Iraq is open for business, and American companies should make an effort to invest there, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (pictured) has said, according to a report from CNN.
The Secretary was addressing the Business Forum Promoting Commercial Opportunities in Iraq, which included executives from companies as far-ranging as Occidental Petroleum, JP Morgan Chase, General Electric, Microsoft and Lockheed Martin in a round-table discussion aimed at getting companies focused on commercial opportunities in Iraq despite its current "tough environment."
Secretary Clinton said, "President Obama and I and our government believe strongly that expanding economic opportunity is as essential as building democratic institutions. We think they go hand in hand. And in particular, it's very important for people going through the changes that are sweeping the region and that Iraq has, in many ways, been a leader in demonstrating, to believe and to see that democracy delivers: Is your life better or not? Do your children have a better opportunity or not?
"And this is clearly not a job for government alone. It is a very important partnership that has to be forged. Businesses like those represented here at this table create jobs, provide livelihoods, increase standards of living, give hope to individuals and their families. And what government should do, whether it's in the United States or in Iraq, is to be a good partner, to help create the conditions for investment and growth that will be broadly spread and create a ladder of economic opportunity for those willing to work hard, to acquire the education and skills required in the modern world.