JEDDAH: Saudi Minister of Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Khalid Al-Falih discussed economic opportunities in a meeting with visiting Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar Al-Luaibi.
Al-Falih told Arab News that they discussed Iraq’s huge mineral reserves, which have yet to be explored or invested in.
They also discussed the country’s fertile agricultural land as Iraq is rich with water, he added.
Al-Falih said Al-Luaibi, who was accompanied by a high-level delegation, affirmed Iraq’s commitment to reducing oil exports to shore up prices. Al-Falih said they agreed to open offices for big Saudi corporations in Iraq to assess the market, with the aim of exporting high-quality Saudi products directly rather than via third parties.
This will be facilitated by the opening of border crossings between the two countries, the Saudi minister said.
Companies that stand a good chance of entering the Iraqi market include the Saudi Basic Industry Corp. (SABIC), the Saudi Arabia Mining Co. (Maaden) and Saudi Aramco.
Al-Luaibi told Arab News that his visit to the Kingdom was successful.
He expressed delight at the projects he saw during his visits to SABIC, Aramco and the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yabu.
He said he highly valued the chance to meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who stressed the Kingdom’s keenness in Iraq’s security and welfare, and highlighted the importance of bilateral cooperation in the fields of investment, trade, industry and agriculture.
Al-Luaibi said anticipated bilateral investments may exceed tens of billions of dollars, adding that this is a strategic objective for Iraq.
He said his country’s oil policy matches the Kingdom’s in terms of reducing exports, adding that Iraq’s exports currently stand at 195,000 barrels per day.