For the first time in 25 years, Canada has led its trade mission in Iraq by opeing an office in Erbil, Northern Iraq.
During a four-day visit, Lynne Yelich, Canadian Foreign and Consular Affairs Minister, travelled to Basra, Baghdad and Irbil with a delegation of Canadian business leaders.
In a press meeting, the ministry remarked, “Canada wants to help Iraq rebuild its infrastructure, develop its natural resources and create wealth for its citizens. Only by creating economic opportunity for all will Iraq regain political and social stability.”
Ms. Yelich said, "The new office signals Canada's commitment - the commitment to do even more business in Iraq and in the Northern Iraq region.” She added, “The Iraqi government hopes that US$1 trillion will be invested in reconstruction efforts in the country.”
"I certainly think that there is potential for Canada to get involved here in construction,"
As part of the Canadian government's commitment to expanding its business relations with key regional players, Canada reopened its diplomatic mission in Baghdad in April 2013. Reconstruction efforts in Iraq will continue to create significant business opportunities for foreign companies, which have become increasingly involved in the infrastructure, transportation, agriculture, housing and power generation sectors.
Iraq has huge oil reserve potential, but two decades of war and international sanctions have left the country's energy infrastructure in a decrepit state.