The largest business delegation to visit the Region so far met with Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani and other Kurdistan Regional Government officials, and attended the annual Erbil International Fair.
Mr Christof Weil, Germany ’s Ambassador to Iraq, joined the business delegation in Erbil and hosted a reception for his countrymen to meet Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) ministers and leading members of Kurdistan ’s business community.
In his speech at the reception, Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said, “The Kurdistan Region has developed a secure and politically stable environment which is ready for foreign investment. It is important for business delegations to visit our region to see for themselves the opportunities we have to offer.” He added, “The German people have always been friends to Kurdistan’s people and we look forward to building relations and interactions between Germany and the Kurdistan Region as well as all Iraq .”
The Ambassador thanked the German business delegation for coming to Iraq and complimented the KRG on the Region’s progress. He said, “It is wonderful to witness great development throughout the Kurdistan Region. The stability has made such development possible, and it is this stability which has signalled to our Embassy in Baghdad and leaders in Berlin that it is time to open a full consulate in Erbil .”
Last summer Germany decided to establish a consulate in the Kurdistan Region and is hoping to have one open and operating by early 2009. Germany first came to the Kurdistan Region with an Honorary Consul, and now operates an Embassy Office headed by First Secretary Mr Cornelius Huppertz.
Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir, the KRG’s Head of Foreign Relations, said of Germany ’s decision to increase its diplomatic presence, “We see this as a very positive sign as we forge ahead to build better relations with our friends and neighbours. In line with the Prime Minister's efforts, the Kurdistan Region has become the gateway to the rest of Iraq and offers many opportunities for businesses and countries to establish themselves.”
Germany follows many other countries in sending business delegations to witness the economic boom in the Kurdistan Region. The 50 businessmen and women were brought together by Germany 's Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology and the German Near and Middle East Association.