Ashti Hawrami Addresses UK Businesses and Politicians

the Kurdistan Region is the gateway to Iraq. Take advantage of our security and stability, our attractive investment incentives, our business-friendly approach, and set up base here. You will tap into Kurdistan’s growing market and be ideally positioned for doing business with the rest of Iraq.

I will also be urging my friends and counterparts in the Coalition to work closely with Britain’s EU partners to invigorate moves toward a proper European energy policy. The substantial reserves of gas discovered in the Kurdistan Region since 2003 can play a major role in helping Europe secure its energy supplies.

The Kurdistan Region of Iraq is a worthy ally. Since 2003, not one foreign soldier has been killed in our area, which is safe and secure even by Western standards. Having fought alongside US and British forces in the liberation of Iraq, the Kurdish security forces, or peshmerga, have played an important role in combating terrorism and contributing to the stability of the whole country. Kurdish politicians have been working with their Arab partners in Baghdad to secure the foundations of Iraqi democracy.

Our federal region is progressing at a breathtaking pace. From a standing start four years ago, Kurdistan’s oil and gas industry has developed to the point where we can export 100,000 barrels of oil per day. By 2014, Kurdistan will be able to export at least 1 million barrels per day. This means a large increase in revenues for Iraq as a whole, given that the country is currently producing just over 2 million barrels of oil per day.

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