KRG Foreign Minister Falah Mustafa today received representatives of 30 U.S companies, led by the U.S-Kurdistan Business Council (USKBC), to discuss investment opportunities and latest developments.

In a meeting attended by Bayan Rahman, KRG Representative to the U.S, Minister Mustafa thanked the USKBC for organizing the visit and underlined the importance of further engagement of the US private sector in the economic development of Kurdistan.

He then gave an overview of the pillars of KRG’s foreign policy, investment opportunities in Kurdistan, political, security and humanitarian challenges facing Kurdistan and Iraq as well as Erbil-Baghdad ties.

Minister Mustafa said:

“Despite the multiple challenges facing Kurdistan, the KRG has been able to maintain stability and security. Kurdistan Region remains safe and secure and is open for business.”

Commenting on the KRG’s economic reform plan, the Minister stated:

“We have taken serious and steady steps to implement comprehensive economic reform in order to reduce the size of the government, introduce proper taxation system, remove subsidies, enhance transparency and achieve economic diversification.”

The KRG Minister highlighted investment opportunities in Kurdistan and encouraged U.S companies to increase their presence in the region and strengthen ties with the local private sector.

Members of the delegation recognized the enormous opportunities that exist in Kurdistan and expressed their readiness to play their role in recovering the economy of the region. Minister Mustafa answered questions about dialogue between Erbil and Baghdad, KRG’s international outreach, ties with the neighboring countries and post-ISIS governance in Iraq.

The United States Kurdistan Business Council is a non-profit trade association based in Washington, DC.   The organization is dedicated to facilitating trade and commerce for U.S companies in the Kurdistan Region and to strengthen ties between the private sector in the U.S and Kurdistan Region.

(Source: KRG)

Minister Falah Mustafa today received representatives of over 25 U.S companies, led by the U.S-Kurdistan Business Council (USKBC), to discuss areas of potential investment for U.S companies in the Kurdistan Region.

In a meeting attended by Bayan Rahman, KRG Representative to the U.S, Minister Mustafa thanked the USKBC for bringing such a high level business delegation to Kurdistan and stressed that the presence and interest of the U.S companies to do business in Kurdistan, at this particular time, was a great show of support and solidarity.

“We must find a way out of the challenges facing our region to increase the active presence of international companies in the Kurdistan Region and to regain the confidence of foreign and local business people and investors,” the KRG Minister added.

The Minister reiterated that, “KRG will maintain its posture of welcoming and encouraging foreign investment, and in providing an environment, in which foreign businesses feel safe, secure, and welcome.”

Members of the delegation recognized the investment opportunities in the Kurdistan Region in various sectors and expressed their readiness to help recover the economy of the Kurdistan Region in partnership with the local private sector.

The United States Kurdistan Business Council is a non-profit trade association based in Washington, DC.   The organization is dedicated to facilitating trade and commerce for U.S companies in the Kurdistan Region and to strengthen ties between the private sector in the U.S and Kurdistan Region.

(Source: KRG)

By Judit Neurink. This article was originally published by Rudaw, and is re-published by Iraq Business News with their kind permission.

American Firms Line Up for Kurdistan, as Erbil Mulls US Ties

Roll in the American brands! A US delegation for franchise businesses will be visiting the Kurdistan Region of Iraq soon, to see if after Pizza Hut, Cinnabon/Carvel Ice Cream and Ace Hardware others can also find a foothold in this secure region of Iraq.

The American Consul General Joseph Pennington gave the news at a reception of the United States-Kurdistan Business Council (USKBC) at the Rotana Hotel in the Kurdistan capital of Erbil. Whether hamburger giant McDonald’s is amongst the interested visitors, he could not say. But Marriott and Hyatt Hotels are already setting up shop in Kurdistan.

The consul general was one of the speakers at the reception, organized to connect American businesses working in Iraqi Kurdistan to those officials and others who can help them move along. The USKBC is a trade-organization with some 20 members, set up two years ago to improve trade and commerce between the US and Iraqi Kurdistan.

“The story is getting out about the opportunities here,” said David Michael Tafuri of the USKBC. “The region is going to be wealthy. American products are greatly liked, and many Kurds want more of them and can now afford that.”

In contrast with the major role the Americans played in freeing the Kurds in 2003 from the regime of Saddam Hussein, on the business front they have been overtaken by Turks and Lebanese, and even by Britain, the declared partner of choice of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

The United States Kurdistan Business Council (USKBC) this week heard about the latest political and economic developments in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq from a Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) ministerial-level delegation.

Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir, Head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations, and Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, the KRG’s High Representative to the United Kingdom, briefed USKBC companies about events in Kurdistan, Iraq and the broader Middle East.

Mr. Bakir provided an overview of the economic progress in the Kurdistan Region which is an investor-friendly emerging market that can also act as a launching pad for American companies to work in other parts of Iraq. He called on USKBC member companies to assist in building the capacity of Kurdistan’s private sector and its trade associations.

Minister Bakir answered questions about the Kurdistan market, the ongoing KRG dialogue with the Iraqi federal government, relations with Turkey and the desperate situation facing the 220,000 Syrian refugees that have fled to the Kurdistan Region.

“We thank USKBC members for believing in the Kurdistan Region, which is open and friendly to American businesses,” said Minister Bakir. “Our meeting with the business council is part of a visit to Washington in which we are discussing with our American friends a variety of issues of mutual interest, including commercial, educational and cultural relations.”

USKBC board members expressed support for the KRG and its open dialogue with the U.S. government. “The USKBC is a strong supporter of Kurdistan’s development and its member companies have invested in the region. We continue to call on the broader U.S. business community to discover Kurdistan as an emerging market as we have already,” said Pete Dordal, Senior Vice President at Garda World, a founding corporate USKBC board member.

(Source: KRG)

The United States Kurdistan Business Council (USKBC) this week heard about the latest political and economic developments in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq from a Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) ministerial-level delegation.

Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir, Head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations, and Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, the KRG’s High Representative to the United Kingdom, briefed USKBC companies about events in Kurdistan, Iraq and the broader Middle East.

Mr. Bakir provided an overview of the economic progress in the Kurdistan Region which is an investor-friendly emerging market that can also act as a launching pad for American companies to work in other parts of Iraq. He called on USKBC member companies to assist in building the capacity of Kurdistan’s private sector and its trade associations.

Minister Bakir answered questions about the Kurdistan market, the ongoing KRG dialogue with the Iraqi federal government, relations with Turkey and the desperate situation facing the 220,000 Syrian refugees that have fled to the Kurdistan Region.

“We thank USKBC members for believing in the Kurdistan Region, which is open and friendly to American businesses,” said Minister Bakir. “Our meeting with the business council is part of a visit to Washington in which we are discussing with our American friends a variety of issues of mutual interest, including commercial, educational and cultural relations.”

USKBC board members expressed support for the KRG and its open dialogue with the U.S. government. “The USKBC is a strong supporter of Kurdistan’s development and its member companies have invested in the region. We continue to call on the broader U.S. business community to discover Kurdistan as an emerging market as we have already,” said Pete Dordal, Senior Vice President at Garda World, a founding corporate USKBC board member.

(Source: KRG)