Come, See and Start

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)

2 Responses to Come, See and Start

  1. Alan Phipps 23rd January 2014 at 15:10 #

    Having read the article covering the Trade Mission, I can concur that obtaining a Visa is a major issue. I have a Kurdish Engineer I am planning to send to the UK for further formal training.

    The Online portal for Visa applications seems corrupted or simply will not allow me to move to a second or third page to progress the application. The Visa Centre in the Rotana Hotel, Erbil, will only see you if a prior appointment has been made but to get an appointment, it is necessary to pass the third page of the Website.

    Very frustrating and the clock is ticking.

    Alan Phipps
    Director, British Fire and Security, Erbil.