HOUSTON--(On his first official visit as Governor of Basra, Iraq, His Excellency Dr. Khalaf Abdul-Samad Khalaf addressed more than 100 local executives today to outline the current investment opportunities in the Basra region for American firms. With oil sales fueling the Iraqi economy, immense financial resources are being dedicated to developing sectors including infrastructure, water treatment, transportation, housing, healthcare, and education. The private luncheon event was hosted by the Bilateral US-Arab Chamber of Commerce in cooperation with the United States’ Departments of State and Commerce.)--
“Iraq has risen from the ashes and is open for business.”
The program was opened with comments by Naufel Al Hassan, Commercial Trade Counselor for Iraq who declared, “Iraq has risen from the ashes and is open for business.” Al Hassan introduced the governor, who described the elements that position Basra as the focal point for development in Iraq, including having the vast majority of Iraq’s known oil reserves and being the only Iraq city with direct access to the sea.
“Our provincial income has expanded 500% over the past several years,” commented H.E. Governor Khalaf. “This growth in revenue has exceeded the province's ability to manage and implement projects, so with this in mind, we are looking for expert consultants and quality companies that can help Basra fulfill and fully utilize our ever-expanding spending power.”
Aida Araissi, President of the Bilateral Chamber said, “Our organization is proud to have participated in this inaugural visit, and will continue to produce programs and events that increase awareness, access, and opportunity between our members and emerging MENA economies, especially within Iraq and the Basra Province.”
The Bilateral US-Arab Chamber of Commerce is an exclusive membership-based network of international business leadership that establishes strategic connections between the United States and Middle East/North Africa (MENA) to foster economic growth, educational advancement and cultural understanding. Founded in 1997 by Aida Araissi, the Bilateral Chamber creates access, strategic options, and positive results for its members by facilitating relationships with key decision-makers, helping to navigate through the complex field of international trade, and producing effective programming including trade missions, speaker’s series, and educational exchange initiatives. Headquartered in Houston, Texas (USA), the not-for-profit Bilateral Chamber membership includes Fortune 500 companies, private sector enterprises, thought leaders, and academic institutions from a wide range of industry sectors across the US and MENA regions. For more information about the Bilateral Chamber, visit http://www.bilateralchamber.org.