The French Ambassador in Iraq, Boris Bouillon, announced the opening of a new consulate in the southern city of Nassiriya which is hoped to encourage French investment in Iraq.
France has appointed Adel el-Kenzawy, a businessman of French-Iraqi nationality, as its consul in al-Naseriyah, Boillon told the German Press Agency.
The new consulate is a step towards increasing trade and cultural exchange between the two countries and will 'encourage investment, particularly in Iraq's stable southern territory,' Boillon said.
'The consulate will have two sections, one dedicated to investment and the other to cultural exchanges,' al-Kenzawy said. "The consulate will invite French companies to invest in and execute projects under its supervision."
French companies are especially keen to enter the oil market in southern Iraq, Boillon said.
French oil company Total was among several foreign companies to recieve a second round of licenses from the Iraqi government to develop the Halfaya oil field in Amara.
In addition, a French company recently signed an agreement with the governor of Nassiriya to build a suspension bridge in the city.
(Sources: Monsters and Critics, Deutsche Presse Agentur, French Embassy)