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Rudaw

Kurdistan

Chinese Consul Arrives in Erbil as Oil Talks Reported

By Alexander Whitcomb 19/9/2014
The Chinese delegation in talks with Kurdish officials. Photo: KRG
The Chinese delegation in talks with Kurdish officials. Photo: KRG

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – China is set to become the fifth and final permanent member of the UN Security Council to open an official representation in the Kurdistan Region, with the arrival of the consul general in  Erbil.

“There’s chaos in some parts of Iraq, but business in Kurdistan is moving forward,” said Karwan Jamal Tahir, the Kurdish foreign relations official who welcomed Consul General Tan Bang Len on Wednesday.

Tan’s arrival coincided with news reports that the semi-autonomous region was in negotiations with China, the world’s second-largest economy, for the sale of $4 million worth of oil – though the potential buyer has not been identified.

The Reuters news agency reported that three tankers bearing Kurdish crude have sailed toward Asia in the last month, including one that unloaded its cargo onto a supertanker outside of Singapore earlier this week.

Kurdistan has begun independent oil sales, which are vehemently opposed by Baghdad as “illegal.” So far, buyers of Kurdish oil have preferred to remain anonymous.

The consul’s long anticipated arrival comes after years of planning by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and Chinese authorities. Tan will visit Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani during a weeklong stay; KRG officials indicate he will return once a consulate is set up before the end of the year. 

The Kurdish Foreign Ministry stated that Chinese officials were very interested in the condition of Iraq’s internally displaced persons (IDPs), and that they expressed interest in providing humanitarian aid in the near future.

According to an official government directory, 17 Chinese companies are currently operating in the Kurdistan Region, including DQE, an oil and gas service company, and Beijing-based Sinopec, a state-owned energy giant that is the world’s fifth-largest company by revenue.

Sinopec entered the Kurdish market in 2009 when it took over Addax Petroleum, which had assets in Kurdistan’s Taq Taq field, as well as Africa. Sold for $7.2 billion, this was the largest-ever international takeover by a Chinese oil and gas firm.

China will be the 32nd country with a representation in Iraqi Kurdistan. Other countries such as Kuwait and Bulgaria are waiting for their paperwork to be approved in Baghdad.

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john | 19/9/2014
Kurdistan should increase its trade relation with Fareastern countries like China, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan and Singapore
NL | 19/9/2014
For the Chinese it's only their own benefits that count. The should he fckn ashamed for entering Philippines and Vietnamese territory with the goal to occupy it and steal recources. It's fckn terrible uncivilized behaviour and they should he punished, like Russia.
M Gonzales
M Gonzales | 19/9/2014
Mark my words, those who treat Erbil with respect in it's time of need may one day be the Kurds best trading partners for decades to come or if the Iraqi Kurds become independent they will be on the market for ALOT of new shiny weapons deals.
Riha | 19/9/2014
Good move, Kurdistan must increase relationships with the country's that are against the zionist one world government satanists. Barzani must watch out for the western NATO oppressor scum.
Bevr | 19/9/2014
@Riha,,,, intelligent bank raspy ,,,, all you worthless, always blame you incompetency on others, do something for yourself instate of blaming others,,,, and I know you enemies of the Kurds are eating your hearts knowing NATO is supplying the Kurds with few bluest to defend them self against the filth of this planet ISIS .
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