AmCham Kurdistan Reception
American Chamber of Commerce Kurdistan (AmCham Kurdistan) on October 15, 2022 organized a reception in honor of the new U.S. Consul General Irvin Hicks Jr at the Divan hotel
“It is an honor and pleasure to have you all here this evening to help us receive our special guest, (U.S). Consul General Irvin Hicks Jr.,” AmCham Chairman Dori F. Abouzeid. “Mr. Hicks is a great person; it is accurate and that simple to state,” he added.
“He is faithful to his word, Charismatic, friendly, and warm—a man with great ideas and actions. And he loves Kurdistan and the Kurdish people, in his short tenure he acquired two Jili Kurdy (two Kurdish), not just one and looks great in them.”
“In our discussions, his focus has struck me on how much he cares about supporting the Kurdish and Business communities, he believes in youth empowerment. He cares and advocates for the recruitment, advancement, and retention of the underrepresented.”
Moreover, AmCham Chairman Abouzeid announced that the U.S. Consul General Irvin Hicks Jr, accepted AmCham’s invitation to be an “Honorary Board member of the American Chamber of Commerce Kurdistan, and I look forward to working alongside of him and grasping all his great ideas to make AMCHAM Kurdistan a more incredible organization.”
AmCham Chairman Dori F. Abouzeid said that AmCham Kurdistan since its inception has been promoting business-to-business relationships between the U.S. and Kurdistan through various activities.
“Our determination to expand our activities is inspired by the friendly relationship between the U.S. and Kurdistan and our shared interests,” AmCham Chairman Abouzeid said.
Moreover, Abouzeid said that the current KRG cabinet, under the leadership of Kurdistan Region’s Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, is devoted to making tangible progress in sustainable development and economic diversification.
“We are also inspired by the opportunities presented by the KRG’s structural reforms,” he added.
“We, as AmCham Kurdistan, believe that the KRG’s economic vision for the future provides new commercial opportunities for American and Kurdish businesses to partner with each other.”
Moreover, AmCham Chairman Dori F. Abouzeid during the event said that he trusts that the U.S. Consul General Irvin Hicks Jr. “will take the comprehensive partnership between the U.S. and Kurdistan to a new level and bring benefits to both.”
“We hope that you enjoy your stay in Kurdistan and will always cherish the many successes we are sure to achieve here in Erbil.”
U.S. Consul General Irvin Hicks Jr. in his speech gave a special thanks to AmCham Kurdistan President Dori Abouzeid, President of the American Chamber of Commerce Kurdistan, as well members and board members of the AmCham board.
“Since my arrival in Hawler (Erbil) in August, I have been impressed by the opportunities I see to strengthen and deepen the U.S.-IKR (Kurdistan Region) relationship through expanded trade and investment.”
“One of the Consulate’s priorities is to promote economic partnerships between the American and IKR business communities. These partnerships help diversify the IKR economy; transfer technology, develop crucial know-how; and create inclusive, sustainable growth,” he underlined.
“I often say that the most effective social program is a job. Expanding our trade and investment will create the kind of high-quality jobs the people of the IKR need. To create the right conditions for this kind of economic transformation, we must work together to ensure the IKR’s investment climate is welcoming to foreign and domestic investors alike,” he added.
U.S. Consul General Hicks Jr. said that AmCham-Kurdistan plays a central role in this effort, and that the US Consulate Team in the Kurdistan Region is also here to support this goal.
“American Chambers are key U.S. partners worldwide, building business ties, representing the U.S. business community, and advancing shared values such as entrepreneurship, transparency, and commercial diplomacy.”
“AmCham Kurdistan will be most effective when it is membership-driven, providing value both to U.S. companies and IKR companies interested in pursuing business, and trade and investment opportunities,” he added.
Moreover, the U.S. Consul General Irvin Hicks Jr. said a strong and effective AmCham Kurdistan will advocate for good business practices that are focused on economic growth and shared prosperity.
“This partnership will include entrepreneurial mentorship to a new generation of business leaders who will discover and implement innovative solutions to the socio-economic challenges facing the IKR.”
Moreover, the U.S. Consul General Irvin Hicks Jr. revealed that there is a plan to establish a Kurdish-American Business Center (KABC) under AmCham’s leadership, which “would provide space, resources and leadership to American companies exploring business opportunities in the IKR.”
“It would also connect local businesses to American counterparts. I look forward to working with AmCham to make the KABC a reality and we have already started taking steps towards this goal,” he stated.
He also added that the US Consulate facilitated a video conference Thursday between the AmCham and the Nashville, Tennessee, Chamber of Commerce. “During this call, we explored how these two business advocacy organizations can work together to bolster U.S.-IKR trade and investment,” he added
Moreover, he said the U.S. Consulate General is also working with the AmCham to introduce its members to other U.S. government resources that promote trade and investment.
“Ideas include a virtual engagement with the U.S. Development Finance Corporation. We are also working to support a future U.S. trade mission to the IKR that would include members of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce,” he said.
The US Consulate and AmCham Kurdistan also thanked the sponsors of the event: Moonline Travel, Khoshnaw company for commercial Investments, Buffalo Wings, and Rings, Macair Flight Support and Tenet Group.
“This evening’s promotion of US-IKR commercial diplomacy would not be taking place without their generous support,” U.S. Consul General Hicks Jr. stated
Moreover, Minister of Transport and Communications Ano Abdoka, who represented Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, thanked AmCham Kurdistan for organizing the event and “for their continued dedication to facilitate trade and commerce between the U.S. and Kurdistan Region.”
“We appreciate the interest the (AmCham Kurdistan) has taken in Kurdistan. There is a lot to be done to strengthen our economy and even more opportunity for both local and foreign investors. The Kurdistan Region is open for business and is the gateway to the rest of Iraq,” he concluded.