By Padraig O'Hannelly.
This week the UK hosted a delegation of business people and officials from Erbil, who came to London to promote investment in the province.
The delegation would have been larger were it not for the ongoing problem of getting visas to enter the UK; despite the recent opening of a new visa centre in Erbil, this is still a problem that is clearly costing the UK valuable business.
Among the visitors were Erbil's Deputy Governor Tahir Abdulla, Deputy Minister Nawroz Mahlood from the Kurdistan Board of Investment, and Fathi al-Mudaris of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, along with representatives of companies such as DA Group, UB Holding, Falcon Group and Rekan Group.
Opening the meeting at the Middle East Association, the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy Lord Marland highlighted the successes of Iraqi Kurdistan in the areas of security, the rule of law, and transparency, which he said were key to attracting British business to the region.
Deputy Governor Tahir Abdulla's message was clear: "Come, see and start".
And to help UK businesses make those first steps, the MEA and British Expertise will be leading a joint trade mission to Iraqi Kurdistan in February.
(Flag image via Shutterstock)