Kurdistan Region ‘open for business,’ officials tell visiting Americans

By Chris Johannes 1 hour ago


Falah Mustafa, head of KRG’s Department of Foreign Relations, speaks at an event to foster Kurdistan-US business ties on Monday. Photo: Falah Mustafa

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — As the Kurdistan Region tries to balance US sanctions against its No. 2 trade partner Iran and navigate new governments in Baghdad and Erbil, a US trade delegation is visiting in an appeal to grow existing connections.

The United States Kurdistan Business Council spoke at a reception in Erbil on Monday.

“You’re always able to get such an amazing group of people here with so much energy and enthusiasm,” said its president, David Tafuri.

He thanked representatives of Kurdistan’s business sector for their “warm welcome.”

The US delegation brought 35 business people representing 20 different companies, some of which are already doing business in the Kurdistan Region and some which are new.

“You make us feel honored and embarrassed by your graciousness,” added Tafuri.

They have met with several ministers of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and more meetings are scheduled.

The Kurdistan Region is in a precarious situation, facing the formation of its own government, US sanctions against Turkey and Iran, and continued strained relations with Baghdad.

“The US consulate has been actively seeking opportunities to engage businesses here to unlock trade and investment opportunities,” said US Consul General to Erbil Steven Fagin.

He called the visit an opportunity that “demonstrates the deepening of business ties… and a renewal in trade and investment.”

Fagin is new Erbil. He was posted to the Kurdistan Region in July.

“In my short time here, I have had the chance to meet with representatives of various US companies. I have been impressed with their commitment to US standards of doing business and to showing customers in the Kurdistan Region that the United States truly has the best products and brands in the world,” he said.

The KRG is often criticized by entrepreneurs for layers of bureaucracy and connections needed to enter the market.

“We welcome the efforts of the Kurdistan Regional Government to demonstrate that the Kurdistan Region is open for business,” Fagin said.

In Erbil, Iraq now for first business delegation to Kurdistan Region in two years with @FalahMustafa @BayanRahman and @USConGenErbil and more than 30 people who have come with the @USKBizCouncil for this visit at a crucial time, post-ISIS, post-elections, pre-government formation pic.twitter.com/ZdDZtJHKa5

— David Tafuri (@DavidTafuri) October 22, 2018

Erbil Chamber of Commerce Chairman Dara Jalil al-Khayat welcomed the visiting delegation.

“We as the chambers of commerce of Sulaimani, Duhok, and Erbil would like to warmly welcome you,” he said, pointing to KRG Representative to the United States Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman’s “readiness in order help and enhance the business relations.”

The Kurdistan Region faced an economic downturn after Baghdad slashed its share of the federal budget, conflict with ISIS erupted, the arrival of 1.8 million IDPs and refugees, and a global drop in oil prices.

“We are ready to boom. We are ready to flourish in our business relations with the United States and all other countries,” Khayat said.

He considered it a “duty” to meet with the US delegation.

“We are ready to receive any delegation from any country because it will be beneficial for their country and the Kurdistan Region as well,” added Khayat

The NGO is based in Washington, DC, and is nearly six years old. They will travel to Sulaimani and Duhok provinces in order to further foster business ties.


Abdul-Mahdi vows to hold the faltering ministries accountable for the first 100 days of his government


Release date: 2018/10/24 0:01 
(Baghdad: al-Furat News) Prime Minister-designate Adel Abdul-Mahdi, the accounting of the ministries faltering in the first 100 days of his government.

“The points in the current curriculum, which includes all things, but reflect the quick references to the curriculum of the ministry and its philosophy raised to gain the confidence of the House of Representatives,” said Abdul Mahdi, in his government program, which he intends to submit to the House of Representatives in a meeting on Wednesday, Hoping that the government will submit a detailed program consistent with this ministerial approach put forward by the various ministries during the first 100 days, and is committed to apply it and be held accountable during the ministerial era. ” 
He stressed that “we will not tolerate any illegal operation took place when the formation of the government or after the formation of sites to obtain or for the purpose of exploitation of non-public service, whatever the importance of the person and location, and we will take immediate measures strictly against who did or do so.”

Leading the victory: passing ministers by secret ballot means returning to the first box


Information / special … 
The leader of the alliance of victory Ahmed al-Hamdani, on Tuesday, the campaign signatures by some deputies to pass the government formation by secret ballot as a return to the first box. 
Al-Hamdani said in a statement to the agency / “Information” / “The fact that some of the deputies campaign to collect signatures for the purpose of passing the names by secret ballot is negative and is a return to the first box through the rooting of political quotas.” 
The leader demanded in victory, “not to approve the request of deputies, the fact that the scroll in secret will deepen the differences between the political blocs.” 
He called al-Hamdani that “the meeting of the House of Representatives in the selection of ministers is clear by all standards and the Iraqi street is fully aware of all the details.” 
The media office of the Prime Minister-designate Adel Abdul-Mahdi had announced earlier, the intention of Abdul-Mahdi to present his cabinet this week.
A parliamentary source revealed, on Tuesday, the determination of the House of Representatives to hold its meeting on Wednesday, to vote on the Cabinet Cab. Ending / 25



Officially .. House of Representatives sets its tomorrow to announce the formation of the government

Baghdad / News

The House of Representatives officially announced on Tuesday that it will hold its meeting on Wednesday evening.

“The ninth session of the House of Representatives will be held on Wednesday 24/10 at 8:00 pm,” the council said in a statement received by Al Akhbar.

A source in the Prime Minister has confirmed to the ‘news’ that Prime Minister-designate Adel Abdul-Mahdi will be tomorrow in parliament to announce his cabinet.


URGENT Parliament presides over voting session on Abdul-Mahdi’s cabin


Date of release: 2018/10/23 20:44 
(Baghdad: Al-Furat News) Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Bashir Haddad, on Tuesday, held a session of granting confidence to the government of Adel Abdul-Mahdi this weekend.
Haddad said in a press statement that “it is likely that the meeting of the House of Representatives on Wednesday or Thursday to give confidence in the new government cabins,” adding that “the granting of confidence will include some ministries while the other ministries are postponed until after November 2” . 
He added that “the House of Representatives awaits the request of the Prime Minister-designate to hold the meeting and then circulated its agenda to the deputies.” 
It is noteworthy that the remaining period before the Prime Minister-designate Adel Abdul-Mahdi to form his government 9 days, to submit the names of ministers to the House of Representatives for approval.

URGENT Official statement: Parliament holds its meeting tomorrow at 8 pm


Release date: 2018/10/23 21:57 
{Baghdad: Al Furat News} According to an official statement of the House of Representatives, that the Council will hold Wednesday evening session.
The statement was received by the agency {Euphrates News} copy of it “will be held the ninth session of the House of Representatives on Wednesday, at 8 pm.” 
It was reported that Prime Minister-designate Adel Abdul-Mahdi will present his proposed ministerial form to parliament on Wednesday, and the meeting will be held at 6 pm.