Monday, 27 December 2010

Talabani invites top Turkish businessmen to Iraq

ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
Sunday, December 26, 2010

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has invited the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges, or TOBB, to his country, saying that he wants more Turkish investments.

Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, the TOBB president, held a meeting with Talabani on the sidelines of the 11th Summit of the Economic Cooperation Organization, held in Istanbul’s Çırağa Palace last week. During the meeting, Talabani noted that 600 Turkish companies have done business worth $8 billion in Iraq, adding that the airports in Arbil and Sulaimania, plus the Sulaimania University were built by Turkish companies.

“Talabani wanted more investment and trade from Turkey,” Hisarcıklıoğlu told Anatolia news agency. “He also said the bilateral trade volume should be increased to $20 billion in a short period of time.”

The Iraqi president urged TOBB members to form a delegation to visit Arbil, Sulaimania, Mosul, Kirkuk, Baghdad, Najaf and Basra, meeting with officials of the government, local administrations and businesspeople. Hisarcıklıoğlu recalled that TOBB had staged a visit to Baghdad in February 2004, despite tough security conditions.

“We have modernized the Habur border gate, increasing its procession capacity,” Hisarcıklıoğlu said. “However, our trucks passing to Iraq cannot go beyond Zaxo due to security reasons. There still are security concerns about taking goods to Baghdad, Najaf and Basra.”

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