Iraq is keen on increasing the import of wheat, rice, sugar, edible oil and other agricultural products from India, in order to diversify the trade basket, reports Sify.com.
This announcement was made by Iraq's Trade Minister Kheer Allah Hassan Babkr on February 28. Babkr is accompanying Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister Rowsch N Shaways, who is presently visiting India, as a part of a business delegation.
"We are buying 1 lakh tons of rice from India. Within a few weeks, the shipment will reach Iraq," Babkr announced.
"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," he added. Babkr also emphasized Iraq’s readiness to import wheat, sugar and edible oil from India.
Bilateral trade between India and Iraq has almost doubled over the last five years. Trade between the two countries was recorded at USD5.7 billion in 2006-07, which rose to USD9.7 billion in 2010-11.
Earlier, Shaways urged Indian businessmen to actively participate in rebuilding war-ravaged Iraq. He also invited Indian business leaders to visit Iraq and explore business opportunities in the country.