Iraq, France agree to boost business ties

2009-07-03 09:00 BJT

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France and Iraq will improve their business ties. The two countries have signed a joint declaration on economic and investment cooperation. It also covers joint work on weapons, strategic analysis and defense training. Liao Liang has the details.

France's Prime Minister Francois Fillon (L) shakes hands with Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki during a meeting in Baghdad July 2, 2009.REUTERS/Iraqi Government/Handout(IRAQ POLITICS)
France's Prime Minister Francois Fillon (L) shakes hands 
with Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki during a meeting 
in Baghdad July 2, 2009.REUTERS/Iraqi Government/Handout
(IRAQ POLITICS)

A group of 30 high-level business executives arrived in Iraq on Thursday.The group was led by French Prime Minister Francois Fillon who met with Iraqi Prime Minister,Nouri Al-Maliki. Fillon said France is willing to promote investment in Iraq.

Francois Fillon said, "It is high time now we look to the future. The team accompanying me represents major French firms. Currently, we have firms working in Iraq in the field of transportation and airports."

Nouri Al-Maliki said improved security will help bring foreign investors back to Iraq.

Nouri Al-Maliki said, "This big delegation of businessmen and firms and their determination to form an Iraqi-French committee for businessmen is welcome. Such a committee will be an element of support and assistance and it will facilitate the mission of firms that want to work in Iraq."

A French statement said that France offered support for Iraq's potential bid to join the World Trade Organization and for an Iraq-EU trade deal. The statement added that the two sides agreed to discuss a double taxation deal.

The two sides also agreed on a training program for engineers in the road construction sector and the water sector.

And they agreed to create a fund to be used for transport, environment and energy projects.

Fillon and Al-Maliki discussed rail cooperation and grants for Iraqi students travelling to France. And they also discussed easing visa issuance for French and Iraq business travellers...as well as investment guarantees.

Editor: Du Xiaodan | Source: CCTV.com