Economist Calls for New Border Crossings

An Iraqi economic expert has called on the government to use the border areas to support the Iraqi economy and to create more border crossings for trade.

"Over the years, Iraq has not pushed hard enough to open commercial markets with the surrounding countries”, Ali Ke Ji, an Iraqi economic expert, said on Sunday.

"We hope that the next government will examine new ways to improve the duty-free and joint markets with the neighbouring countries, regardless of the political differences," he said.

A few days ago, outgoing Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki called for the development of border crossings in order to develop the economic potential of the country. Massoud Barzani, Kurdistan Region's president said during his visit to Turkey, "Iraq is seeking to open new border crossings with Turkey and to establish an industrial and commercial zone on the Iraqi side of the Turkish border".

Iraq hopes that a new crossing would increase trade with Turkey to $20 billion. Turkey is a major trading partner of Iraq and it is the biggest investors in the country since the fall of the former regime in 2003.

There is currently only one border crossing between the two countries, the Abraham al-Khalil crossing, in the Zakho area of Dohuk province, north of Erbil.

(Source: AK News)

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