The United States Kurdistan Business Council (USKBC) this week heard about the latest political and economic developments in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq from a Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) ministerial-level delegation.
Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir, Head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations, and Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, the KRG’s High Representative to the United Kingdom, briefed USKBC companies about events in Kurdistan, Iraq and the broader Middle East.
Mr. Bakir provided an overview of the economic progress in the Kurdistan Region which is an investor-friendly emerging market that can also act as a launching pad for American companies to work in other parts of Iraq. He called on USKBC member companies to assist in building the capacity of Kurdistan's private sector and its trade associations.
Minister Bakir answered questions about the Kurdistan market, the ongoing KRG dialogue with the Iraqi federal government, relations with Turkey and the desperate situation facing the 220,000 Syrian refugees that have fled to the Kurdistan Region.
"We thank USKBC members for believing in the Kurdistan Region, which is open and friendly to American businesses," said Minister Bakir. "Our meeting with the business council is part of a visit to Washington in which we are discussing with our American friends a variety of issues of mutual interest, including commercial, educational and cultural relations.”
USKBC board members expressed support for the KRG and its open dialogue with the U.S. government. “The USKBC is a strong supporter of Kurdistan’s development and its member companies have invested in the region. We continue to call on the broader U.S. business community to discover Kurdistan as an emerging market as we have already,” said Pete Dordal, Senior Vice President at Garda World, a founding corporate USKBC board member.