Capstone Meetings Highlight Policies to Attract Private Investment and Advance Iraq’s Economic Development
The U.S. Embassy’s Minister Counselor for Economic Affairs, Robin Matthewman (pictured), joined high-level Iraqi officials and international experts in opening a two-day series of “Capstone Meetings” to discuss ways to attract private investment into Iraq.
The National Investment Commission (NIC) of Iraq hosted the meetings in cooperation with the U.S. Embassy and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which has been working with Iraq since 2007 under a grant from the United States Department of State.
The meetings opened with a message from Deputy Prime Minister Rowsch Nuri Shaways, followed by remarks from Council of Representatives Economic and Investment Committee Vice Chair Mohammed Salman Al-Saady, Chairman of the Prime Minister’s Advisory Council Dr. Thamir Ghadban, and Chairman of the National Investment Commission Dr. Sami Al-Araji.
In her remarks at the opening session, Minister-Counselor Matthewman noted:
“The United States is committed to supporting Iraq as it works to promote the growth and development of a diversified economy that will create jobs for a growing work force.
“Iraq faces formidable challenges, but every day we see Iraqis – in the government and in society – striving to overcome these challenges and move the country forward.
“We know that you have put an enormous amount of work into your strategies on investment, public private partnerships, procurement and housing. Iraq’s National Development Plan calls for $75 billion in private sector investment.
“The key to achieving that target is to create an environment that allows private investors – both domestic and foreign – to respond to market opportunities. We hope these meetings will help Iraq achieve its objectives by harnessing the power of market forces.”
These meetings served as capstones to OECD’s U.S.-funded work with the National Investment Commission. OECD’s engagement with Iraq complements a wide range of U.S. assistance to support Iraq’s economic development, carried out by the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Commercial Law Development Program of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Department of Treasury Office of Technical Assistance, and other U.S. government agencies under the U.S.-Iraq Strategic Framework Agreement.
(Source: Embassy of the United States Baghdad)