Senior KRG officials on Sunday discussed economic reform plans of the government and bilateral ties with Baroness Emma Nicholson, UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy for Iraq.
The meeting was chaired by Minister Falah Mustafa, and he was joined by Dr. Ali Sindi Minister of Planing, Nawroz Mawlod Minister of Municipality and Tourism, Mawlod Bawa Murad Acting Minister of Transpiration and Communication, Dr Nori Othman Acting Head of Investment Board and Taha Zangana Deputy Minister of Natural Resources.
Highlighting the adverse impact of crises on Kurdistan’s economy, Minister Mustafa said, “The four challenges of sustaining the fight against ISIS, caring for nearly 2 million refugees and displaced people, falling of oil prices and freezing the KRG’s share of federal budget have hit our economy hard.”
The Minister stressed that “KRG sees UK as its partner of choice; we seek the support of UK to help us find a way out of these crises to increase presence of international companies, including the UK companies, in the Kurdistan Region and to regain the confidence of foreign and local business people and investors.”
Minister Sindi referred to the KRG’s recognition for the need to conduct comprehensive economic reforms. He stated that the government is committed to reduce the size of KRG’s public service, implement taxation, remove subsidies, increase transparency and diversify economy.
Baroness Nicholson highly spoke of the extraordinary efforts of the KRG in the face of military and humanitarian challenges facing the region. “The UK is fully committed to the Kurdistan Region. We are committed to establishing long-term partnerships in all fields, including trade, and to support KRG’s economic reform process.”
“We have a collective interest to see that the economy of Kurdistan Region remains resilient and we are committed to support the region’s economic recovery,” said Angus McKee, British Consul General in Erbil.
During the meeting, both sides exchanged views on the ways that UK can support KRG’s economic reform plans as well as means of enhancing UK-Kurdistan trade ties.