Deputy Head of Iran-Iraq Joint Chamber of Commerce says statistics show that Iran’s exports to Iraq in the last month of Iranian calendar year, Khordad, soared from $950m to $2.350b and it was almost doubled and this rise is not normal and it seems major part of exports belongs to gas revenues whose bill and payment in several months has been accumulated in the last month statitics.
Seyed Hamid Hosseini said some countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE have expressed their interest for expansion of trade with Iraq and said today Iraq is an important market and the issue is which country is to replace China and India whose connections with Iraq have become tough due to the pandemic.
"Turkey, the UAE and Saudi Arabia seek to compensate the decline in their exports with exporting goods to Iraq."
He said the fields that Iran can compete, Iran’s rivals have no chance to compete, for example, in the field of oil and petrochemical products that Iran’s rivals have no access to Iraqi Kurdistan, or in the field of food and agro products, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are unable to compete with Iran in terms of quality, freshness and taste of goods.
Hosseini admitted that in the field of services, the rivals are winning the market and Iran is losing some part of the market and sanctions should be blamed because they make Iran unable to participate in the tenders and therefore, other countries replace Iran but they have no chance to compete with Iran in the field of goods.
He said the Chinese commodities are not similar to Iran’s in order that both countries replace each other, adding that China’s exports to Iraq are mainly electronic items and oil equipment and India’s exports to Iraq are textile , sanitary products, tile and ceramic and for this reason India cannot be considered a rival for Iranian products.
Hosseini went on to say that Iran, India, Jordan, Turkey and China each has its own share of Iraq’s market and if Iraq market suffers, all of the players in the market will suffer and now it seems Turkey’s condition in this market is improving.
On the possibility of Iran replacing India in Iraq market, he said Iran has problem to get hold of India’s share in Iraq market which has declined due to the pandemic, adding that for example, export of sanitary items to Iraq due to the domestic consumption needs are restricted or banned.
Hosseini also said that exports to Syria are done via Iraq and the statistics of the Customs Administration regarding the trade with Iraq are unreliable because some of exports to Syria are done via Iraq’s Kurdistan and there are also smuggled goods into Iraq which are not registered in the official data and for this reason what is said by the customs administration does not mean the full detail of Iran’s trade with Iraq.