Faced with declining value of rupee and volatile exchange rate, India is exploring the possibility of bilateral trade with Iraq in domestic currencies, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said on Friday.
The issue of payment for trade in local currencies will be discussed during the bilateral meetings between visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Kamil Al-Maliki and Indian Ministers. "We are exploring possibilities (of payment in local currencies -- dinar and rupee) as we have substantial import.
We will definitely be discussing this issue," Sharma told reporters in New Delhi. India-Iraq bilateral trade currently stands at around USD 21 billion. Speaking at function organised by industry chambers, visiting Prime Minister Al-Maliki invited Indian industry to take advantage of the business opportunities in different sectors like agriculture, health and education in Iraq.
"I invite Indian companies to invest in Iraq. There are great opportunities and wide avenues in different sectors," he added. Payment for trade in local currencies will to some extent help India in dealing with the exchange rate volatility and declining value of rupee, which yesterday slipped to a lifetime low of 65.56 against the US dollar intra-day.