Deputy Chairman of the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) Khaled Al-Saqr stressed here Wednesday the need for the trade and investment cooperation between Kuwait and Iraq to be a very important strategic goal for both countries' chambers.
Al-Saqr said, in his speech at the Kuwait-Iraq Economic Forum which was held at the KCCI headquarters today in the presence of the Union of Iraqi Chambers of Commerce and representatives of the local private sector, that achieving this strategic objective requires that the business communities of the two countries to intensify their efforts to deepen mutual understanding to achieve their common interests.
He added that since the beginning of trade relations between the two countries, Iraq had constituted a big market for Kuwait, due to the geographical proximity and the enormous potential and wealth owned by Iraq, noting that relations between the two countries have seen over the past years significant developments, most importantly the visit of His Highness the Amir of Kuwait to Baghdad in March 2012 for the first time in 22 years to participate in the Arab Summit.
Al-Saqr pointed out that the visit to Iraq by His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah in June 2012 was culminated in the signing of six agreements in the fields of diplomacy, transport, education and culture, pointing to successes achieved by Iraq in the reconstruction and laying solid foundations for a sophisticated economic structure.
For his part, President of the Federation of Iraqi Chambers of Commerce Jaafar Rasul Hamadani that the volume of Kuwaiti investments in Iraq was not up to the desired level, compared with investments of other neighboring countries, especially Turkey and Iran, calling for further joint work to develop and increase these investments based on the depth of historical and social relations between the two countries.
He told reporters on the sidelines of the meeting that the Kuwaiti citizens can own property in Iraq, noting that property owners in Iraq from Kuwaiti nationality now can dispose of their property, according to new trends of the new government.
He said that relations between the two countries in the commercial field have evolved significantly over the past few years where a lot of consumer goods pass through the ports of Kuwait to Iraq, noting that the number of trucks crossing the Safwan border stands at about 400 trucks a day and the volume of trade amounted to USD 2.5 billion in 2013.