Corporate Briefing: Iraq is Open for Business
October 27, 2010-Baltimore, MD
As part of their efforts to promote the introduction of American investors into Iraqi markets, the U.S. Department of Commerce, in partnership with the Iraqi Commercial Attaché in Washington, DC, organized a symposium on October 27th, 2010 in Baltimore, Maryland. The conference discussed the present economic and investment situation in Iraq, and the steps and procedures that the Iraqi government has taken to promote foreign investment. Over 50 Leaders, representing American companies of various industries from Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California, participated in the discussion.
Representatives from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Overseas Private Investment Commission, Export-Import Bank of the United States, and several American companies operating in Iraq, delivered presentations on various topics including: financing investment projects with American banks, future prospects for growth and progress in Iraq, and the potential for developing economic partnership between the U.S. and Iraq. The symposium also covered the legal and procedural challenges faced by the American private sector in Iraq.
During his address, Mr. Naufel Alhassan, Iraqi Commercial Attaché in Washington, DC, discussed present trade partnerships between the two countries, areas for future improvement, the Iraqi government’s 2010-2014 Five-Year National Development Plan, specific investment opportunities available for American industries, which the Iraqi government considers important partners in the rebuilding of Iraq. Likewise, he also touched on some of the challenges that the Iraqi government is striving to turn into investment opportunities, while encouraging American companies to participate in these efforts. He concluded by presenting some of the investment opportunities compiled by the National Investment Commission in coordination with the Ministry of Trade.
Afterwards, Mr. Al-Hassan joined the other presenters in responding to questions relating to investing and conducting business in Iraq. At the end of the conference, the participants expressed their gratitude to the Commercial Attaché and all those who involved in setting up the symposium which provided a chance for many of them to familiarize themselves with the economic and commercial situation in Iraq. Many company representatives also expressed their desire to visit Iraq and find out more details on how to enter the Iraqi market such as the required documents and procedures for establishing a branch in Iraq. Finally, the participants called for holding similar symposiums in other economically important states such as California, Florida, New York, and Washington state.