University of Baghdad hosts the Egyptian ambassador in Iraq to deliver a lecture on development of the relations between the two countries
Center for strategic and international studies at the university of Baghdad hosted the ambassador of Egypt in Iraq, Dr. Ahmed Hassan Darwish to deliver a lecture entitled “development of the Egyptian-Iraqi relations”. The lecture was attended by a number of researchers interested in the political and foreign affairs of Iraqi and the Iraqi-Egyptian relations throughout history, especially in the political, economic, social fields such as investment, tourism, visas, as well as the cultural relations. The Egyptian ambassador in Baghdad stated that the relations between Iraq and Egypt, especially the economic and commercial ones are characterized with widening their horizons and the availability of their potential for future development, stressing that there is the possibility of contribution in the advancement of commercial exchange, industrial and agricultural investment, energy, tourism, building, construction and others. Darwish said that the volume of commercial exchange between the two countries has reached large proportions compared with the volume of it between Egypt and other Arab countries and there is a need for extending it. The Egyptian ambassador stated that the diplomatic relations have also widened after it was limited to the level of charge d’affaires to be at the level of the exchange of ambassadors to deal economically and commercially with Iraq. He said that there are several factors that lay the foundation for establishing good relationships where there is a powerful political will at the highest levels between the two countries, a clear desire to develop commercial and economic relations, encouraging investment of the Egyptian companies in Iraq, pointing out that there are existing investments at the level of the electricity, health, pharmacy and other sectors as well as the existence of good agreements for economic cooperation and regulation of trade between the two countries. Darwish dealt also with the issue of visas, hoping for the possibility of lifting visa after the demise of their causes related to the exceptional conditions faced by the two sides, noting that the Egyptian embassy in Baghdad has granted nearly three thousand visas last year, as well as those granted by the consulates in Basra and Erbil. At the end of the lecture, discussions and interventions were opened which focused on the need to increase cultural cooperation between the Egyptian and Iraqi universities and other issues raised during the lecture. The lecture was attended by director of the center for strategic and international studies, Dr. Ali Dreul and director of cultural relations at the university of Baghdad, Dr. Ayad Kadhim. Data indicated that the volume of commercial exchange between Egypt and Iraq during the period (2005 – 2008) has witnessed a growing trend and in 2008 a clear increase was witnessed in the volume of trade and the annual growth rate was (77%) since it reached to (369) million dollars, while the overall trade in 2009 maintained the same level of the previous year without showing any clear increase in figure as the total trade was (370) million dollars. There is no doubt that the volume of commercial exchange between the two countries (import and export) doesn’t reflect the real potential for trade between the two countries, the mutual desire to improve it and the political will that is available, therefore the two countries are looking forward to the rise the rate of trade similar to the terms of trade between Iraq and some neighboring countries since Egypt has an industrial production base that qualifies it to upgrade the size of exchange and meet part of the domestic demand in Iraq, in addition to the fact that Iraq has a number of goods that can be accessed to and can achieve competition in the Egyptian market, for they have a comparative advantage, thus enhancing the volume of trade between the two countries.