Many UK companies such as BTWShiells, HSBC, Land Rover and Mothercare have already joined international brands such as Carrefour, Coca-Cola, Diesel, Ecco, Lafarge, Pepsi, Levi’s and Mango in Kurdistan but there are many more opportunities for UK companies, in a surprisingly wide range of sectors in the Region.
With 71 companies now operating in the Kurdistan Region, the UK has the third highest number of foreign companies registered in Kurdistan, but it is in a distant third place, behind Turkey (868 companies) and Iran (193). There is therefore plenty of opportunity for more UK companies to invest in an economy which is expected to grow at over 7% this year and which avoided the global debt crisis.
Sinan Celebi, KRG Minister for Trade and Industry said, “Economics is about meeting demand with supply. That is why the Kurdistan Region is such a promising opportunity for British investors. To put it simply the Region is in need of everything. Years of neglect and destruction have created a gap in our ability to supply a modern economy. However, thanks to plentiful natural resources, our share of Iraq’s budget translates into long-term fiscal wealth, which combined with growing demand, presents huge opportunities for those UK businesses which are able to supply us with expertise, skills and products.”
Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, Kurdistan Region High Representative to the UK, told the forum, “We wish to renew our economy so that we can create jobs, provide better services and increase the prosperity of our people. And we recognise that we can best do that with the help of our friends in countries like the UK who have the expertise, the products and services that we need.”