The French ambassador to Iraq visited Najaf on Monday in a move aimed at encouraging French investment in the area.
AKnews reports that Denys Gauer (pictured) said in a press conference that he held talks with Najaf governor Adnan al-Zarfi about increasing the French contribution to the reconstruction of the region in the areas of industry, agriculture and infrastructure.
“France is currently working on doubling its contribution in the economic sector in Iraq ... We believe that there are many things where we could work together on through cooperation.”
Gauer said was in Najaf to check out the economic opportunities available in the holy city which millions of pilgrims visit every year.
There are many French companies already operating in Iraq, and trade between the two counrties is worth about $1 billion [1.2 trillion Iraqi dinars] a year, according to the ambassador.
Gauer said that talks are ongoing with the transport ministry about French involvement in railroad projects between Baghdad, Karbala and Najaf provinces.
Gauer replaced the previous ambassador, Boris Boillon, last month who had held the position since 2009.