A major Iranian businessman said exports of goods and services to Iraq were down year-on-year in February at $11 billion.
Yahya Al Es’haq, who leads the Iran-Iraq Joint Chamber of Commerce, added exports to Iraq had been affected by the spread of the new coronavirus in Iran, noting, however, that trade between the two countries will grow despite current problems, Press TV reported.
He said total exports to Iraq, which include energy and services, had reached a record high of $13 billion in March 2019.
He said Iran aims to meet a target of $20 billion in exports to Iraq in a matter of few years, adding that Iranian businesses are expected to sell between $13 billion to $14 billion worth of products and services to Iraq in the current Iranian calendar year ending in March 2021.
The businessman admitted that political instability in Iraq was another reason for a slight decline in imports of Iranian products and services over the past year.
“We see these restrictions as temporary because all issues will be resolved,” said Al Es’haq, adding that the Iraqi market is of vital importance to Iran’s foreign trade.
Iran has sought to offset the impacts of the American sanctions on its sale of oil through a series of measures to boost foreign trade, especially with neighboring countries.
Iraq is second to China on Iran’s list of top destinations for exports. The Arab country’s main import items from Iran include food, natural gas, electricity and construction materials.