The Kurdistan Regional Government’s High Representative to the UK today told British companies that Kurdistan’s economy is booming and there are many opportunities to do business there.
Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman was speaking at a lunch hosted in her honour by the Middle East Association (MEA), the UK’s leading trade association focusing on the Middle East and North Africa. “The Kurdistan Region has vast natural resources and British oil companies have invested heavily in the region. But there are opportunities in every sector, from construction to agriculture, education and training to retail and consumer services.”
She highlighted the growing wealth of the Kurdistan where GDP per capita has increased from $300 in 2003 to about $4,500. Ms Abdul Rahman pointed out that Kurdistan’s relations with the UK have deepened over time, not just in trade but also in culture, education and human capacity development. “The number of British companies registered in Kurdistan is the highest of any Western country and comes only after Turkey, Lebanon and Iran,” she said. “We are delighted with this and we expect our trade with the UK to continue to grow.”
David Lloyd of the MEA echoed Ms Abdul Rahman’s words. He said, “Kurdistan is a fine country. As Bayan said, there are opportunities in every sector and British business is welcomed. The best thing is to go and see for yourselves.”
The lunch was attended by representatives of British companies operating in a wide range of sectors, including banking, insurance, law, oil services and education, as well as by representatives of UKTI, the British government’s trade and investment unit.
Ms Abdul Rahman thanked the MEA for its consistent encouragement of trade between the UK and Kurdistan and invited those attending to participate in the flagship Erbil International Trade Fair in October. Last year’s trade fair saw a record number of British participants, many of whom have done business in Kurdistan since.