August 13, 2009
Turkish exports to Iraq would surge to 7 billion U.S. dollars by the end of this year, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported Wednesday, quoting Turkish state minister for foreign trade. That would be a nearly 80 percent increase from the 2008 export volume to Iraq, which stood at 3.9 billion dollars. The reconstruction process in Iraq means more projects and business opportunities for Turkish firms, State Minister Zafer Caglayan told reporters after his meeting with Libya's Secretary of the General People's Committee for Public Works Muhammad Matuq.
Speaking about his recent trip to Baghdad this week together with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Caglayan said more than 500 Turkish companies have completed construction projects worth 7 billion dollars in Iraq, according to the agency.
Turkey and Iraq have agreed to set up a special industrial zone at the border and a joint logistics center with participation of Syria as the third party, while officials of the two countries were working on the signing of a free trade agreement, said the state minister.
During his trip to Iraq on Tuesday, Caglayan said Turkey and Iraq hope their annual trade volume could be increased to 20 billion dollars by 2010 from the current 7 billion dollars. The two sides discussed trade, water shortage and security cooperation during their meeting, said Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari at a press conference Tuesday.
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