emirati-iraqi team to be formed to facilitate bilateral investments & address challenges

Abu Dhabi – H.E. Engr. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy, discussed the need to strengthen joint efforts to raise the level of economic, trade and investment cooperation between their two brotherly countries with H.E. Mohamed Shi’a Al-Sudani, Minister of Industry and Minerals of the Republic of Iraq, during a meeting held recently in Abu Dhabi.

The two parties agreed to form a joint working team or technical committee to enhance investment cooperation and to identify related priorities in vital sectors of the Republic of Iraq as it undergoes reconstruction. The proposed group will facilitate the necessary procedures and address the challenges that may be faced by UAE companies and investors wishing to enter the Iraqi market. The formation of a joint businessmen council for promoting cooperation between the business communities of both countries was agreed upon as well.

The meeting was attended by H.E. Abdullah Al Saleh, the UAE Ministry of Economy’s Undersecretary for Foreign Trade and Industry; H.E. Mohammed Thani Murshid Al-Rumaithi, Chairman of the Federation of UAE Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and H.E. Juma Al Kait, Assistant Undersecretary for Foreign Trade Affairs at the UAE Ministry of Economy. Other officials from the Ministry of Economy and the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as members of the Iraqi delegation were present as well.

H.E. Engr. Al Mansoori emphasized the UAE’s commitment to enhancing cooperation with the Republic of Iraq in all fields, particularly those involving economic, investment and commercial collaboration. He also noted the country’s desire to raise the level of trade exchange in light of the possibilities and opportunities available in both their countries.

H.E. pointed out the reliance on the private sector to push forward bilateral relations through investments and joint projects, noting that the UAE’s private sector comprises several major companies involved in various highly productive investment and service sectors. He added that the UAE has accumulated the necessary expertise and capabilities to help expedite the development and reconstruction of the Republic of Iraq.

The Minister further referred to possible and very promising cooperative opportunities in the field of small- and medium- sized enterprises (SMEs), noting that enhancing cooperation in this area can be achieved through the signing of a memorandum of understanding. He explained that the UAE has made great achievements in broadening the role of this sector and supporting entrepreneurs.

Furthermore, H.E. Engr. Al Mansoori highlighted possibilities and opportunities for bilateral cooperation in the field of innovation, noting that the UAE has launched a National Innovation Strategy which aims to make the UAE among the most innovative countries in the world by 2021.

For his part, H.E. Al-Sudani emphasized the eagerness of the Republic of Iraq to enhance its economic, investment and trade cooperation with the UAE and to increase the volume of their trade exchange in light of the mutually beneficial opportunities and possibilities their countries offer.

H.E. Al-Sudani pointed out that amidst its stage of economic recovery and reconstruction, Iraq will be relying heavily on the UAE, its private sector and investors, especially in terms of benefiting from their expertise, potentials and capabilities, He emphasized that UAE investors are very welcome in Iraq and will be given high priority.

H.E. the Iraqi Minister further expressed the desire of Iraqi companies to take advantage of the advantageous trade position of the UAE to re-export their products through the country, given its extensive experience and capabilities in this regard.