Key cabinet members and 12 governors from Iraq and the Kurdistan Region met on Sunday with Chinese banking officials as part of a high profile, six-day delegation to China aimed at increasing trade, finance, and construction projects between the two countries.
According to an Iraqi statement, Minister of Finance Fuad Hussein met with the Chairman of the Board of Directors of China CITIC Bank, Chang Zhenming, in the presence of the Iraqi governors, transport minister, and electricity minister.
“The two sides reviewed measures taken to complete banking preparations for the second step after opening accounts [at China CITIC Bank] in order to start financing projects which will focus on infrastructure projects, strategic projects, and both domestic and international railway networks,” read a statement released by Iraq’s Ministry of Finance.
Iraqi governors attending were from Baghdad, Basra, Karbala, Wasit, Diyala, Anbar, Maysan, Wasit, and Dhi Qar. From the Kurdistan Region were the governors of Erbil, Sulaimani, and Duhok.
he Iraqi delegation, headed by Prime Minister Adil Abdul Mahdi and including by 55 high-ranking officials, arrived in China on Thursday and will remain until Tuesday.
China is one of Iraq’s largest trading partners, from which it imports many products, including electronics and construction material. In mid-April, a senior delegation from the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) arrived in Baghdad and met with a number of Iraqi officials.
“China is the second-largest economy in the world,” Abdul Mahdi said in a TV interview before his departure, adding, it “has great liquidity and advanced technology.”
Iraqi officials have previously called on China for support in the reconstruction of the country, which suffered much destruction during the Islamic State’s takeover of a third of its land and the subsequent operations against the terrorist organization.