Jordanian Prime Minister, Omar Razzaz, on Monday met with Iraqi Defence Minister, Irfan Hayali, to discuss the Jordanian-Iraqi relations.
Razzaz underlined the depth of the historic Jordanian-Iraqi relations and the keenness to enhance joint cooperation to serve the interests of both countries and their peoples.
The premier also pointed to the directives of His Majesty King Abdullah II to increase cooperation and integration between the two countries.
Hayali conveyed the greetings of Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, to the prime minister as well as his keenness to cooperate in all civil and military fields.
He pointed to the importance of the agreement signed yesterday between the two countries on military and security cooperation, exchange of expertise and information in the field of border protection, capacity development, and combating terrorism.
The meeting also dealt with the Turaibeel border crossing and the need to focus on promoting trade and investment exchange and establishing a joint industrial zone near the border between the two countries.
In a statement, the IBBC said it is delighted to welcome one of Iraq’s preeminent private sector banking organisations to join its growing financial and professional services sector table.
NBI was founded in 1995 as a publicly traded, private sector company offering comprehensive banking services to individuals and businesses. NBI’s paid up capital was increased to IQD 250 Billion (USD 215 million) in December 2013.
NBI has been consistently growing in size and capabilities to serve Iraqi citizens with the highest quality financial services. NBI’s strategy revolves around offering a unique value proposition to multinationals and large corporates looking for professional commercial banking services in Iraq, as well as a solid platform for individuals to interact with. As a Jordan based Group, they are able to offer global access to funds and a comprehensive set of banking services to facilitate banking needs on the ground.
NBI is constantly expanding and modernizing its branch and ATM network in Iraq and are currently the only bank that has a branch in North Rumaila (Basra) and are in the process of opening new branches in Kathimiyya and Jameela in Baghdad and a new technologically advanced branch in Basra. NBI is also heavily investing in advancing its electronic channels and overall technological capabilities in order further modernize the banking process and offer a seamless banking experience to their clients.
NBI offers full-fledged investment banking, wealth management and brokerage services through its sister companies in Jordan, UAE and Iraq. The UAE subsidiary acts as the main gateway for multinationals and GCC based clients looking to raise growth capital or connect with local partners and enter into joint ventures for business expansion or new projects across Iraq. NBI’s investment offering also includes a wide range of advisory services in M&A, investment structuring and debt raising or restructuring.
NBI is regulated by the Central Bank of Iraq and publicly traded on the Iraq Stock Exchange It implements stringent international anti-money laundering and compliance regulations, and is also one of the few banks in Iraq to implement International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), with PWC as its external auditor.
New pre-arrival clearance protocols and reduced terminal handling charges for containers in transit, mean that Jordan’s deep-water Aqaba Container Terminal (ACT), located on the Red Sea, is now a realistic alternative maritime gateway for Iraq-bound cargo, APM Terminals said in its press release.
Containers imported into Iraq will no longer have to be trans-loaded onto new trucks as they cross the Jordanian/Iraqi border.
“The Aqaba Container Terminal has been working hard over the years to develop a competitive gateway to Iraq,” says ACT Managing Director Steven Yoogalingam. “This will enhance the already strong Iraqi port system and gives the business communities of both countries a fantastic transportation system to better support economic development in the region.”
Ideally located, the ACT is 550km – or 36 hours by road – from the Iraqi border town of Traibil and 48 hours from Baghdad. This development comes as the volume of Iraqi imports experience rapid growth – 86% last year alone.
The ACT is a joint venture between ADC, the Jordanian Government’s development arm for the Aqaba Special Economic Zone, and APM Terminals, which manages the facility. It is the second–busiest container facility on the Red Sea after Jeddah (Saudi Arabia).
A terminal expansion project completed in 2013 added 460 meters to the existing quay to create a total length of 1 km and increased the annual container throughput capacity to 1.3 million TEUs.
Iraqi imports grew by 86% in 2017 to $36.5 billion – the leading sources being China, Turkey, Iran, South Korea and the United States, with food, medicine and manufactured goods the primary products.
