In the light of the great victories achieved by Iraq against the terrorist organization led by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and the continuation of his war on the corruption and the corrupts, Abadi directs ministries and government institutions to make the utmost efforts in economic development, and protect Iraq and its gains both internally and externally.
In implementation of the directions of Abadi, the Iraqi Ministry of Oil is following closely by its expert oil expert Jabbar al-Luaibi the continuous efforts to build Iraq and achieve economic investment in the energy sector.
Al-Luaibi works to register success after success to achieve prosperity for Iraq, especially in the oil field. He has established effective partnership with important countries and companies at the current stage.
The Ministry’s policy is characterized in his era by meticulous accuracy in accomplishing the work, achieving clear objectives, following practical steps to address the difficult economic and financial challenges facing the country, promoting real comprehensive development and planning to increase the financial revenues of the Iraqi treasury.
One of the achievements of Al-Allaibi is his connection with the Saudi delegation, which recently attended Iraq’s seventh International Oil and Gas exhibition in Basra, which included 76 people under the chairmanship of Saudi Energy Minister Khaled Al-Falih to participate in the Basra oil and energy exhibition.
The Iraqi oil minister, Jabbar al-Luaibi, received his Saudi counterpart amid a large celebration not witnessed by the street of Basra and songs , and popular events of Iraqi heritage witnessed in the exhibition hall of oil and gas.
The delegation included 66 businessmen, heads and representatives of 22 companies, including 16 giant companies such as Aramco, SABIC, oil and petrochemical and agricultural companies.
The oil ministerJabbar Ali Al-Luaibi said: the signing of a package of joint agreements in the energy sector with Saudi Arabia culminated in the rapprochement between the two countries in the economic relations with a view to enhancing them in the future in various fields, , adding that it is an ideal shift in bilateral relations especially in the fields of oil and energy and it will participate to expand the joint Cooperation and promotion of economic development in Mesopotamia.
The two sides agreed to sign 18 memorandums of understanding, including the oil and gas, liquidation sectors and energy projects.
The memorandum included important axes in the field of investment, cooperation, manufacturing, partnership, supply of raw materials, infrastructure requirements, pipes, technical and industrial services, drilling of wells and development.
Al-Allaibi added that the extractive companies, the liquidation and the gas sector , the oil and the drilling projects are the beneficiaries of this cooperation, referring to previous agreements covering marketing, training sectors and others .
Al-Luaibi said that the bilateral relations between the two countries are witnessing a great development in the formation of joint committees and exchange of visits in order to accelerate the building of a solid base for bilateral cooperation between brothers.
Economists and experts see the importance of this cooperation in the field of energy, which will have a clear impact on the economies of the two countries, especially as they are two members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
Al-Luaibi added “The ministry is looking forward to activating cooperation with Saudi companies to enhance the economy of the two countries,” noting that Saudi Arabia is one of the most important investors in the region and the world.
Saudi Arabia’s energy minister Khalid al-Faleh stressed his country’s keenness to strengthen relations with Iraq.
Following the signing of memorandums of understanding ,he praised the efforts exerted by the Iraqi government to promote Iraq and invest its resources to achieve comprehensive development in it expressing his hope for his country’s participation in this developmental process, especially as it simulates the comprehensive development efforts that the Kingdom is witnessing within the framework of its roadmap for its future represented by the vision of the kingdom for 2030, and its various operational programs. He added “Both countries share a determination to build a promising future for their people, develop their economies, invest resources, develop human capacities and build sustainable national and global partnerships that support achieving these goals,” .
Al-Falih stressed that the Kingdom and Iraq enjoy strategic advantages that include human resources, geographical location, energy resources, natural and mineral resources and the current and potential industries, pointing out that the similarity of these advantages and its integration between the two countries constitutes a solid basis for cooperation between them.
He stressed that the important Saudi companies will open branches in Iraq to achieve more frameworks of bilateral cooperation and expand the volume of investments in the sectors of oil and gas, manufacturing, supply, infrastructure and others.
Al-Falih added that his country’s desire for cooperation and economic integration with Iraq is a priority strategic direction of interest to the Kingdom “to strengthen trade relations with brotherly Iraq, which brings benefit to both parties.”
Al-Falih added that the cooperation between the two brotherly countries was not limited to bilateral cooperation only, but included coordinating positions and unifying the views in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries “OPEC”.
Al-Falih stressed on the available opportunities saying “There are areas for exchanging experiences and opportunities for cooperation in the oil and gas industry, exploitation of renewable energy sources and cooperation in the field of market opening and export development between the two countries,”.
He pointed out that the opening of the giant office (petrochemical) of Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) in Iraq in the final stages, allowing the company the opportunity to expand investments in this sector.
Al-Falih said the two countries will discuss in the near future an initiative to connect electricity and investments in renewable energy and electricity generation projects.
Al-Falih visited Baghdad last October on the sidelines of the Baghdad International Fair, which was attended by more than 60 Saudi companies, which formed the largest pavilion of the countries participating in this international event.
The Saudi Export Development Authority participated during the 44th session of the Baghdad Fair for a week with about 60 companies from various industrial and service sectors.
Salih Al-Salami , secretary –general of the Authority for export development said “The Saudi exports through the exhibition seek to discover the market opportunities of Saudi products in Iraq and facilitate export procedures for Iraq in cooperation with the relevant authorities,” , in addition to reopening the commercial border crossing between the two countries and the return of Saudi flights to Iraq.
The volume of trade exchange between the two countries last year amounted to 171.3 billion dollars. The service sector accounted for 57% of the total, while the industrial sector accounted for 38%, while the agricultural sector accounted for 5%.
In the same context, the official Saudi Press Agency quoted Saudi Charge d’affaires in Baghdad Abdulaziz Al-Shammari as saying earlier: “It was agreed on a lot of investments and projects that serve the two countries and signed a memorandum of understanding on air transport in both countries.”
The two countries took part in a decision to extend the agreement to cut crude oil production by an additional 9 months until the end of December 2018, which began earlier this year with the participation of OPEC and independent producers.
The Saudi cabinet approved in August the minutes of the establishment of the Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council, which economists considered the key to the development of trade relations in the future, where the two countries witnessed many visits between Iraqi officials and their counterparts in the Gulf countries to promote cooperation in various fields.
Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies