Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu gestures during a press conference in Ankara on January 14, 2019. Photo: AFP

 

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Turkey is looking to boost its trade ties and investments in Iraq, planning billions in loans and high profile visits.

“We will provide $5 billion in credit” for Turkish businesses working in Iraq, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in a municipal meeting in Istanbul on Sunday, Anadolu Agency reported.

The loan is to fund reconstruction of Iraq, which needs an estimated $88 billion to rebuild after the war with ISIS.

Cavusoglu said Ankara also wants to increase its trade with the neighbour.

Noting that trade between them decreased during the early years of war with ISIS, 2014 to 2016, he said the trend was reversed in 2017 and trade has continued to grow. He expects trade volume will reach over $12 billion in the next few years.

Cavusoglu will pay a visit to Baghdad and Erbil in the coming days – though he did not specify a date – and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to visit Iraq sometime after the March 31 elections.