ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A high-level business delegation from India arrived in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region on Thursday to assess investment opportunities and establish deeper ties with local traders and businessmen.
The delegation, headed by Indian Ambassador to Iraq, Pradeep Singh Rajpurohit, met with the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region, Nechirvan Barzani, in Erbil.
During the meeting, which was also attended by Indian Consul-General in Erbil, Chandramouli Kumar, the delegates were quick to point out investment opportunities they had already identified in the Kurdistan Region, according to Barzani’s press office.
“They expressed interest and readiness to establish strong relations with tradesmen and businessmen in the Kurdistan Region and invest in various sectors, as well as further strengthen ties between India and the Kurdistan Region,” read a statement released by Barzani’s press office.
Barzani reportedly pointed out that, presently, there are many Indian companies and citizens managing projects in the Kurdistan Region.
“The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) welcomes any company wishing to work in Kurdistan in the future,” he stressed, adding that the Kurdish government would facilitate business.
He noted that India’s investment in the region would contribute to the improvement and consolidation of bilateral relations between the two nations.
In an interview with Kurdistan 24, Rajpurohit affirmed it was the second business delegation to visit the Kurdistan Region and Iraq in a month.
He also mentioned India was, for now, in discussions over investments in the Kurdistan Region’s healthcare, agriculture, IT, construction, housing, petrochemicals sectors, and more.
The Indian envoy claimed the total annual trade volume between India and Iraq stood at roughly $18 billion, $17 billion of which is related to the oil sector.
Following a years-long war against the so-called Islamic State (IS), the Kurdistan Region and Iraq are beginning to rebuild and attract investments from abroad.
US sanctions on Iran have also pushed both Erbil and Baghdad to seek business deals with other countries, reducing their dependence on their next door neighbor.
Editing by Nadia Riva
(Additional reporting by Diyari Shekha)