Mumbai: Calling for a balanced bilateral trade, the visiting Iraqi trade minister Khairullah Hasan Babakir on Wednesday urged India to increase export to the war-torn country.
"The bilateral trade is worth USD 10 billion but 90 percent is import of crude from Iraq and not from the products coming from India to Iraq. We hope that more products are exported from India," he said at a CII function here.
The trade between the two countries has increased from USD 5.7 billion in 2006-07 to USD 9.7 billion in 2010-11, Babakir said.
The main export items from India include metals, electronic goods, basmati rice, meat and machinery, while imports include crude, fruits and nuts, sulphur, wool and chemicals.
"Now the bilateral trade is not balanced. I need India to export more goods, items, instruments and equipments," the minister said, adding the oil producing country needs investment in infrastructure, agriculture, machinery, power, healthcare and telecommunication.
Babakir further said his Indian counterpart Anand Sharma promised him to encourage Indian businessmen to explore business opportunities in Iraq.
"I had a discussion with your trade and commerce minister and he promised a very good future for bilateral trade between the two nations. They will stimulate and let the businessmen and investors to come and invest in Iraq and have opportunity to have business with Iraqi side. So there will be an increase in bilateral trade," he said.

On having a free trade agreement with India, Babakir said, "the free trade agreement depends on negotiations with Indian side. We are ready".
He further said there was a bilateral commission between Iraq and India headed by the oil ministers of both the countries.
Meanwhile, the National Investment Commission of Iraq chairman Sami Araji said that Iraq would offer tax benefits to investors for up to 10 years.
"Iraq is ready to look at serious investors on any basis. It could be build operate and transfer, private, partnership. The infrastructure investment needs over the next
10 years is USD 500-700 billion, so there are huge opportunities," he said.
"We need 3 billion housing units till 2019 and are giving incentives and tax exemptions for these. From 6 million barrels a day, we want to increase our crude production to 12 million barrels by 2017 and hope to be the second largest producer of oil and competing with Saudi Arabia.
There is need to newly build or rebuilt seven airports. As many as 5,000 schools need rebuilding and 3,000 new schools need to be made immediately and we have put aside USD 10 billion just for this. For basic infrastructure we have
USD 6 billion worth of project," Araji added.