LJUBLJANA, 16 June, 2010 – Today, the representatives of SENK GROUP from Erbil, Iraq, namely the Chairman of the Board Abdul Hamad Gardi and Executive Director Rebaz Fars Zedbagi, visited the International Institute for Middle-East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) in Ljubljana. SENK GROUP is one of the leading business groups in the construction, trade and investment sectors in Iraq.

The aim of the visit was to establish co-operation with the companies from Slovenia and the West Balkans. On this occasion, IFIMES directors Bakhtyar Aljaf and Zijad Bećirović presented the economic and political situation in Slovenia and the West Balkan states to the guests.

During lengthy talks they underlined the good possibilities for co-operation with Croatian companies. The Republic of Croatia has had its diplomatic mission in Baghdad since 2005 and is now planning to open a consulate general in Erbil, the capital city of the Kurdistan region of Iraq. IFIMES directors' noted that the lack of Slovenia's diplomatic representations in Iraq represents one of the barriers in establishing economic relations with Iraq as well as with other countries.

The Iraqi company expressed interest in co-operation with the companies from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia and Albania and asked IFIMES for assistance in establishing business links with those countries. IFIMES directors ensured that the Institute would take efforts to improve economic co-operation between SENK GROUP and the companies in the region.

At the end of the meeting the guests commended IFIMES on its activities and its contribution to establishing co-operation between Iraq and the West Balkan countries in various fields.

Ljubljana, 16 June 2010

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