For Immediate Release: October 5, 2010
Contact: Mary Trupo (202) 482-3809
Obama Administration Trade Official Promotes U.S. Commercial Interests in Iraq
BAGHDAD, IRAQ – Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sánchez today emphasized President Obama's commitment to promoting strong bilateral, economic, cultural, and educational ties with Iraq during his meeting with Iraq's Deputy Minister of Trade Walid Habib Al-Moswee.
"Iraq offers many business investment and commercial opportunities to U.S. firms," said Sánchez. "The Deputy Minister and I discussed our countries' economic partnership and had what I hope will be the first of many productive and engaging conversations. It is clear that Iraq is open for business."
Sánchez and Al-Moswee discussed key policy changes that could improve the commercial climate and promote U.S. commercial interests in Iraq. Sánchez was joined in Iraq by representatives from 14 U.S. companies that traveled to Baghdad for the first U.S. trade mission to Iraq since the end of combat operations.
Earlier today, Sánchez, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey, and Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Rowsch Nuri Shaways delivered remarks at a meeting of U.S. and Iraqi businesses and government officials that focused on business opportunities in Iraq for U.S. companies.
"The American and Iraqi private sectors are rich and diverse, brimming with knowledge and a strong work ethic," Sánchez said. "The U.S. companies on this delegation will interact with the Iraqi public and private sectors, and walk away from this historic trade mission knowing what opportunities exist for them in Iraq."
Iraq's GDP has nearly doubled since 2006, soaring from $57 billion to $112 billion in 2009. Iraq's government has budgeted more than $80 billion for infrastructure development, focusing on a number of large projects relating to construction, highways, railways, telecommunications, and security and defense. This trade mission provides U.S. participants with first-hand market information and forms the basis for future economic cooperation.
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