The UAE is the leading investor in Iraq's Kurdistan region and has registered a 28 per cent increase in investment inflows in the period 2006 to 2008, according to the Minister of Foreign Trade.
Speaking at a forum called "Investment in Iraq's Kurdistan" held at Abu Dhabi's Emirates Palace Hotel yesterday, Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, UAE Minister of Foreign Trade, said this was because of the ability of UAE-based companies to discover investment opportunities early.
Another reason was the highly competitive business atmosphere in the country, which lead to these companies being proactive both in their home market and abroad, she said.
The forum was also attended by Dr Barham Salih, the Prime Minister of Iraqi Kurdistan.
Sheikha Lubna said commercial exchanges between the UAE and Iraq had shown a remarkable increase in recent years. In monetary terms, bilateral trade increased from 2006 to 2008 to reach over $3 billion (Dh11bn). This reflects the efforts exerted by the government and private institutions to improve economic relations and expand commercial co-operation in all fields.
She said the UAE's non-oil exports to Iraq rose by more than 89 per cent in 2008 compared to a year earlier to stand at $358 million. The value of re-exports from the UAE to Iraq remained a high $2.6bn, though it registered a marginal fall of 5.7 per cent.
Sheikha Lubna said UAE companies have a performance culture that emphasises high quality and credibility, and a strict commitment to the dates of implementation and delivery in their execution of projects.
She added that UAE companies were keen to apply their professionalism to suit the requirements of countries they invested in.
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