Some of Britain’s most successful businessmen and women will fly to Erbil tomorrow (September 23rd) on a Trade Mission designed to show the UK’s continuing support for the resilience of the Kurdistan region of Iraq’s infrastructure, society and economy.
Organised by the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC), the group will spend three days meeting senior government figures, including the Deputy Prime Minister and the Ministers of Interior, Natural Resources, Trade and Industry, Transport and Communications, Education, Planning and Finance.
They will also spend time meeting their Iraqi counterparts, to ensure them of the UK’s continued confidence in the region, despite the present challenging situation.
The group have been invited to a reception hosted by the British Consul General to the Kurdistan region, Angus McKee, and attended by the UK’s new Ambassador to Iraq, Frank Baker, and receptions hosted by the Erbil Chamber of Commerce and the giant Middle East conglomerate, UB Holding.
The British companies include CCC, Control Risks, Deloitte, HWH Associates, Olive Group, Penspen, PTS Ltd, PwC, Restrata, Solar Turbines, SKA, Standard Chartered, and Sterling.
The IBBC’s Executive Chairman, Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, will head the British delegation. She believes it is vital for UK business to show its support.
“The people of the Kurdistan region of Iraq have worked wonders over the last decade to create an incredibly prosperous fledgling nation. The growth of cities like Erbil has been nothing short of an economic miracle. Foreign investors now cannot turn their backs on them because the going has suddenly got tough,” explained Baroness Nicholson, who is also the UK’s official Trade Envoy to Iraq.
She added: “The Islamic State is slowly but surely being wiped out. Once that happens, the Kurdistan region will be back firmly on track, and we want them to know that the UK will always be a friend and business partner, no matter what the situation is on the ground.”
British Consul General, Mr McKee said: “The last few months have been challenging for the Government and people of Kurdistan Region, as for Iraq more widely. The UK has stepped up its support; we are the third largest international donor to the humanitarian effort, and are providing military assistance. We continue to work for the stability and prosperity of Kurdistan Region, and I welcome the IBBC mission’s visit at this time.”