Minister Krzysztof Jurgiel met with the Minister of Agriculture of the Republic of Iraq, Falah Hassan Zaidan, who is staying in Poland as part of the Iraqi official visit under the leadership of President of the Republic of Iraq, Fuad Masum Khader.
Photo. Participants of talks in the MARD
The primary purpose of the meeting was to discuss the possibilities of developing cooperation in the field of agriculture. Minister Jurgiel declared willingness of the Polish side to engage in forms of cooperation conducive to the economic development of both countries. He also emphasised that the Polish side is interested in finalising work related to the access of Polish agri-food products to the Iraqi market.
- During the talks, we established the areas in which we want to cooperate. As promised by Minister Zaidan, we will receive a draft memorandum in the next two weeks. We will also present our proposals and I think that such a memorandum will be signed within two or three months. We are striving for the opening of the beef and poultry market, which is very important to us. We also declared cooperation in the field of scientific progress, innovation, transfer of experience of institutes and agricultural holdings, which in turn Iraq really needs – Minister Krzysztof Jurgiel said after the meeting.
During talks, Minister Zaidan characterised the situation of the Iraqi agricultural sector, indicating the need for significant investment to rebuild the agri-food sector. He expressed his hope for the involvement of Polish entities in the modernisation of the Iraqi agriculture.
- This visit is very important to us. We want to rebuild our commercial relations. Iraq was one of the most important partners of Poland in the Middle East in the 1970’s and 80’s. What we want is to get back to that level and even increase it – said the Iraqi Minister of Agriculture.
Both ministers unanimously expressed the need to formalise bilateral cooperation by signing the Memorandum of Cooperation in the area of agriculture between Poland and Iraq.
Export of Polish food was also one of the main topics of talks between the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda, and the leader of Iraq, Mohammed Fuad Masum Khader, who started his visit to Poland on Monday. The plenary talks held in the Presidential Palace were also attended by the Ministers of Agriculture of Poland and Iraq.
In 2016, the volume of export of agri-food products to Iraq amounted to EUR 27.7 million, which represented an increase of 13% compared to the corresponding period of 2015. In 2016, Polish cheese and curd were the most important Polish product exported to the Iraqi market.