joint industrial projects, and implementation of the oil-for-reconstruction agreement are among those areas where Egypt can contribute, he concluded.

11 MoUs

The Egyptian-Iraqi Business Forum was held under the framework of the second round of the Egyptian-Iraqi Joint Higher Committee meeting in Cairo on Tuesday.

The two countries signed 11 memorandums of understanding (MoUs) in various fields on the sidelines of the committee meetings.

These MoUs included agreements on small and medium enterprises (SMEs), administrative development, trade, sports, foreign affairs, social solidarity, planning, and tourism on the sidelines of the second round of the Egyptian-Iraqi Joint Higher Committee.

Earlier on Tuesday, PM Al-Sudani met with President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to discuss developing political, economic and cultural ties on the bilateral level between the two countries as well as on the trilateral level with Jordan.

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