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Iraq To Put Forward New Law To Safeguard Saudi Investments As Bilateral Trade Surges 12%

Iraq To Put Forward New Law To Safeguard Saudi Investments As Bilateral Trade Surges 12%

RIYADH: A new law will protect Saudi investments in Iraq, with trade between the two countries witnessing an annual growth rate of 12 percent, according to an official in Baghdad.

Mohammed Al-Khareef, chairperson of the Saudi Iraqi Business Council, noted that the body is actively working to enhance funding from the Kingdom to Iraq, coinciding with Saudi Arabia’s private and governmental sectors showing interest in investing in the country.

This comes as a “new phase of relations” began between the Kingdom and Iraq in April 2019, according to a senior minister at the time, following the inauguration of a new consulate in Baghdad and a $1 billion development loan.

The new law is set to potentially be enacted in the coming months to bolster economic cooperation between the two countries — with trade between the nations hitting SR5 billion ($1.33 billion), according to Al-Khareef.

The announcement came during a meeting between Hassan Al-Huwaizi, chairman of the Federation of Saudi Chambers of Commerce, and Shalan Al-Karim, head of the Saudi-Iraqi Friendship Committee in the Iraqi Parliament, as part of an official visit to the Kingdom.

The meeting came to assess the economic ties between both countries and their promising prospects.

Discussions also focused on activating the roles of business sectors to build effective commercial, investment, and strategic partnerships.

In April, Saudi Arabia and Iraq signed 12 memorandums of understanding for quality investment projects to further strengthen economic ties.

The Kingdom’s Ministry of Investment announced on X that this agreement with the Iraq Development Fund and Saudi companies will enhance cooperation in various investment projects with Baghdad. 

These MoUs were signed in the presence of Saudi Minister of Investment Khalid Al-Falih, Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Planning Muhammad Ali Tamim and Mohammed Al-Najjar, chairman of the Iraq Development Fund.

Furthermore in December 2023, the two countries signed a partnership agreement to encourage industrial investments in the private sector.

During the same month, Mohammed Shia’ Al-Sudani, the prime minister of Iraq, confirmed the contract between the Iraqi company Al-Diyar and Saudi Arabia’s Northern Region Cement Co.

This partnership in the cement industry also marked the first collaboration between the private sectors of Iraq and Saudi Arabia.