A new report from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy says that Iraqi hydrocarbons “will either be exploited by Iran and its allies or used for Iraq’s own benefit, transforming the country into an energy export hub between the Gulf states, Turkey, and Europe. The United States has a strong strategic interest in promoting the latter outcome.”
Authors James F. Jeffrey, a former US ambassador to Iraq and Turkey, and Michael Knights, who has worked extensively on energy projects inside Iraq, suggest that the US should put its weight behind a north-south energy corridor in which Iraq serves as an energy hub between ever-friendlier Gulf states and Turkey, ultimately forming an export bridge to Europe.
They add that Washington should also support the Basra-Haditha-Aqaba pipeline project to bring Iraqi oil and gas to Jordan.
MENAFN reports that 540 Jordanian goods have been officially exempted from customs duties of Iraq.
Jordan’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply, Yarub Al-Qudah (pictured) said the decision aims to increase Jordanian exports to the Iraqi market, promoting economic cooperation between the two countries.
He added that Jordanian trucks will be allowed to enter Iraq, and vice versa.
Jordan’s Minister of Municipalities, Walid Al-Masri, and Minister of Industry and Trade, Yarub Al-Qudah, have met representatives of the chambers of industry and commerce and members of the Jordan Truck Owners and Custom Clearance Associations to discuss arrangements for the entry of Jordanian trucks to Iraq.
According to a report from Petra, they agreed to organise the crossing of Jordanian trucks to Iraq with the concerned Jordanian and Iraqi authorities.
Jordan has reportedly approved an agreement with Iraq to build a twin gas and oil pipeline between the two countries.
The 1,680-km double pipeline will pump one million barrels of oil a day, and 258 million cubic feet of gas, from Basra to Aqaba.
About 150,000 barrels of the oil from Iraq is needed to meet Jordan’s needs. The rest will be exported through Aqaba, generating about three billion U.S. dollars a year in revenues to Jordan, according to the ministry.
An agreement will be signed soon by the Energy Ministries of both countries.
This article was originally published by Niqash. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.
Anbar’s western desert is a hiding place for the Islamic State group, locals say. And they fear the extremists will be back as soon as an opportunity presents itself.
Last week the Iraqi government declared victory over the extremist group known as the Islamic State. But, according to locals and military personnel living in the Anbar province, that declaration was premature.
“I have seen no genuine indications that this province is rid of the Islamic State group,” says Ayad al-Nimrawi, a 43-year-old who runs a restaurant in the Kilo area, about 160 kilometres along the road between Baghdad and the Syrian-Jordanian border. “I still see commercial trucks accompanied by security details when they come along here. Even the security forces cannot travel down here alone, they require extra protection.”
“I will only feel that we have won the final victory when I see life returning to this road as it was before the Islamic State came. We used to travel here at night without any fear of armed groups but today this international road is almost completely closed. As soon as dusk falls, this road is a death trap.”
The victory celebrations were not about the complete eradication of the IS group, rather they were meant to be a signal about the end of military operations, suggests Tariq Yusef al-Asal, a police chief and one of the leaders of Anbar’s tribal militias fighting the Islamic State. “We have the right to be proud of the victories achieved by our security forces in the fighting that’s gone on over three years,” he told NIQASH. “We have sovereignty over our land again.”
However, he adds, “it would be stupid to say that Iraq is now completely clean of extremist groups like the Islamic State. There are still sleeper cells and incubators inside and outside our cities.”
“No country – not even European nations – can claim they are completely clean of Islamic State members,” he continued. “Those sleeper cells will keep the organisation alive and sustain it. These groups make good use of any security vacuum in any country to try and achieve their aims.”
Fly Baghdad‘s Chief Executive Ali al-Hamdany has told Reuters that the budget airline plans to start flights to Europe and India next year, and is planning a stock market listing in 2020. It will also start flights to Ankara and Beirut in the coming weeks.
It currently operates two Boeing 149-seat 737-700 jets and one 50-seat Bombardier CRJ200 to Erbil and Sulaimaniya, and internationally to Istanbul and Amman.
The airline, launched in 2015, is owned by Iraqi investors.
According to Reuters, it aims to become profitable next year after it adds flights to Frankfurt in Germany, Malmo in Sweden, and Delhi in India as part of its proposed network expansion that will also include Dubai.