His Excellency the President of the Republic of Iraq, Dr. Barham Saleh, received H.E. the Minister of Commerce and Investment, Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al Qassabi, who conveyed to His Highness the greetings of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman. H.E. Dr. Al Qasabi expressed as well the Saudi congratulation for forming the new Iraqi government, and conveyed the Saudi best wishes for the Iraqi people, praying for Iraq for further progress and prosperity.
H.E. the Minister of Commerce and Investment stressed the keenness of the Kingdom's leadership to strengthen the ties between the two brotherly peoples and to promote the mutual relations between the two countries at all levels, especially in the commercial and economic fields. H.E. Dr. Al Qasabi stressed as well the importance of the Saudi companies' contribution in supporting the development projects in Iraq.
H.E. the Minister added that the border port between Iraq and Saudi Arabia in Jdaidat Arar will be opened before the end of this year, according to the specific plan. This will constitute a significant addition and a qualitative increase in the volume of trade exchange between the two brotherly countries.
H.E. the Minister of Commerce and Investment headed a high-level government delegation to visit the brotherly Republic of Iraq, including H.E. Minister of State for Arab Gulf Affairs, Mr. Thamer Al-Sabhan, H.E. Governor of the Saudi Standard, Metrology and Quality Organization, Mr. Saad Al-Qasabi, H.E. Deputy Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, Engr. Abdulaziz Al-Abdul Karim, and several senior government officials.
During the Saudi delegation visit, Dr. Al-Qasabi, the accompanying delegation and the Saudi Ambassador to Iraq, Abdulaziz Al-Shammari, met with a number of Iraqi officials, led by H.E. the Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi and H.E. the Iraqi Parliament Speaker Mr. Mohammad Al Halbusi, H.E. Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Oil, and Chairman of the Saudi-Iraqi Coordinating Council, from the Iraqi side, Mr. Thamer Al-Ghadhban, H.E. Minister of Commerce, Dr. Mohammad Hisham Abdul Hamid, Chairman of the National Investment Authority, Dr. Sami Al-Araji, H.E. Cabinet Advisor and Secretary of the Coordinating Council, Dr.Ma,adi Al Allaq, H.E. the President of the Border Port Authority, Dr. Kazem Al Eqabi. During these meetings, the attendants from both sides discussed ways to develop trade exchange, and the investment opportunities available in both countries. They discussed as well the preparation for the Iraqi-Saudi Coordination Council Meeting, which will be held in Iraq at the beginning of April, besides discussing the priorities for the next phase.
At the sideline of the visit, the Saudi delegation officials met with their counterparts to discuss relevant issues.
The Saudi delegation to Iraq included H.E. the Ministry of Commerce and Investment, besides representatives from MCI, Ministry of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources, Ministry of Finance, Saudi Standard, Metrology and Quality Organization, General Organization of Customs, Saudi Fund for Development, Export Development Authority and the General Authority for Investment.
It is worth mentioning that the volume of trade exchange between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Iraq has increased by 25% in 2018, to reach $ 1,142 billion.