100 new British companies came to Kurdistan over the last 5 months
A British trade association has brought 100 companies to the Kurdistan Region over the last five months alone, according to a statement from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
The 26-strong Middle East Association (MEA) trade mission also plans to bring more companies to the region for the Erbil International Fair in October.
The association visited the Kurdistan Region for the tenth time last week in an effort to cement commercial ties with the UK.
The KRG representative to the UK Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman said: "The UK now has the third highest number of registered foreign companies in the Kurdistan Region, behind Turkey and Iran. That is testament to our growing trade links and our efforts to introduce British companies to our market."
Mission leader and senior consultant to MEA David Lloyd said: “This is my eighth visit to the Kurdistan Region. Every time I come there are new buildings, roads and projects.”
He added: “I’m also very pleased that we have some leading universities on this mission, and that so many Kurds are choosing to study at UK higher education institutions.”
The association members met universities, government ministers and officials, and business organizations.
Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir, the KRG’s head of foreign relations, spoke at a business networking dinner for the MEA mission which was hosted by the Kurdistan Business Group. The minister outlined the needs of several sectors and discussed the importance of continued educational development and support.
“We need the knowledge and expertise of the international community to help us achieve our potential,” he said. “Our needs are your opportunity.”
The delegates heard about the KRG's plans for its 2012 budget. They also saw the designs for tram systems for all three of the Kurdistan Region’s cities, although these have not yet been approved for implementation.
The visit was organized by the KRG UK Representation and the Department of Foreign Relations.