Iraq urges Iran to invest in both private and public industries

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By Khaula al-Ukaili

Azzaman, November 8, 2012

Iraq has urged on Iran to increase its investment and participation in the country’s industries, whether private or state owned.

The call was made during a meeting at the Ministry of Industry and Minerals in which senior officials and experts from Iran’s Defense Ministry were present.

There are good opportunities “for Iran’s specialized firms to develop (Iraq’s) local industries,” Industry and Minerals Deputy Minister Maki Hmoud was reported as telling the visiting Iranian delegation.

In a statement faxed to the newspaper, Hmoud told the Iranians that Iraq had numerous idle industries and it needed Iran’s expertise to revamp them and bring them back to action.

Hmoud was referring to major Iraqi corporations specialized in weapons manufacturing as well as reconstruction.

Iran has major weapons industries which are also involved in civilian activities.

Iraq is not interested in reviving its weapons industries, but Hmoud said it was seeking Iran’s assistance to transform specifically for civilian use.

“Iraq wants Iranian firms to actively participate in the rehabilitation of its industries and utilize the opportunity currently available to take part in the country’s industrial investment,” the statement said.

It quoted Hmoud as telling the Iranians: “The entry of technologically and electronically advanced Iranian firms is certain to secure the rehabilitation and development of the Ministry’s factories and firms, their production lines and production.”

Iraq is one of Iran’s main trading partners and Iranian firms are among the most active foreign actors in the country.

Bilateral trade is estimated at more than $10 billion a year.