Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım's visit to Iraq last week has shown its influence in the business world. Following the prime minister's visit, an Iraqi business delegation came to Turkey and proposed a $200 million construction project in Baghdad to Turkish businessmen.
The government's visit to Iraq, which the Turkish business community had been waiting for since 2013, soon brought the first concrete project. Prime Minister Yıldırım's visit to Iraq, where Turkey's $14 billion of exports came to a standstill, contracting to $7 billion, led to a revival of relations between businessmen in the two countries.
Following this development, the Iraqi business delegation, which delayed giving long-term contacts, visited Tevfik Öz, a member of the Turkish-Iraqi Business Council Board of Directors last week.
Indicating that Turkey has melted the ice between the two countries with the recent visit, Tevfik Öz said, "We have been expecting this visit for three years and it was important for the end of the uncertainties. A very important gap between the two countries was closed."
Indicating that he had been doing business with Iraq for 35 years and that he had been meeting with businessmen in Iraq almost every day, Öz said they observed that the atmosphere of Iraqi businessmen changed immediately after the visit.
Explaining that they will soon see the benefits of the visit to Iraq, Öz said that the Iraqi delegation proposed the construction of a $200 million real estate project in the so-called "Green Zone" in Baghdad. He added that, in the coming days, another Turkish delegation may pay a visit to Iraq.
Emphasizing the decrease in the Turkey's exports to Iraq, Öz said, "This decrease does not mean that we have lost our market in Iraq because they could not procure the products, which they did not buy from us, from other countries. In a very short time we will reach the old export figure," he said.
Prime Minister Yıldırım met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haydar al-Abadi during his visit to Baghdad in the past week.