BELGRADE (Serbia), March 25 (SeeNews) – Serbia's central bank said it bought 15 million euro ($17 million) from commercial banks on Friday to …

By John Lee.

Najaf Investment Commission has reportedly signed an initial agreement with a Hong Kong-based company to build a monorail for the city.

According to Xinhua, the head of the commission said:

“The project will provide an accessible and fast transportation way to the people of the city as well as all tourists.”

(Source: Xinhua)

By John Lee.

UK-based recruitment agency SSK Recruitment is reported to be looking to open an office in Erbil.

Bdaily quotes Managing director Adam Smith as saying:

With all the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, we decided to focus on building relationships in the Middle East.

“The margins are significantly higher in the Middle East than here in the UK and we’ve been lucky that through existing relationships we’ve formed with our current clients, they have in turn recommended us to other companies.

It adds that the company is looking to engage with more companies in the oil and gas sector and is holding meetings in the UK, Dubai and Iraq.

(Source: Bdaily)

The chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission hailed an agreement to ease visa restrictions between the Islamic Republic and Iraq as a major achievement of President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to the Arab country.

“The president’s visit to Iraq after the withdrawal of Daesh (ISIS or ISIL) from the country and the elimination of the terrorist group is important because it can develop investments and strategic relations between Tehran and Baghdad,” Heshmatollah Falahat Pishe told Tasnim.

He further emphasized that the visit is also important because Iraq can play a major role in countering the sanctions imposed by the US against Iran.

The senior lawmaker also referred to the easing of visa restrictions between Iran and Iraq as one of the most important achievements of Rouhani’s visit to Iraq, the senior lawmaker added.

Heading a high-ranking delegation, Rouhani arrived in Baghdad on Monday at the official invitation of the Iraqi government. It is Rouhani’s first official visit to Iraq during his tenure.

Iran and Iraq enjoy cordial political, security and cultural ties but due to some internal and regional problems including Daesh terrorism in Iraq, they have not been able to increase their trade volume.

Iran’s main exports to the neighboring country include agro products, foodstuff and fruits such as watermelon, tomato and cucumber, which account for 37% of the total exports.

Other Iranian exports to Iraq include canned food, tomato paste, chicken, egg, meat, construction materials (mainly rebar, tiles and ceramics), steel and evaporative cooler.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

By Julian Pecquet for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News

US singles out ‘mafia’-like groups as key threat to Iraq’s future

The United States welcomes Iraq’s desire to be a “bridge” to its neighbors but will not accept “malign” Iranian influence that undermines Iraqi sovereignty, two top State Department officials told Al-Monitor.

In a joint interview Wednesday at the State Department, Assistant Secretary for Conflict and Stabilization Operations Denise Natali and Deputy Assistant for Iraq and Iran Andrew Peek emphasized the primacy of Iraqi sovereignty in US policy and a desire to work with Baghdad to address Iranian-backed militias that operate outside the control of Baghdad.

The pair encouraged “balanced” state-to-state relations between Iraq and all of its neighbors after returning from a delegation to Iraq earlier this month that was led by Natali and also attended by Peek.

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