Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dr. M. Veerappa Moily has offered participation of Indian Companies in various Iraqi projects for enhancing economic cooperation.
Dr. Moily arrived in Baghdad on July 6 leading a 28-member delegation to the meeting of 17th India-Iraq Joint Commission scheduled for July 7 and 8.
On arrival, Dr. Moily called on the Prime Minister of Iraq, Nouri Al-Maliki, and reiterated to him the invitation of Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to visit New Delhi.
The Iraqi Prime Minister said that he was planning the visit to New Delhi in September 2013.
Dr. Moily while recalling the excellent bilateral relations with Iraq which was the second largest supplier of crude oil to India, emphasized the need for further strengthen the relationship between the two countries by increasing economic cooperation.
Indian companies have the expertise to participate in many projects coming up in Iraq, especially in areas such as refineries, petrochemicals and fertilizers. India will also be interested in gas-based projects and importing LNG from Iraq; besides India can share its knowledge and expertise in agriculture, infrastructure technology and pharmaceuticals.
The Iraqi Prime Minister said that Iraq will have great interest in sectors connected with oil and gas especially petrochemicals, refineries and fertilizers and both countries should start working immediately on cooperation in these sectors.
The meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister was followed by discussions with Deputy Prime Minister, Dr. Saleh al-Mutlaq, who also hosted a lunch in the honour of Dr Moily.
In the discussions with Deputy Prime Minister, the delegation members elaborated on cooperation between India and Iraq in the oil and gas sectors and other areas such as steel, railways, etc.
India also offered to train Iraqi personnel in oil and gas sector in the training institutes in India.
India also offered to work with Iraqi Public Sector Undertaking in order to exchange ideas and expertise that could help them in becoming more efficient and profitable. (ANI)