June 24, 2016

Business leaders from Kurdistan in Washington as part of leadership program

Washington, DC (us.gov.krd) – Leaders of chambers of commerce and industry from around Kurdistan met US business community representatives, academics, humanitarian workers, and journalists in Washington this week.

The meeting on June 23 was hosted by the US-Kurdistan Business Council, an American organization that seeks to improve trade relations between the US and Kurdistan Region. KRG Representative Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman moderated the event alongside USKBC President David Tafuri.

Dara Jaleel Khayat, the President of the Federation of Commerce Chambers and Industry of Kurdistan, addressed the group, encouraging them to view Kurdistan as a friendly place for investments and highlighting the numerous opportunities that exist.

He said, ‘We welcome any and all – small, medium and large-sized companies – with different kinds of fields of expertise. Once you do come and discover the opportunities that Kurdistan has to offer first hand, we [the Chambers of Commerce] will be there to help you invest in the Kurdistan Region.’

Mr Khayat is heading up a delegation of five other business leaders currently visiting the United States. They include President of the Chamber of Commerce and Industries of Slemani Seerwan Mahmood, President of the Duhok Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ayad Brifkani, and President of the Kirkuk Chamber of Commerce Sabahaldain Salihi, as well as board members of the Erbil Chamber of Commerce and Industry Sadraddin Atrakchi and Abdulkarim Othman.

The group is in the United States at the invitation of the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program, an exchange program set up to enhance bilateral ties between the US and other countries. As part of the program, the delegation will be visiting a number of cities around the country to learn about the American economy and best-practices.

The KRG Representation in the United States also hosted a separate meeting with Mr Khayat and the delegation to discuss ways in which the Representation can further promote American investment and trade with Kurdistan. During the meeting, Representative Abdul Rahman highlighted the significant turnout at the recent conference at Johns Hopkins University on economic opportunities in Kurdistan and Iraq as evidence that Americans are interested and willing to explore the market in Kurdistan.
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