Turkish president's first visit since 2011

Iraq and Turkey expected to sign key trade agreements during Erdogan’s visit

ERBIL — Turkish exports to Iraq are expected to reach $20 billion by 2030, according to Trade Minister Omer Bolat, with the Development Road Project slated for completion by the end of the decade.

Speaking to Turkish news outlet Anadolu Agency, Bolat said increased trade and other bilateral relations will feature prominently during Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Baghdad on April 22, his first international trip since his country’s municipal elections in March and his first official visit to Iraq since 2011.

The visit is expected to further boost economic, diplomatic, and security relations, and result in several new trade agreements.

Turkey is a top trade partner for Iraq with exports totaling $13.7 billion in 2022, according to international trade monitor Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC). Exports from Iraq to Turkey during the same period were just over $1.3 billion, representing what officials see as an opportunity for growth.

The agreements this week are expected to establish a joint economic and trade committee, as well as a protocol for cooperation on product safety and technical barriers.

Additionally, the Turkish Foreign Economic Relations Board and the Federation of Iraqi Chambers of Commerce are expected to sign a memorandum of understanding.

Talks on opening a new border crossing at Ovakoy-Fishkhabur are also reportedly on the agenda, with concerns about chronic bottlenecks at the existing Ibrahim Khalil-Habur gate north of Zakho.