Jordan’s Minister for Industry and Trade, Amer al-Hadidi, led a business and investment delegation to the Kurdistan Region following the recent visit of President Masoud Barzani to Jordan.
The delegation met President Barzani, Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Barham Salih, and several ministers while participating in a joint business forum at Erbil Convention Centre.
Minister al-Hadidi conveyed greetings from King Abdullah and said that this visit was prompted by President Barzani’s July visit to Amman where he met King Abdullah and other senior officials.
Minister al-Hadidi said, “This trip comes as a welcome step towards an enhanced relationship. I brought 21 businessmen and women with me, to further explore economic relations and opportunities and other ways in which we can cooperate.”
He added, “We have been highly impressed by the developments we have seen in the Kurdistan Region, and I think the Region and Jordan have a lot in common and we can work together.” Minister al-Hadidi informed the President and Prime Minister that all arrangements were in place for the opening of a Jordanian consulate in the near future, and pledged his country’s support to include capacity-building and training in future cooperation.
President Barzani said, “The KRG will provide full support to the projects and initiatives proposed by the members of the delegation.” He added, “The people of the Kurdistan Region can benefit from the expertise and experience of Jordanian institutions and companies, and I believe these firms will find attractive opportunities in the Kurdistan Region as a base of operations for the Iraqi market.”
Prime Minister Salih said, “I am pleased to reiterate the support of the KRG for further developing relations with members of the international community and the Arab world, and I hope that the development of the Kurdistan Region provides an example for the rest of Iraq.”
Jordan’s minister and his counterpart, the KRG Minister of Trade and Industry Sinan Chalabi, co-chaired a meeting with KRG officials, including the Ministers for Planning, Agriculture and Water Resources, Health, Housing and Reconstruction, Municipalities and Tourism, the Chairman of the Investment Board, and the Head of the Department of Foreign Relations. The ministers and visiting delegates exchanged views on how best to move forward with projects. Minister Chalabi said, “This visit is very important to illustrate to foreign investors and firms the situation on the ground and the opportunities we have to offer. It has been a pleasure to meet with this dynamic group of business people.”
The delegation then participated in an open business forum with local firms and the Kurdistan Region Chambers of Commerce and Industry. The Head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir said, “The decision to move forward with the opening of the consulate is most welcome. This visit has proved the importance of the private sector and commercial cooperation in furthering political, economic, and cultural relations.” He added, “I believe there is tremendous scope for this partnership in the future, and I think Jordan’s officials, institutions, and companies are aware of the opportunities our Region has to offer.”