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Cablegate: Turkey-Iraq Business Council Is Bullish

VZCZCXRO7222
RR RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHAK #1178 1361522
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 161522Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2131
INFO RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC
RHEBAAA/DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD 0942
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA 1950

UNCLAS ANKARA 001178

SIPDIS

USDOE FOR CHARLES WASHINGTON
USDOC FOR 4212/ITA/MAC/CPD/CRUSNAK

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ENRG EPET BEXP TU IZ
SUBJECT: TURKEY-IRAQ BUSINESS COUNCIL IS BULLISH


ANKARA 1034

Sensitive But Unclassified. Please handle accordingly.

1. (SBU) Summary: In a May 8 meeting, Turkey-Iraq Business Council
Chairman Ercument Aksoy asked for help on accessing Japanese soft
loans for Iraq, gaining good attendance at the Iraq Trade Fair in
Gazientep later this month, and removing onerous performance bond
requirements on bidders for Iraq projects. He was optimistic on
restarting limited fuel product trade with SOMO. End Summary.

2. (SBU) Japanese Soft Loans: Aksoy said that the Japanese pledged
$3.5 billion in soft loans for Iraq at the Madrid Conference.
Turkish Business Council companies have been shooting for these soft
loans to support a variety of business projects from port and
factory rehabilitation to irrigation. Aksoy asked whether the USG
supported Japanese soft loan financing to Turkish companies for
projects in Iraq. In response to our affirmative answer, he
requested that the USG be willing to express this support. (NOTE:
NEA informed us that they were aware of some 14 projects under study
by the Japanese -- with no U.S. companies involved, but there was a
problem with the ability of the Iraqi Government to accept the
loans.) Aksoy said he can also work the issues with the Iraqis.

3. (SBU) International Iraq Fair in Gaziantep May 23-27: Aksoy
asked for USG assistance to get a good turn out from Iraqi companies
and officials, also hoping for USG representation. This is the
second annual Iraq business and trade fair organized in Gaziantep in
south-east Turkey. Separately, the hosts of the Gaziantep fair, the
Chamber of Industry, told Adana Principle Officer that they are
expecting 1000 companies and over 10,000 visitors to participate in
the fair. The mayor was also focused on the fair, noting that the
city lacks adequate hotel capacity so they will use private homes to
house people.

4. (SBU) Aksoy complained that the Iraqi government placed an
onerous and unreasonable 3% performance bond requirement on all
foreign bidders on GOI tenders. He said it would be okay farther
along in selection process, but not at entry into bidding. He hoped
that the USG could encourage Iraq to adopt more reasonable bidding
practices.

5. (SBU) SOMO: Aksoy characterized the April meeting between SOMO
and the GOT as positive (reftel), and he thought fuel trade exports
would start back up soon with 5-6 companies.

Wilson

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