A mission of Portuguese entrepreneurs will visit Erbil, capital of the Kurdistan Region, from 22 and 28 November, to promote bilateral contacts with the aim of strengthening economic, scientific and business expertise and investment opportunities in a country that has emerged from conflict and years of international embargoes.
The initiative is promoted by YUMN Worldwide, a Portuguese consulting firm which focuses on the new culture of internationalising business, based on industrial, commercial, technological and scientific cooperation agreements.
After the last mission in October, this time YUMN is including a group of potential private investors, including JM Pinto Marques, Annopei, Canvas, Jeset, Inside and Grumese. Some companies are returning to Kurdistan to consolidate links made on the previous mission.
Antonio Azevedo Campos of YUMN said, “Such missions bring Portugal’s knowledge, experience, technology and organizational skills, focusing on areas with the greatest potential for business: energy, consulting in architecture, engineering, management, industry, commerce and services.”
He added that the construction industry represents one of the priority areas. He said, “It is valued at about 100 billion U.S. dollars, with plans to build a large market with few restrictions.”
The improvement in security since 2008 has helped to promote a business climate conducive to investment, which according to Campos is one more reason to invest in in Iraq. Given the unfavourable Portuguese and international economic conditions, Campos said, “The Arab countries are taking on a growing special relevance in helping to internationalise Portugal’s economy, and they constitute a market of over 400 million potential consumers with purchasing power in excess of 250 billion euros per year and five-year development plans worth a trillion euros in one third of these countries [combined]”.
With projects at an advanced negotiation stage in Baghdad, YUMN is now also engaging with Erbil, the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, and continues to rely on the “invaluable contribution of the Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq in Portugal Hussain Sinjari, whose willingness to strengthen cooperation has been total.”