UAE trade with Iraq hit $4.5 billion in 2011
Oil & Gas services and equipment represent slice of growing trade
Trade exchange between the UAE and Iraq continues to grow and has exceeded US$4.5 billion last year despite the global economic crisis, H.H Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the UAE said at a joint , at a joint press conference with his Iraqi counterpart Hoshyar Zebari in Abu Dhabi, according to news agency WAM.
Much of the UAE - Iraq trade is related to upstream oil and gas servies, equipment and skills flowing into Iraq's active oil developments.
Iraq is widely expected to invest around US$200 billion in its upstream sector in the coming six years, on top of $20 billion earmarked for its downstream industries, principally on the refining front first.
Sheikh Abdullah took the opportunity to condemn the recent terrorist acts in Iraq and reiterated the UAE's support for Iraq's stability and security.
For his part, Zebari hailed the UAE's decision to waive Iraq's debt as an initiative which is proof of the depth of relations between the two countries.
The press conference was held upon the conclusion of the 8th meeting of the UAE-Iraqi Joint Committee which chaired by the two ministers.
The UAE Minister noted that an agreement will be signed with Iraq to define a legal mechanism for waiving Iraq's US$ 5.8 billion debt.
"Iraq's relations with the Arab Gulf countries are reasonable," he said adding that more efforts and action by both sides are needed to further enhance these relations."
"There was a decision by Arab leaders to hold the next Arab summit in Baghdad, Iraq. We Arabs should make sure the next summit will be a step forward and at the same time keep Iraq's right to host an Arab summit," he added.