June 3, 2016

KRG officials speak about investment opportunities and reforms in Kurdistan and Iraq at American conference

Washington DC, USA (www.us.gov.krd) – ‘There is a great deal to hope for in the future of Kurdistan and in all of Iraq’ Kurdistan Regional Government Representative to the United States Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman said before a group of American and Kurdish business leaders, government officials, experts, and members of the media on Thursday, June 2.

The conference, titled ‘Iraq’s Economy: Challenges and Opportunities’, was hosted by the Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Transatlantic Relations.

‘Decentralization is definitely the future for Kurdistan and for Iraq if we are going to have a successful economy – but it doesn’t mean abandonment’, said Representative Abdul Rahman. Dr Noori Abdulrahman, chairman of the Kurdistan Board of Investment and Minister for Coordination and Follow-up, who joined the conference by internet link, said, ‘The region has great opportunities for investment and promising growth in in minerals, industry, agriculture, education, tourism, health, and trade sectors.’

He added that, ‘Kurdistan is open for the whole world and is a gate to the rest of Iraq.’

He also answered questions from the conference participants on the planned IMF loan to Iraq, privatisation plans in Kurdistan and priority areas for investment.

Dr James Parks, KRG Senior Economic Advisor outlined some of the goals of financial reform in the Kurdistan Region, highlighting the need for Kurdistan for to grow its financial sector and economic institutions.

Also speaking at the conference was Ambassador from Iraq Lukman Faily, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the US Department of State for Iraq Ambassador Joseph Pennington, Head of the Iraq National Investment Commission Sami Al-Araji, and a number of other American, Kurdish, and Iraqi business leaders, experts, and government officials.

The conference is the first such event in Washington for some years and was organized with the support of the KRG Representation in the US, the Iraqi Embassy and the office of the US Trade Representative.

Watch the conference:

Pt1 – Intro & Economic Mosaic of Iraq

Pt2A – Centralization or Decentralization of Iraq’s Economic and Commercial Policy

Pt2B – Doing Business in Iraq

Pt3 – Business Challenges and Opportunities

Pt4 – Economic Growth and Trade Competitiveness Through Job Creation and SME’s

Pt5 – Private Sector and Growth – Strengthening Transatlantic Partnership
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