PRESS RELEASES 15:00:01 18 Oct. 2012
Largest US business delegation visits Kurdistan

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq - ( President Masoud Barzani welcomed the largest ever American business delegation this week which was visiting Kurdistan to explore investment opportunities in the Kurdistan Region and to participate in the Erbil International Fair.

The US-Kurdistan Business Council (USKBC) brought a 48-member delegation, representing 30 companies in diverse sectors, to meet with various KRG officials in Erbil and Slemani. The delegation was looking for opportunities to increase investment and trade for US companies in the Region and to strengthen ties in the private sector.

During their meeting, President Barzani underlined the importance of involving the US private sector in the development of Kurdistan. “The Kurdistan Region is in need of the experience and knowledge of US companies for building a solid infrastructure,” the President said.

Commenting on the reception that the delegation received, USKBC President David Tafuri said, “We were treated with the incredible generosity for which Kurds are known, in every step of our visit. The US companies who came have left with an even greater understanding of the enormous opportunities that exist in the Kurdistan Region."

The USKBC trade mission was undertaken in partnership with the US Chamber of Commerce, and the organisation’s director of US-Iraq Business Initiative, Mr Steve Lutes, expressed the Chamber’s interest in promoting US business in the Region saying: “This large delegation of American businesses is a sign of the strong interest in the Kurdistan Region and represents our commitment to growing the commercial relationship between the United States and this community. The opportunities here are vast and across many sectors, and the message we heard clearly from President Barzani and the various ministers is that American companies are welcome and encouraged to come and do business here.”

The Chairman of the KRG Board of Investment, Minister Herish Muharam, seconded this sentiment, saying, “We are very keen on strengthening business ties with American companies and we welcome you to invest in the Kurdistan Region.”

“We have a very friendly investment law and are ready to guide you to the investment opportunities in Kurdistan in sectors of agriculture, trade, and tourism,” he added.

During their visit, the USKBC sponsored a business seminar at the Erbil International Fair on 'US Business in Kurdistan', at which US Government and KRG officials as well as leading business people spoke. The USKBC also sponsored an exhibit at the Erbil International Fair, the largest general trade fair in Iraq.

Since 2003, the Kurdistan Regional Government has taken serious steps to attract foreign investment. The Kurdistan Region Investment Law, which was passed in 2006 by the Kurdistan Region Parliament, is considered one of the most liberal and attractive investment laws in the Middle East. This, combined with the security and stability of the Region as well as the friendly and welcoming attitude of its people have contributed to the success of this sector.