Iraq’s President has urged the UAE’s parliamentarians to encourage Emirati businessmen and investors to visit his country with a view to backing its industries.
President Jalal Talabani was speaking during talks with a delegation from the Federal National Council (FNC), the UAE’s parliament, taking part in meetings of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union in Erbil city in northern Iraq’s Kurdistan Region.
Talabani said Iraq was a rich country with huge oil, gas and mineral reserves that had not been properly exploited. Extracting these resources would require large-scale investment.
He said the government had drawn up a strategy to revive the nation’s industries and factories. It was also preparing a suitable environment to attract foreign investment, especially from Gulf states, which could benefit from opportunities in all economic sectors.
Talabani added that despite security problems in parts of the country, living conditions and per capita income were improving thanks to a number of economic initiatives. These included moves to end the state’s monopoly of the industrial and manufacturing sectors.
FNC Speaker Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, the head of the delegation, said the UAE was participating in the meeting because it wished to learn the facts about Iraq – both positive and negative – and to explore investment opportunities and convey a picture of Iraq to the UAE businessmen and investors.
He said the security situation was preventing UAE investors from benefiting from opportunities in Iraq.
Al Ghurair said he hoped the visit would open up areas of co-operation in various fields and establish a mechanism for UAE investment in Iraq, with Erbil and Sulaimaniya as the gateways for investment.
And he asked Talabani to grant UAE investors preferential treatment and improved facilities. This would open the door for them to invest in various fields and sectors, he said. (Wam)
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