Iraq will buy 100,000 tonnes of rice from India and is keen to increase import of wheat, sugar and other agricultural products in a bid to diversify the trade basket, Iraq’s Trade Minister Kheer Allah Hassan Babkr said on Tuesday.
“We are buying 100,000 tonnes of rice from India. Within a few weeks, the shipment will reach Iraq,” Babkr told reporters here on the sidelines of a business meeting in New Delhi.
“Our annual requirement of rice is 1.2 million tonnes. We produce only 200,000 tonnes, the rest has to be imported. We mainly import rice from countries like Vietnam, Thailand and Brazil. Now we are trying to depend on Indian rice,” said Babkr, who is part of a business delegation accompanying Deputy Prime Minister Rowsch N. Shaways currently on a visit to India.
Babkr said Iraq was also keen to import wheat, sugar and edible oil from India.
India-Iraq two-way trade almost doubled in the last five years. Bilateral trade between the two countries rose to $9.7 billion in 2010-11 as compared to $5.7 billion in 2006-07.
Trade balance is heavily in favour of Iraq. Out of the $9.7 billion trade recorded in 2010-11, India’s export to Iraq was just $738.65 million. India is the biggest importer of crude oil from Iraq.