HE the Minister of Industry and Commerce Ali bin Ahmed al-Kuwari stressed on Tuesday that close brotherly relations between the State of Qatar and the Republic of Iraq constitute an incentive for the two countries to promote and consolidate them at the economic, commercial and investment levels.
This came in a speech delivered by HE the Minister as he was heading the Qatari side as its chairman during the opening of the 6th session of the Joint Iraqi-Qatari Committee for Economic, Commercial and Technical Co-operation, which took place yesterday.
Iraq’s Minister of Trade Dr Mohammed Hashim Abdul Majeed al-Aani chaired the Iraqi delegation, currently in Doha.
HE the Minister stressed that the capabilities that characterise the two countries should encourage them to achieve greater rates in trade volume, which reached about QR370mn in 2017.
He expressed his hope that the committee will develop practical mechanisms to increase the volume of trade and investment exchange, and that they will sign agreements that reflect the level of strategic partnership between the two sides.
In that context, he called on Iraq to join the Memorandum of Understanding on the facilitation of transport and transit traffic for economic and trade co-operation signed last year between the State of Qatar, the Republic of Turkey and the Islamic Republic of Iran, pointing out that this agreement represents an important step in order to overcome the challenges that impede the movement of trade across Iraqi territory to the State of Qatar.
He also stressed the importance of signing the free trade agreement and an agreement to encourage and protect mutual investments due to their role in promoting trade exchange and stimulating the business sectors on both sides to establish joint investment projects that benefit the two countries. HE the Minister highlighted the investment climate in Qatar, pointing out that the State has accelerated the implementation of the necessary measures to enhance the investment environment, and allowed the local and foreign companies to invest in the major national projects implemented within the framework of the Qatar National Vision 2030, and the World Cup 2022.
His Excellency noted that Iraqi companies looking to invest in Qatar can benefit from the services offered by free zones.
They can also establish companies specialised in pharmaceutical, food products and logistics.
HE the Minister added that it is also possible for foreign companies serving the Iraqi market to establish their industrial facilities in the free zones of the state, and export their products to the Iraqi market, or to start new markets in the region, highlighting that the State is currently working on the establishment of logistics and industrial areas that will meet all the needs of investors and support the supply chain and reduce the cost of storage services.
His Excellency concluded by saying that the meeting of the joint Iraqi-Qatari committee at its sixth session comes in light of a number of regional and global changes that push the two countries to exert more efforts to open wider horizons for co-operation between them at the commercial and investment levels, highlighting in this context the pivotal role that the Qatari and Iraqi businesses play in establishing joint industrial and investment projects in the fields that serve the developmental directions of the two countries. At the end of the session, HE al-Kuwari and HE al-Aani signed the minutes of the meeting.
They witnessed the signing of the MoU between the Diplomatic Institute of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar and the Institute of Foreign Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Iraq, in the field of diplomatic training. The MoU aims at establishing and developing co-operation between the two parties through the exchange of programmes, information and activities in the field of diplomatic training and related fields.
They also witnessed the signing of the agreement establishing a business council and an MoU between the Qatar Chamber and the Federation of Iraqi Chambers of Commerce.
The agreement was signed by al-Kuwari, first deputy chairman of the Board of Directors of the Qatar Chamber, and for Federation of Iraqi Chambers of Commerce Damar Zaidan Mukhlaf al-Ameen, member of the Federation Council and chairman of Salahuddin Chamber of Commerce.
The agreement aims to strengthen the bonds of friendship and understanding between businessmen in both countries, and develop co-operation in the field of trade exchange, investment, technology transfer, service provision and support of industrial sectors in both countries.
An MoU was also signed to boost economic co-operation and diversify trade exchanges between the two countries.
The meeting was attended by representatives from the Ministries of Commerce and Industry, Municipality and the Environment, Education and Higher Education, Transport and Communications, Culture and Sports, Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs, Public Health, Qatar Central Bank, Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Public Works Authority and the Qatar Development Bank.
On the sidelines of the sixth session of the Iraqi-Qatari Joint Committee for Economic, Commercial and Technical Cooperation, HE al-Kuwari held a separate talk with al-Aani.
During the meeting, they reviewed the bilateral relations and aspects of joint co-operation, especially in the fields of trade, investment and industry, and means of enhancing and developing them.
The two sides discussed the developments of the Qatari economy during the past years. They reviewed the investment opportunities available in all sectors, the legislations adopted by the State and the initiatives launched to support the private sector, which will increase foreign direct investment and attract more Iraqi companies to the Qatari market.
The meeting touched on ways to boost bilateral trade and investment.
The State of Qatar and the Republic of Iraq have close economic and trade relations, and the volume of trade exchange between the two countries was about QR370mn in 2017.
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