On November 5-7, the Bilateral Chamber organized a multi-faceted business development mission for Iraqi Ambassador H.E. Lukman Faily during his inaugural visit to Houston, TX. The aim of this visit was to strengthen economic and cultural relationships between Houston and Iraq. The visit included the following briefings, site visits, and community events:
- Port of Houston
- Johnson Space Center – NASA
- Baker Hughes
- Iraqi Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) Fundraiser
- City of Houston- Meeting with Mayor Pro-Tem
- NRG Park & Stadium
- University of Houston Leadership Meeting & Student Townhall
In addition, the three day visit included a breakfast briefing on November 6, where H.E. Ambassador Faily gave a “sobering, yet hopeful” address to a gathering of more than 100 Bilateral chamber members and supporters.
The program began with a special address by Anthony Godfrey, Iraq Country Director from the U.S. Department of State. Mr. Godfrey provided his first hand insight into the current U.S. position regarding the political security and economic outlook between the U.S and Iraq, stressing the importance of continuing to support Iraq as it works to rebuild its infrastructure and move toward a stabilized democracy.
Ambassador Faily then took the stage and provided some very frank viewpoints on the current state of affairs across multiple fronts. He noted that the situation with ISIL has served as a ‘wake up call’ to both the public and private sector leadership across all regions in Iraq and will, hopefully, result in a stronger and more united Iraq in the end.
On economic relations, the Ambassador stressed the importance of U.S. businesses maintaining a long-term view and staying the course toward developing mutually beneficial partnerships with their in-country counterparts. He acknowledged that the road to building truly reciprocal relationships will not be easy, but in the end, is absolutely necessary for mutual success.
Overall, the Ambassador’s message was one of cautious optimism about the future. He strongly affirmed his personal and professional commitment to supporting bilateral cultural and trade relations with the U.S private sector and expressed his thanks to the business leaders that continue to join him in this commitment.
The Bilateral Chamber thanks its members, sponsors, supporters and participants for their involvement and for being part of the ongoing conversation as Iraq seeks to make strides on the path towards stabilization.
- For more information on H.E. Ambassador Faily, click here.
- For more information on Mr. Anthony Godfrey, click here.
- For more information on the Bilateral Chamber Ambassador Insight Series, click here.
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