By John Lee.
Italy’s new ambassador to Iraq, Massimo Marotti (shown here presenting his credentials to Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hoshyar Zebari, in January), has said that Italy considers the Kurdistan Region as the “gateway” to Iraq. On a recent visit to Erbil, he said:
"Trade between the Kurdistan Region and Italy has reached $4 billion and 20 Italian companies are present in the Kurdistan Region ... We consider the Kurdistan Region as the gateway to the rest of Iraq. There are huge investment opportunities in the Kurdistan Region and Italian companies are interested in contributing to the economic development of the region."
Italy opened its consulate in Erbil in July 2011.
Peyamner reports that Italy’s Sachai Institute organized an Italian Economic Forum in Erbil, aimed at finding "ways of cooperation between Kurdish and Italian companies and to further introduce the investment opportunities in the Kurdistan Region to Italian companies".