Department of Foreign Relations
Kurdistan Regional Government
WED, 23 JAN 2019 06:46 Erbil, GMT +3
Source: KRG-DFR DFR publication date: THU, 20 DEC 2018 13:11
Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir, the Head of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Department of Foreign Relations (DFR): A Statement delivered at the Confederation of Indian Industries

On behalf of the KRG, I would like to extend a very warm welcome to His Excellency Dr. Pradeep Singh Rajpurohit, Ambassador of India to Iraq and Consul General of India in Erbil, Mr. Chandramouli Kumar.

I would also like to take a moment to welcome the delegation from the Confederation of Indian Industries, CII.

We appreciate the interest the CII has taken in Kurdistan. We are pleased to have you here and we hope that your visit proves fruitful and enlightening. I am a firm believer in this saying: seeing is believing.

We are glad that you have taken the opportunity to venture to Kurdistan on this fact finding mission to assess the needs and opportunities available.

We hope that you contribute to filling in any gaps that exist here and that you engage with local and international companies that exist here. India has emerged as one of the fastest growing major economies in the world, backed by its strong partnerships.

India has a mixed economy. Agriculture is India’s traditional economy.
One-third of its workers are employed by the service industry, this contributes two-thirds of India's output.

In recent years, India has shifted toward a market economy.
It has privatized many state-owned enterprises, and opened doors to foreign direct investment.

The visit of the CII and other Indian investors to Kurdistan is reflective of the willingness of the Indian people and government to broaden their scope of business. Growing crude oil imports has increased Iraq and India’s total bilateral trade since 2010.

India exports a diverse variety of commodities to Kurdistan, such as raw wool and pharmaceutical products that many of us buy and use on a daily basis. It speaks wonders of their readiness to venture into unchartered waters, and to explore the opportunities available.

Foreign direct investment from India is very valuable. Throughout the years India has proven to be a committed and reliable partner in the areas of trade and investment.
The historical ties that we share have been integral in realising our mutual interests and advancing our joint endeavours.

We have been fortunate enough to have received highly revered Indian officials and diplomats throughout the years. They have collectively and individually contributed to strengthening the cooperation that exists between India and Kurdistan. 

Cultural diplomacy has also played a positive role in bolstering ties between Kurdistan and India. Most notably, the 10-day celebration of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival was recently celebrated in Kurdistan.

 

This serves to highlight the peace and coexistence that is enjoyed here. In October 2017, an Indian Business delegation from TPCI and the Director General of Trade and Commerce visited Kurdistan for the purpose of enhancing trade between India and Iraq.

The Indian Ambassador to Iraq led discussions intended to promote Indian export to Kurdistan. Recent years have been challenging for Kurdistan and Iraq politically and economically.

However, these challenges have simply served to strengthen our resolve to develop our institutions and our economic policies. We must remind ourselves that success is not final and failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts.

This courage stems from our desire to improve the lives of all who reside in Kurdistan. This is achieved through economic success and through providing innovative job opportunities for the talented individuals we have here.

We realise that in order to attract more interest, we must continue to develop our infrastructure. This is where the role of our partners becomes fundamental. We are now in the stage of reconstruction and stabilisation in Kurdistan and in Iraq. 

This can only be achieved through the resolute support of all our investors who we see as our partners. There is a lot to be done to strengthen our economy and even more opportunity for both local and foreign investors.

Commercially viable opportunities for foreign investment lie in the sectors of agriculture, health, education, industry, tourism and banking.

Meeting these needs will not only help enhance bilateral trade, but will also promote business activities and create better linkages between the business community and industries. Kurdistan is committed to facilitating and supporting foreign and local investment through sound economic policies and investor-friendly laws.

The legal guarantees that exist here ensure that foreign investors are to be treated the same as national investors. 
Economic reform and removing red tape associated with doing business in Kurdistan is a top priority for the KRG.

Kurdistan is also renowned for its fertile lands; it’s scenic and beautiful landscapes, and the friendly and hospitable welcome you receive from the local population. Perhaps the most attractive prospect we offer is safety and stability for trade and investment to flourish.

I hope that this fact-finding mission will give you an opportunity to engage with our local community, and find areas that would serve your interest in the Kurdistan Region and the rest of Iraq. We firmly believe that Kurdistan can serve as a launching pad for you to be here whilst serving the rest of the Iraqi market.

Kurdistan is open for business and is the gateway to the rest of Iraq. Once again I would like to thank the Consulate General and the Embassy in Baghdad for organising this trip.

This is only the beginning of a long term partnership that we believe in. We hope that it would help make sure that the relationship between Kurdistan and India will be long term and sustainable.

Thank you and I hope that you will have a fruitful evening.

 




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