Iraq Keen on Czech Business

Iraq is interested in Czech investments in agriculture, water management and energy industry, parliamentary speaker Osama Al Najafi [al-Nujaifi] (pictured) said on Friday after a meeting with the Czech Senate chairman Milan Stech.

According to the report from Prague Daily Monitor, he said the investments will be boosted by an investment protection agreement to be signed by Czech Prime Minister, Petr Necas, during his visit to Iraq in May.

He said Czech firms have worked in Iraq and he would like to to follow up this tradition, adding that Iraq offers unequalled opportunities for investment within the region.

Stech said the agreement on protection of investments and prevention of double taxation is important because "without it many investors would hesitate to do business" in Iraq.

Osama Al Najafi and other leading representatives of the Iraqi parliament supported Turkey's membership of the EU.

"They realise that Turkey's EU entry would in fact mean bringing the border of the European Union closer to their country," Stech said.

The Czech Republic is the first European country Osama Al Najafi is visiting in his capacity as parliament head, Stech said.

He said there is a certain similarity between the Czech Republic and Iraq's transition from a totalitarian regime to democracy.

Stech said Necas, who was also scheduled to meet Osama Al Najafi on Friday, is to visit Iraq on May 23-24.

On April 17-20 Prague will host Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari who visited the Czech Republic already in 2007. The agenda for his visit will include political issues as well as bilateral economic cooperation.

(Source: Prague Daily Monitor)

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