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ISLAMABAD: Ambassador of Iraq to Pakistan Hamid Abbas Lafta reaffirmed the commitment to further enhance and strengthen bilateral trade and economic relations between both the countries.

He said that through the initiation of trade through Gwadar and Basra seaports, the relations between the two countries would reach to new heights. Pakistan and Iraq are enjoying the best relationship and both sides are committed to foster their multilateral relationship, he said while talking to a delegation of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) led by its President Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari, which called on him here Saturday.

The envoy said that Pakistani manpower had a vast spectrum in the fields of agriculture, medical and petro-chemical in Iraq. He said that the two countries also enjoy exemplary ties in other areas of mutual interest including trade, economy and defense. He said that both the countries always demonstrated complete harmony at regional and international forums, adding that Iraq is a country of opportunities with strong economy. He said that the annual budget of Iraq comprised over $110 billion and it was intend to promote ties with all the countries.

Pakistan and Iraq are bonded in strong relationship yet the trade relations are at the lowest level which needs to be enhanced, he said adding that for this purpose, the chambers of both the sides can play a significant role.

The envoy further said that the Iraqi government had unveiled its national action plan for the investments and called upon the Pakistani businessmen to come forward to harness such opportunities. He further assured the business community of full support of the Embassy in promoting and developing the trade and investment relations between both the countries.

Speaking on the occasion, President ICCI Ahsan Zafar Bakhtawari said that despite huge existing trade and investment potential between both the countries, the trade volume was not up to the mark. He suggested removal of obstacles in promoting bilateral trade, besides developing close connectivity between the two brotherly countries to exploit trade potential.

He said that along with other multiple investment opportunities in different areas, Pakistan also enjoys the tourism potential especially the northern areas, thereby the Iraqi side must grasp this opportunity also.

He added that Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry will chalk out a plan for its participation in the Trade Exhibition to be held in Najaf in the month of June to showcase its products in Iraq to boost business ties between the two countries. He said that ICCI was determined to play its role in promoting business relations between the two countries.

Speaking on the occasion, Secretary General UBG Zafar Bakhatwari expressed the hope that the Ambassador being a dynamic figure, would continue to play his role in furthering the ties between the two countries.

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