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14/02/2018 - 13:32hs

Brazil might invest in priority sectors in Iraq

The ‘Invest in Iraq’ Conference presented 212 projects in areas that need investments from the international community. Brazil was represented by Karen Jones, from Apex-Brasil.

Kuwait City – Seventy seven countries and over 2,200 representatives of companies attended the “Invest in Iraq” Conference this Tuesday (13), at the Crowne Plaza hotel, in Kuwait City. The event was organized by the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce & Industry, with the support of the World Bank, and it’s part of the Kuwait International Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq (KICRI). Iraqi companies declared to be open to international partnerships for operations in the country, including Brazil.

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The meeting took place at Crowne Plaza

The panels presented 212 projects in priority sectors in Iraq, with the agricultural sector, with 88 projects, leading the way. The other projects are distributed in the areas of transportation (23 projects), industry (30 projects), tourism (10 projects), plus infrastructure, energy, housing, construction materials and services, food products, petrochemicals, logistics and communications.

Iraq’s minister of Planning, Salman Al Jumaili, the president of the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Ali Mohamed Al Ghanem, among other representatives of the government’s main sector and of public and private organizations, attended the panel.

Among the companies attending, 320 were from Kuwait, according to the assistant general director of the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Emad Al-Zaid. He said that they expect to attract investments especially from the United States and the European Union.

Karen Jones, the head of the office for the Middle East of the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency (Apex-Brasil), represented Brazil. Her presence in the event was important to observe and share the information with potential Brazilian investors.

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Karen Jones represented Brazil in the event

According to her, when talking about investment attraction, crucial points were presented, such as the legal framework, with facilitation of regulating laws; the One-Stop Shop, which will work as a facilitator, a single body that will offer a step-by-step for investments; support services for investors, plus the modes of funding and guarantees.

For Jones, the presentations showed that the country is prepared to receive investments. “It’s very interesting to notice that they already did a structuring work to offer a better assurance to possible investors,” she said.

“They offered information on projects from priority sectors, and there are many opportunities to the Brazilian investor, such as natural gas, products and services, healthcare, pharmaceuticals productions, engineering and construction services, among others. Without a doubt, these are sectors that Brazilian investors can enter; I’ll share these information, this is the work”, she concluded.

Many Iraqi companies promoted their work in stands at the hotel’s second floor. The idea was to offer information and attract investments and partnerships. According to Jafar Sadik, communications representative from the National Holding Group, they have already signed partnerships with countries such as Turkey and Italy, and are seeking even more international cooperation. “We’re open to investors from Brazil and the rest of the world,” he said.

Foreign Affairs

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Tillerson said that the US will keep its partnership with Iraq

To end the conference, there were speeches by the France’s Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, the US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, and Iraq’s prime minister, Haider Al-Abadi.

Le Drian reaffirmed France’s commitment and support to Iraq until it can rebuild and prosper, and said that his country is keeping this support, as it did during the fight against terrorism.

“Iraq’s government is taking measures to turn words into actions to show that the country is open for business,” said Tillerson. To him, Iraq was a strong ally in the fight against terrorism, and the US will keep bilateral relations with a strategic agreement. “We support Iraq’s efforts to secure financial and government stability, and in promoting economic reform, and its disposition to improve transparency. This will help to gain investors’ trust.”

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To build a pacific country is essential to achieve stability, said Abadi

Abadi said that “the great challenge of this financial crisis is to fight corruption and lack of transparency.” According to him, the government’s reform program is being presented to the international community, to help investors and boost business in the country.

The prime minister also said that the most impacted sector was housing, since over 150,000 homes were destroyed, and that he’s relying on the support by the international community to begin this new phase of the country’s reconstruction. “Iraq is victorious, the Islamic State fled because we remained united.”

He also said that “to build a pacific country is essential to achieve stability,” and that “to protect the people is all priority above all.”

This Tuesday was also held the ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, at Bayan Palace, the official palace of Kuwait’s Emir. Simultaneously to the event, Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, met with Tillerson and Le Drian, plus Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs, and Ine Marie Eriksen Soreide, Norway’s Foreign Minister.

*The journalist travelled at the invitation of Kuwait’s government. Translated by Sérgio Kakitani

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