Iraq represents a great opportunity for the Italian industry, Italy's Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi said here on Thursday during the third meeting of the Italy-Iraq joint committee co-chaired with his Iraqi counterpart Hoshyar Zebari.
The economic and commercial relations between the two countries have been experiencing "a season of intense development," Terzi said, recalling that Italy is Iraq's first European economic partner.
In his view, Iraqi stability is crucial to Italian interests and matches "the broader peace and security interests of the Mediterranean as a whole."
From its side, the Iraqi government is committed to "ensuring the safety of foreign investment," Zebari said, assuring Italian companies that terrorist attacks are "limited" and should not affect business.
During the last few years, Italian exports to the Middle East country have recorded a continuously growing trend, reaching 490 million euros (642 million U.S. dollars) in 2011 with a 10 percent rise over 2010.
Italy's commitments in Iraq exceed now 3.3 billion euros (4.3 billion dollars) and move in the direction of a continuous consolidation of bilateral trade relations, Terzi said.
During the meeting, which was attended by the two countries' officials and business leaders of trade associations, banks and companies, various bilateral agreements were signed from the fields of aerospace engineering and investment promotion to archaeological culture.