|Iran, Iraq to Launch 3 Free Trade Zones|
|Written by public relations Dept./Gh|
|Thursday, 04 December 2008 09:05|
|Source:Fars News Agency|
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran and Iraq are scheduled to open three free trade and industrial zones on their common border, an informed official said.
The new trade and industrial zones will be opened in the winter (early in 2009) and will boost trade relations between the two countries," said Mehdi Nejatnia, a trade advisor to the Iranian embassy in Iraq, on Monday.
The free trade and industrial zones are located at the Mehran and Shalamcheh border crossings; one will be launched on the Iraqi border with the Iranian province of West Azarbaijan.
According to the Iranian trade advisor, the creation of the free trade zones will resolve transport-, visa- and banking-related problems faced by merchants active in the import and export of goods between the two countries.
Iran and Iraq signed a free trade agreement last year during a visit by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Baghdad. The accord lays the groundwork for bilateral cooperation between the two countries in transporting goods, banking, providing insurance, and granting visas for traders.
"Iran will become the most important trade partner of Iraq as soon as the agreement is fully implemented," Nejatnia commented on the agreement, saying fifty percent of the objectives of the accord have so far been realized.
Trade between the two countries, which share a 1,200-kilometer border, grew from $1.5 billion in 2006 to $2.8 billion in 2007. The volume of trade is expected to reach $4 billion by the end of 2008.
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