US firms to up Iraq investment

The United States is encouraging American businesses to increase their investment in Iraq as the country aims to recover from years of devastation. Dilawar Syed, the special representative for commercial and business affairs at the US State Department, expressed his enthusiasm for the opportunities to contribute to the country’s rebuilding efforts. Following Iraq’s record-breaking national budget allocation of $150 billion for infrastructure and other expenditures, Syed highlighted the significance of this milestone and the positive progress being witnessed in Baghdad. He emphasised the potential for US private sector involvement in supporting Iraq’s path towards peace and progress.

Syed’s visit to Iraq was part of a deliberate effort to foster engagement and establish a strategic framework based on business and commercial interests between the two countries. A delegation consisting of 47 US-headquartered companies representing various industries, including construction, education, energy, finance, health, and technology, accompanied him. Syed particularly emphasised the opportunities in education and technology sectors, acknowledging Iraq’s potential in these areas and the desire to support and participate in its bright future.

Although there are challenges in attracting outside investment, Syed believed that the presence of the delegation helped provide reassurance regarding safety and business prospects in Iraq. He acknowledged the need for further work in standardizing arbitration and intellectual property issues while continuing discussions with the Central Bank of Iraq on repatriating profits for US businesses. Syed emphasised the importance of raising standards and fighting corruption in order to compete fairly and transparently for Iraq’s projects.

During their visit, the US delegation achieved an early success by reaching a deal with Iraq’s Health Ministry to collaborate on cancer research and enhance cancer care services. This exemplified the potential for fruitful partnerships and cooperation between the two countries. Syed expressed confidence in the US sector’s capabilities and emphasised that success would be measured by the deals closed and the positive impact on Iraq’s development.

Overall, the US is optimistic about the investment prospects in Iraq and the positive role that American businesses can play in the country’s progress and prosperity.

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