Monday, August 06, 2007


Turkey new safe haven for Iraqi investors

(Azzaman) - Turkey is the new haven for Iraqi investors who are fleeing the country in droves due to worsening security conditions. And Istanbul is the destination where reports say investments worth millions of dollars are being made in the form of new ventures and start-ups. Latest figures released by Istanbul’s Chamber of Commerce show Iraqis topping foreign investors in Turkey with substantial contributions to at least 54 major Turkish businesses.
Amman has traditionally been Iraqi investors’ venue but latest restrictions on residency and cross-border travel curbs have turned Turkey into a favorite destination. The exodus comes as allocations for development are shrinking with the government giving security and the army the highest priority. Foreign investors have all but left the country and local allocations for projects are drying up.
With mounting insecurity, many Iraqi investors are selling their businesses and take the money out of the country. Others are reluctant to start up new businesses amid the upsurge in violence. Turkey is also emerging as among Iraq’s top traders with exports worth $1.259 billion last year. Trade with the U.A.E. ballooned to $1.2 billion and the U.K. to $1.4 billion.
Iraq has good commercial and trade relations with Iran with Iraqi shops in the south and north brimming with Iranian goods. But both Tehran and Baghdad have so far declined to issue the worth of their increasing trade exchange. Privately, Iraqi officials say Iran is currently Iraq’s number one trade partner.

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