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Welcome to Iraq

Welcome to Iraq

Armenian cigarettes gaining popularity

Torn by wars and terrorism, Iraq was not an attractive market for Armenian businesses just several years ago. Nevertheless, the successful activity of Armenian cigarette exporters made the country their Number 2 destination, following Russia.

PanARMENIAN.Net - In 2010, products worth of $479,000 were exported to Iraq, of which the export of potatoes and tobacco products totaled $321,000 and $151,000 respectively. The next year the sum increased tenfold, exceeding $4,8 million, thanks to the developing tobacco export. The number of cigarettes grew from 7,3 million to 459,3 million, amounting to $4,125 million.

In 2012, the exports tripled, reaching $15,7 million, while in 2013 the exports totaled $48,5 million, of which $46 million was the export of tobacco products. The export of spirits and potatoes totaled $1,033 and $0,9 million respectively.

In 2014, the exports surpassed $80 million ($79 million for tobacco products and $1,2 million for spirits). In 2015, the amount reached $130,6 million, with 11,8 billion cigarettes exported for the sum of $126,2 million, 838,000 liters of spirits for $2,8 million, 2900 cattle for $1 million.

For comparison, Armenia’s exports to neighboring Iran totaled $82 million in 2015, of which $74 million for energy and $2.8 million for mutton.

In the first quarter of 2016, goods to the amount of $39,5 million was exported to Iraq against $28,3 million in the same period in 2015, increasing by 40%. According to experts, the sum can excede $180 million by the end of the year. The exports to Iran in the reporting period totaled $17 million, to Russia - $67 million, to Germany $32 million.

In all, Armenia exported about 16 billion cigarettes to the amount of $171 million in 2015 against $116 million in 2014. Tobacco products to the amount of $25 million were exported to Syria. Exports to Turkmenistan, Russia, Georgia totaled $6 million, $4 million and $3,6 million respectively. Exports to Jordan and other markets amounted to about $2 million.

Armenia’s cigarette production in 2015 reached AMD 95 billion ($198 million), growing by 49,1% against the previous year.

About 33% of men and 3% of women are smokers in Iraq, a country with population of 33 million.

Photo: Getty Images
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