The Trade Development Director of UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), Crispin Simon, led a large British delegation to the Erbil Trade Fair last week.
Sixty-one British delegates, representing 39 companies from several key sectors, including education, participated in the Fair.
The UK pavilion was the second largest of all the countries represented at the event. Most companies were visiting Iraqi Kurdistan for the first time and almost all said they would return soon to follow up business leads.
The delegation included a number of universities and training firms. The strength of the UK educational brand was further reinforced by the visit of a separate delegation representing a further 16 universities. Eighty per cent of the 2,400 graduate students the KRG has so far sponsored to study overseas have chosen to go to British universities; with a further 2,000 in the pipeline soon to be looking for international centres of study.
As well as education, companies represented key sectors such as oil and gas, infrastructure and professional services.
During his visit Mr Simon met President Barazani and outlined British commercial strategy and underscored the UK’s commitment to strengthening ties with Iraqi Kurdistan. The President was delighted to meet a range of British business leaders and stressed there was “no limit” to the opportunities available for British firms in Kurdistan.
There has been a 50 per cent increase in the number of British companies registration in the Kurdistan Region over the last 12 months, with more than 95 UK companies now registered.
(Source: UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office)