Iran and Iraq have special potentials for developing the tourism industry, observed deputy head of Khorasan Razavi Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Department here on Saturday.
Seyyed Masoud Montajebnia pointed to the strong cultural and religious affinities of the two countries and said that the number of Iranians and Iraqis visiting each other’s country is increasing every year.
He also called for boosting cooperation between the two countries in the field of tourism.
Referring to the establishment of the Tourism Committee in Mashhad Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines, he stated that committee will help facilitate the entry Iraqi visitors to Iran.
Earlier, the head of Iran-Iraq Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Mines called for establishment of branches of Iranian banks in Iraq.
“Establishment of Iranian banks in Iraq would increase trade and foreign currency security of the two countries’ businessmen,” Mohammad Hossein Tizmaqz said.
Referring to promotion of the two countries’ relations, he observed that by expanding economic, cultural and social relations, the two countries would witness a boost in relations.
Referring to the cultural and religious commonalties between the two countries, Tizmaqz noted that some 650,000 Iraqi Shiites visited Iran in the year to March 2008, of whom 500,000 went on pilgrimage to the holy shrine of Imam Reza, eighth Imam of the infallible household of Prophet Muhammad.
“Iran has cultural, medical, social and tourism potentialities,” he stated, noting, “We should use such a potential properly for bolstering bilateral ties.”
The official further noted that by establishing branches of Iranian banks in Iraq, Iranian tradesmen can easily invest in Iraq.
Tizmaqz underlined that trade transaction between Khorasan Razavi and Iraq exceeded dlrs 400 million in 2007.
He noted that to increase bilateral transactions, special facilities have to be made available for transit of goods at the Iran-Iraq border.
Referring to the establishment of chambers of commerce in Khorasan Razavi, West Azarbaijan, Kermanshah and Khuzestan provinces, he noted that the volume of Iran-Iraq trade exchanges could be raised.
He stated that the Khorasan provinces had the highest amount of exports to Iraq compared to other provinces across the country in 2007.