US Special Commercial Representative hopes to visit Kurdistan Region in future

“My colleagues did go forward with their trip to Erbil and I certainly hope to do that and go and visit the Kurdistan region going forward.”
US Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs Dilawar Syed (middle) visited Iraq on June 11-15 (Photo: USEmbBaghdad/Twitter)
US Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs Dilawar Syed (middle) visited Iraq on June 11-15 (Photo: USEmbBaghdad/Twitter)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The US Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs Dilawar Syed following a trip to Iraq, told Kurdistan 24 during a press conference that he hopes to visit the Kurdistan Region in the future.

Earlier this week from June 11-15, he traveled to Baghdad as part of the US-Iraq Business Council delegation, which is one of the first US commercial delegations to Iraq in nearly five years. However, his trip did not include the Kurdistan Region. “So I would have loved to go to Erbil.  I unfortunately had to come back early,” he told Kurdistan 24 during a press conference.

“My colleagues did go forward with their trip to Erbil and I certainly hope to do that and go and visit the Kurdistan region going forward.  I did meet with some of the stakeholders from  AmCham Kurdistan in Baghdad and really had productive conversations with those colleagues,” he added.

Read More: PM Masrour Barzani diversifying the Kurdistan Region economy, says AmCham President

This week, Anna Burress, the Director of Middle East Affairs at the US Chamber of Commerce, along with Steve Lutes, the Vice President for Middle East Affairs at the US Chamber of Commerce, spearheaded an American business delegation. The delegation comprised over 12 companies and included more than 20 business professionals.

Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Monday gave a speech at the Invest Kurdistan Launch, where he emphasized that the Kurdish government wants to ensure that investors in the domestic and foreign sectors have greater confidence in Kurdistan Region's market by removing bureaucratic barriers.

Read More: Kurdistan Region can be a gateway to investment in other parts of Iraq: PM Barzani

“We have made tangible progress to remove legal and bureaucratic barriers in our investment strategy. We've made progress but we know there's more to do to make it easier for investors.”

US Chamber of Commerce official Steve Lutes, at the event, underlined that they are "setting out a goal to diversify the economy here in the Kurdistan Region, in identifying the agriculture sector, as one of those areas to focus on."

The US Special Representative Syed added that the goal of his trip to Iraq was to “really build and deepen our commercial engagement with Iraq and the people of Iraq.”

“We discussed at length about the ability to repatriate profits as earnings from – with our discussions with the central bank of Iraq.  So all those business environment, investment climate challenges are ones we are also addressing as we are looking to deepen our commercial relationship.”  

He hoped that this will help the US companies be more productive in the country.  “It will also help Iraq develop its business climate and its environment for its own innovators, for its own entrepreneurs, who we certainly hope will emerge and help the country tackle many of its – many of its challenges.”