Countries and regions
The EU-Iraq Partnership and Cooperation Agreement marks the first ever contractual relation between the EU and Iraq.
The text of the EU-Iraq Partnership and Cooperation Agreement was signed on 11 May 2012. Its trade provisions entered into force provisionally on 1 August 2012, until ratification procedures for the whole agreement are completed.
Iraq is not yet a member of the WTO. Iraq requested WTO accession in September 2004. The EU supports Iraq's accession to the WTO and believes that a WTO membership will contribute to enhancing structural reform in the country as well as Iraq's reintegration into the multilateral trading system.
- The EU is a major trading partner for Iraq, slightly ahead of the US, closely followed by India and China. Total bilateral trade between the EU and Iraq amounted to over €16billion in 2013. Due to oil imports (which represent up to 99.6% of all EU imports from Iraq) this trade shows a huge surplus in favor of Iraq.
- Turkey and Syria surpass the EU as the most important source of imports for Iraq. EU exports to Iraq are dominated by machinery and transport equipment, chemicals, food and live animals.
EU-Iraq "trade in goods" statistics
|Year||EU imports||EU exports||Balance|
EU and Iraq
The EU-Iraq Partnership and Cooperation Agreement
- The agreement has a wide coverage of policy sectors including trade in goods, trade in services, trade related issues such as Intellectual Property Rights, technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary issues and a dispute settlement.
- It provides preferential elements and substantial market access to EU companies, namely in public procurement (the same treatment that national companies get), services and establishment and investment in Iraq.
Iraq is an important trading partner in the Middle East and a key strategic energy partner for the EU.
The EU sees closer trade ties with Iraq as an important part of the reconstruction and development of Iraq. There is substantial potential for bilateral trade between the two economies. Investment from the EU would have a highly beneficial effect on Iraq's development.
The European Commission's strategy for Iraq was set out in the 2004 Commission Communication "The EU and Iraq: a framework for engagement" , reinforced by the 2006 Commission Communication "Recommendations for renewed engagement with Iraq".
Both documents aim to support Iraq's political transition to democracy and the establishment of a market economy. They also support Iraq's integration into the international community and within the region.
In the area of trade, the Communication proposed the negotiation of a Trade and Cooperation Agreement as an appropriate first step to develop a partnership between the EU and Iraq.
The EU-Iraq Partnership and Cooperation Agreement that entered into force provisionally in August 2012 is a non-preferential trade agreement that incorporates basic WTO rules. The first meeting of the EU-Iraq Sub-committee on trade and related policies took place on 10 October 2013 in Brussels, followed by the first EU-Iraq Cooperation Council on 20 January 2014, in Brussels.
Trading with Iraq
- Importing into the EU from Iraq
- EU trade defence measures on imports from Iraq
- Exporting from the EU to Iraq
- The EU is present on the ground in Iraq
- Trade relations are part of the EU's overall political and economic relations with Iraq
- Iraq has observer status in the World Trade Organisation