EghtesadOnline: A business delegation from Halabja in Iraqi Kurdistan was expected to visit Iran’s western Kermanshah Province starting Wednesday, announced the head of Kermanshah Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture.
Kayvan Kashefi added that the Iraqi delegation is headed by Beshoa Ahmed Mahmoud, the head of Halabja Chamber of Commerce and Industry, according to Financial Tribune.
The delegation plans to hold meetings with Kermanshah Governor General Houshang Bazvand and provincial economic players, in addition to touring industrial production units and hospitals there, IRNA reported.
According to Kashefi, the western Iranian province intends to utilize this opportunity to introduce its health tourism facilities.
"The delegations’ two-day visit will lead to better introduction of Kermanshah capacities in different areas," he said.
Kermanshah Province exports $3 billion worth of commodities annually, a major part of which goes to Iraq.
“Iran’s exports to Iraq have declined due to recent political unrest in the neighboring country,” says Secretary-General of Iran-Iraq Chamber of Commerce Hamid Hosseini.
According to the official, Iran exported $750 million worth of goods to Iraq on a monthly basis prior to the unrest.
The volume declined to $540 million in the Iranian month ending Nov. 21, marking a $210-million downturn.
He put the total volume of Iran's non-oil exports to Iraq at $5.71 billion since the beginning of the current fiscal year (March 21).
“Iran’s exports to the Iraqi Kurdistan have been continuing without problems,” Hosseini added.
According to Sheikh Mustafa Abdulrahman, chairman of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region's General Union of Importers and Exporters, trade between Iran and Iraqi Kurdistan stands at $6 billion per year.
In an earlier interview with IRIB News, Abdulrahman said 80% of Iranian companies use the Kurdistan Region to enter the Iraqi market, adding that 800 trucks carry Iranian goods and products into Iraqi Kurdistan daily.
According to Chairman of Trade Promotion Organization of Iran Hamid Zadboum, the value of Iranian exports to neighboring Iraq is one-fourth the Arab country’s total imports.
“Twenty-five percent of the import market in Iraq are held by Iran, as the value of Iranian goods makes up $10 billion of the total of $40 billion in import into Iraq [per year],” he was quoted as saying by ILNA.
Highlighting efforts to increase Iran’s share in the Iraqi market, the official said TPO has for the first time dispatched a commercial attaché to the Iraqi city of Basra.
Iran has the potential to experience a big rise in the volume of exports to Iraq, he added, citing the difficult trade conditions caused by US sanctions.
Zadboum expressed optimism that Iran would boost exports to Iraq, stressing that the Islamic Republic is expected to gain a larger share of Iraq’s import market by next year.
Iran and Iraq have nine border crossings, out of which five are currently open and active.