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Swedish companies keen on Iraqi business

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10:24 CEST+02:00
Swedish companies have indicated that they are interested in doing business in Iraq.

At the same time the Iraqi government is doing its best to attract investment to their war-torn country.

The day after the conclusion of the international Iraq conference in Stockholm was spent discussing Swedish-Iraqi relations. The Iraqi prime minister Nuri al-Maliki did his best to describe Iraq as a country with a future.

"Iraq is open for all Swedish companies to invest in what is a very promising market," said al-Maliki at a press conference on Friday.

Statements of intent are in the pipeline with truck makers Scania and Volvo.

Iraq was a key market for Scania in the 1980s and the firm had an assembly plant in the country. Scania has not however engaged in any business operations in Iraq since the outbreak of the first Gulf War in 1990-1991.

The Iraqi government is positively disposed to Scania returning to their country and re-locating an assembly plant there. The violence and unrest that plague Iraq render it difficult for foreign companies to establish a presence there however.

While Baghdad is still out of the question, the Iraqi government identified the north of the country as sufficiently peaceful to consider as a base, in a meeting with 18 Swedish companies on Friday.

According to Swedish trade minister, Ewa Björling, that despite the problems there are still many companies that are interested in doing business in Iraq. Thanks to oil revenues Iraq is basically a rich country, Björling pointed out.

The Local reported on Friday that Swedish prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has stated that Sweden intends to re-open its embassy in Baghdad before the end of the year.

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