Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Minister of State attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, is in Baghdad from December 6 to 7 to co-chair the French-Iraqi Joint Economic Commission and to take part in the France-Iraq Business Council which he opened alongside Sami Al Araji, Chairman of the National Investment Commission.
During his visit, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne will meet with Falah Hassan Zubeidan Al-Luhaybi, Minister of Agriculture, Salman Al-Jomaili, Minister of Planning responsible for Trade, and Jabbar A.H. Al-Luieby, Oil Minister.
This is the first Joint Commission to be held since 2015; it is an important step toward revitalizing bilateral relations. The purpose of the commission is to pave the way for new partnerships between our two countries in the context of the country’s reconstruction. It is fully in line with the meeting held in Paris on October 5 between Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and an important panel of French firms.
Within the framework of the France-Iraq Business Council, a delegation of around 20 French firms will accompany Mr. Lemoyne, many of which (including Suez, Thalès, Schneider Electric, Vinci Construction and Bouygues Construction) already have a presence in Iraq where they are involved in the reconstruction efforts. French SMEs and mid-tier firms, several of which are part of the delegation, have also confirmed to Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne their desire to expand their operations to Iraq.
A significant macroeconomic recovery program will be required to address Iraq’s needs during the reconstruction phase. This was laid out in the IMF’s Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) amounting to $5.4 billion, to which France contributes through a €430 million budgetary loan.