At the Turkey- Kurdistan Regional Economic Forum held this week in Erbil, Kurdish and Turkish entrepreneurs and businessmen met to discuss possible future joint investment projects in Kurdistan Region.
During the meeting, Turkey's Foreign Trade Minister, Zafar Çaglayan, also declared that his country seeks to increase investment by Turkish companies in the region to US$20 billion.
The Turkish large trade delegation comprised the Minister and a large number of Turkish businessmen, as well as the heads of the Turkish Chambers of Commerce, who planned to stay for two days.
During their stay, the delegation also opened a branch of the Turkish Belkent College in the Region.
"I have found a new market in the Region. But what pleases me more is that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) received us so warmly", the owner of a Turkish company, Taner Erdal Hanli, told AK News, adding that he feels his business will do well in the Region.
"At home they told us we can find a profitable market in the Region. Now we are taking the opportunity to meet with our Kurdish counterparts, and then we will decide on investment in the Region", said Hasan Ibrahim, a member of the Turkish trade delegation.
However, he declared that seeing the circumstances, he has already made up his mind to invest in Kurdistan.
Sardar Gobtaki, the owner of Gosonic Company for Electronics said that he is working in the Region for 11 years, with an assets reaching US$15m.
"Because the Turkish Foreign Trade Minister accompanied the delegation, the Turkish entrepreneurs feel more secure to invest in the Region and their partnership will boost the mutual trade and business relations", he noted.
This is the second time the Turkish Minister visited Kurdistan; his first visit was in December 2009.
"As representatives of the Kurdish companies, we are here today to meet with the Turkish delegation and evaluate future opportunities", said Ali Ibrahim, the owner of Erbil Steel Company.
Ibrahim believed that even if 50 percent of the Turkish companies in the delegation invest in Kurdistan, they can bring about a qualitative change in the Region's economy.
Ahmet Sertas, the owner of the Sertas shoe company, said that they make 5,000 pairs of shoes every day.
"This is the first time I visited Kurdistan. My colleagues in Turkey described the Region for me and now I want to open a shop or find some agents here", he said.
"I bring most of the foodstuff from Turkey and have good ties with the companies there. The visit by this delegation will facilitate our job as we can directly address the representatives of the companies", said Kamal Eminki, a businessman from Dohuk.
Eminki also believed that the Kurdish businessmen should not miss the chance to find plenty of joint work opportunities with these Turkish companies who invest in various fields.
According to the official figures by Kurdistan Ministry of Trade & Industry, 1,200 foreign companies invest in the Region, and 60 percent of them are from Turkey.
(Source: AK News)