The largest ever trade mission from the UK to the Kurdistan Region is taking place from 23 -28 October, focusing on the Erbil International Trade Fair.
It is coordinated and led by the Middle East Association together with UK Trade & Investment and Invest Northern Ireland. The delegation is being accompanied by Meg Munn MP and Nadhim Zahawi MP, Co-Chairs of the All Party Political Group (APPG) for the Kurdistan Region.
The mission comprises 61 delegates from Great Britain and a further 20 from Northern Ireland, with 20 British organisations exhibiting at the Erbil International Trade Fair. Delegates represent a wide range of business activities including education, textiles and flooring, water, oil and gas, safety, engineering and architectural consultancy, financial services, furnishings, ventilation, IT and telecoms, electrical testing, security, industrial development and defence and avionics. There is particularly strong representation from the education sector.
The size of the mission is an indication of the growing awareness in the UK of the huge business potential offered by Iraqi Kurdistan. British companies are starting to take advantage of the opportunities arising from the region’s rapid economic development, the welcoming business environment and the high regard in which British products and expertise are held. Over 70 British companies now have a presence in Iraqi Kurdistan, in areas ranging from energy and infrastructure to education and financial services, and many more are looking to build long term relationships with representatives of the Kurdish business community.
The mission builds on the success of the 53-strong UK trade mission to the 2010 Erbil International Trade Fair, where there was an official British presence for the first time.
Nadhim Zahawi MP said:
“I am delighted to be accompanying this, the largest ever UK trade delegation to Kurdistan, and firmly believe that it is another important step in the future success of the region and the British companies that invest within it.
“The economic growth of the Kurdistan Region is not going unnoticed and the historical links that connect the region with the UK are important for those businesses looking to get involved with this success.
“I firmly believe that this is one of the most exciting and promising parts of the world for British companies to work with and I am looking forward to meeting both Kurdish and British companies committed to strengthening bonds and pursuing success within Kurdistan.”
Meg Munn MP said:
“The Kurdish people are great friends of the UK and wish to develop more links particularly in business and education. There are great opportunities for UK enterprises that are prepared to visit, build strong connections and develop sustainable projects. I know that those concerns that have done that have been very pleased by the welcoming and positive attitude from the Kurdish business community and government.”
David Lloyd, Senior Consultant at the Middle East Association said:
“The Middle East Association has played a leading role over the past five years in promoting British trade and investment with the Kurdistan Region, in co-operation with the Kurdistan Regional Government UK Representation in London. I am delighted to be leading this mission, and it is very encouraging to see so many British companies taking part.”