KRG Ministers and officials participated on Wednesday at the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) London Business Forum on United Kingdom – Kurdistan Region of Iraq: Business Opportunities and Knowledge Transfer. The forum was organised by IBBC in collaboration with the Kurdistan Federation of Chambers of Commerce, and sponsored by Genel Energy and UB Group.
The event, held at Dartmouth House in Mayfair and hosted by Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, IBBC Chairman and UK trade Envoy for Iraq, included sessions on Higher Education and Healthcare, and Business with Iraqi Kurdistan.
Thirty five Kurdish businessmen and officials attended the forum, including Dr Pistiwan Sadiq, KRG Minister of Education, and Dr Yusuf Goran, KRG Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, both of whom spoke during the opening session. Dr Dara Jalil Khayat, President of Kurdistan Federation of Chambers of Commerce & Industry, was also in attendance and addressed the audience during the opening session. The event was covered by Kurdish media network Rudaw TV.
Representatives of British and Kurdish Universities had the opportunity to discuss potential ways of cooperation. They highlighted the fact that there is a growing student population that want and need to get the right tools to be employable in the future and British education is, in many cases, their preferred choice. The University of Wolverhampton and Kingston University, both IBBC members, participated in this panel discussion and will be hosting delegations of Kurdish businessmen and officials this week.
Healthcare was another central theme of the forum, with Dr Atia Al Salihy, Former Health Adviser to the KRG Prime Minister, pointing out that the key issue to tackle in the present financial crisis in healthcare and other sectors is the efficient spending of public funds.
Members of the Kurdistan Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry talked to the audience about the diverse resources that could be developed in their region, whilst the British Chambers of Commerce delegate, Suren Thiru, encouraged the KRG to set up businesses in the UK.
The British Consul General to the KRI, Angus McKee, emphasised this two-way investment cycle and assured participants that there is a lot of interest from British companies to keep working in Iraqi Kurdistan.