Iraq seeks Indian investments

February 27th, 2012 - 9:54 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 27 (IANS) Iraq Monday invited Indian investments either independently or through joint ventures to help in reconstruction process of the war-ravaged country.

“We are open in all formats and will welcome Indian participation in our reconstruction programme,” Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Rowsch N. Shaways, said after meeting Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma here.

During the meeting the two ministers emphasised on the need for diversifying the trade basket.

Shaways proposed to increase economic engagements in the areas of food, construction, minerals, IT, pharmaceuticals, energy and automobile, according to an official statement released after the meeting.

“We will be happy to see Indian companies being encouraged in Iraq’s reconstruction programme and we will also point our companies in that direction,” said Sharma.

India is the biggest importer of crude oil from Iraq. Bilateral trade between the two countries was recorded $9.7 billion in 2010-11, of which $9 billion was Indian imports. India’s export to Iraq was just $738.65 million.

Diversification of trade basket can help bridge the trade gap, which is heavily in favour of Iraq.

Sharma said India was committed to deepen and elevate its relations with Iraq. The minister proposed to activate the joint business council between the two countries to enhance economic engagements.

“Joint business council between India-Iraq needs to be activated so that the interaction between businessmen of both the countries could be maintained regularly. The apex chambers of commerce should interact on regular basis for arranging joint business meetings to boost the bilateral trade,” he said.

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