London Corporate Training (LCT) welcomed this week the first group of Iraqi businessmen and women to come to London since it signed an agreement with the Kurdistan Federation of Chambers of Commerce in Erbil, capital of Kurdistan, earlier this year.
Ian Mann, Managing Director of London Corporate Training said, “Under this agreement groups of senior executives like this one from leading businesses will regularly be coming to London.
“We have arranged a busy programme for them. In addition to training with LCT there will be sessions with the Middle East Association and with the London Chamber of Commerce. A guided tour of London will be included and the Kurdistan Regional Government in London will be hosting a dinner as part of the welcoming process.
“I have visited Kurdistan several times since my first Trade Mission organised by the Middle East Association in July last year. It is an extremely safe area of Iraq, with a population that is warm and welcoming to Western businesses, especially British. There is a rapidly developing oil and gas sector and substantial investment by other countries in the region. They are desperately anxious to do business with Britain but, to date, British businesses have been lagging. There are great opportunities there for those who are prepared to venture beyond Calais.
“This is a small but significant step forward in forming and strengthening relations between London and Kurdistan. They need help. We are able to provide it.”
Dara al Khayat, President of the Kurdistan Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Vice-President of the Iraqi Chamber of Commerce said, “We welcome this agreement with London Corporate Training. This is a great step forward in relations between Kurdistan and Great Britain. Under Saddam Hussein we were isolated and deprived of contact with the west. We have much to catch up on. We are a young, vibrant economy with potential for great wealth. We look forward to moving ahead and to making up for lost time and opportunities.”
London Corporate Training is so confident of business prospects in Kurdistan that it has opened a local office to organize management training and other business interconnections. Dr. John Cross, appointed as LCT’s local representative, added, “We are making a commitment to the growth of the region. We believe not only that it is the right thing to do to help Iraq recover from years of repression and war, but also the profitable thing to do.”
The next group of twenty-five senior executives from the construction and food processing industries is expected in June. They will be taking part in a similar programme of ‘Business Etiquette and How to do Business in the West’ and will be looking to meet up with British companies with similar business interests.