BEIJING, Oct. 26, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — This is a report from China.org.cn:
Since joining the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) in 2015, Iraq and China have collaborated on several projects to boost bilateral trade and investment. In 2022, foreign trade between Iraq and China surged to US$53.37 billion, a year-on-year increase of 42.9%. Commenting on the growth of trade between the two nations in recent years, Iraq’s Ambassador to China, Shorsh Khalid Said, stated, “We have strengthened our ties with Chinese allies. China has emerged as Iraq’s biggest trading partner, and Iraq ranks third among Arab countries as a trading partner for China.”
Ambassador Said highlighted that under the BRI framework, Chinese firms have forged partnerships with their Iraqi counterparts in sectors such as electricity, infrastructure, renewable energy and culture. A noteworthy aspect of this collaboration has been the construction of multiple educational institutions. He elaborated, “The Iraqi government has launched an ambitious project targeting the establishment of 8,000 elementary, middle and high schools, and Chinese entities have played a pivotal role in its execution.”
This year commemorates the 65th anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and Iraq. “The bond between China and Iraq has deep historical roots, spanning over two millennia to the times of the Silk Road.” Ambassador Said affirmed that he has gained profound insights into the dynamic partnership between the two nations since becoming the ambassador to China. He also emphasized that throughout the pandemic, China provided strong support to the Iraqi people, notably in the realms of vaccine distribution and sanitary laboratory provisions.”
Ambassador Said added, “As an ancient civilization, Iraq, with its storied history, vibrant culture and rich tourism resources, warmly welcomes an ever growing number of Chinese travelers. The Iraqi government has made it easy for Chinese visitors to explore Iraq by allowing them to purchase air tickets and obtain visas upon arrival.”
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative’s inception. In the span of a decade, this initiative has cemented its status as a globally acclaimed platform for international collaboration. Notably, from October 17th to 18th, Beijing hosted the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.