More Turkish companies will invest in the Kurdistan Region following President Nechirvan Barzani’s one-day visit to Turkey, the head of Duhok Chamber of Commerce and Industry has said.
“This visit will have a positive impact on Turkish companies, bringing more renowned Turkish companies to Kurdistan for trade and investment,” Ayad Hassan told Rudaw on Friday.
According to Hassan, 2,000-2,500 trucks a day entered Kurdistan from Turkey before the spread of coronavirus, as Ibrahim Khalil border crossing operated around the clock, adding that “85 percent of the goods went to Iraq.”
The spread of coronavirus in both Turkey and the Kurdistan Region decreased trade by 20 percent, but did not halt it completely, the official added.
1,300 trucks now enter the Region on a daily basis, according to Hassan.
Barzani met with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on Friday, discussing many subjects including economic relations.
Ibrahim Khalil border crossing in Duhok province is the only border crossing between Turkey and Iraq for trade exchange. This has kept economic relations between Erbil and Ankara so strong that the latter refused to close the border crossing despite anger at Erbil for holding an independence referendum in September 2017.
Mehmet Kaya is the head of Diyarbakir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DTSO). He told Rudaw on Friday the referendum and the spread of the virus has hit trade between Ankara and Erbil, and hopes Barzani’s visit could mend relations.
Barzani’s visit will have a “big impact” on trade, Kaya added, adding “almost 65 percent of Diyarbakir exports go to Iraq.”
Trade between Iraq and Turkey has been around $10 billion for years and Erdogan has expressed his country’s willingness to double this figure.