Swedish Minister Leads Delegation to Kurdistan

Sweden’s Trade Minister Dr Ewa Björling led a large trade delegation in an exploration of the commercial potential of the Kurdistan Region today.

Minister Björling said, “It is fantastic to be back here and to see all the improvements, and to discover how many people still speak Swedish. For the trade delegation, this is a unique opportunity to make business in the Kurdistan Region.” She added, “We have a huge advantage here, compared to other countries, because of the number of Swedes of Kurdish origin.”

The delegation pursued an ambitious itinerary, including a morning meeting with Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani. President Barzani warmly welcomed the delegation and expressed his optimism for deeper and broader Swedish commercial activity in the Region, noting the Region’s attractive investment law. He also praised the Swedish people for their assistance and aid to Kurds in the past, including the acceptance of Kurdish refugees.

Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Sinan Chalabi, chaired a discussion on challenges and opportunities for trade and investment at the Erbil Convention Centre, and was joined by seven other ministers and the Governor of Erbil.

The delegation later toured the pharmaceutical plant Awamedica, and Minister Björling cut the inaugural ribbon to officially open the Erbil workshop of the truck maker Scania, which was followed by a brief press conference.

Sweden’s Ambassador to Iraq, Mr Niclas Trouvé, hosted a reception in honour of the visiting Trade Minister. The delegation also visited Naz City, one of the first major housing projects to have been successfully completed in the Kurdistan Region.

Upon the Minister’s departure, visiting firms in Kurdistan will have the opportunity to take part in a matchmaking session with companies from the Kurdistan Region, arranged with the chambers of commerce and industry and other trade institutions. They will also visit the new Erbil International Airport, tour Erbil Citadel and the old bazaar, and enjoy dinner at Sami Abdulrahman Park.

Sweden’s Foreign Minister recently visited the Kurdistan Region to inaugurate the consulate in Erbil.

( KRG )

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