Posted on 22 August 2013.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is to visit India on Thursday to push for investment in reconstruction, reports AFP.
The four-day trip to New Delhi and Mumbai, with a delegation of ministers and business leaders, follows the visit of India Oil Minister M Veerappa Moily to Baghdad last month.
But the prospects of luring foreign investment to Iraq have been complicated as the country has been hit by its worst violence since 2008, with the interior ministry describing Iraq as a “battleground”.
Maliki is due to meet with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh, as well as India’s President Pranab Mukherjee and other top officials and leaders, according to Suresh Reddy, India’s envoy to Baghdad.
“Naturally economic considerations would be a big part of bilateral discussions … Since energy is of critical importance to Iraq, and India being dependent on imported energy … So energy would constitute a very important component of the discussions … But it’s not just trade alone.“
Reddy said Indian exports to Iraq totalled around $1.3 billion in 2012, up from $740 million in 2011, while Baghdad’s exports to India (mostly oil) totalled more than $20 billion last year, compared to around $9 billion in 2011.
Dr. Mark A. DeWeaver
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