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Kurdistan Economy

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Re: Kurdistan Economy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Nov 01, 2023 8:55 pm

Kurdish wheat farmers

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources has informed farmers in the Kurdistan Region that they must complete new information forms within 45 days in order to receive financial compensation from the Iraqi government for the pending sale of their harvest

This KRG effort is aimed at addressing the issue of marketing and receiving wheat from farmers within the framework of the Kurdish region’s annual receipt plan, in coordination with Iraqi trade officials.

The Kurdish agriculture ministry, in collaboration with farmers' unions and village councils, forms field committees that visit farmers' lands and record information.

Once received, the Kurdish wheat is milled into flour by Iraqi trade and agriculture ministries, whereafter is it used as part of the federal Public Distribution System (PDS), a subsidy program that provides monthly rations of wheat flour, rice, sugar and vegetable oil to qualified citizens.

On July 16, KRG Spokesperson Peshawa Hawramani announced that all wheat from Kurdistan Region farmers was received in silos on the order of Prime Minister Masrour Barzani.

The Kurdistan Agriculture Export Initiative, launched in 2022, is central to the KRG’s progressive reform agenda to diversify the economy and boost the agricultural sector of the Kurdish region.

Under this initiative, for the first time in the Kurdistan Region’s history, pomegranates and potatoes were exported to Gulf markets, with future plans for figs, grapes, and apples to be exported as well.

Iraq is a net food import country that heavily relies on other countries to feed its population. With the exception of Kurdish wheat in the north, the country almost exclusively imports its wheat, a problematic situation that has been exacerbated by the Russo-Ukrainian War, involving two countries that provide more than a quarter of the global wheat supply, according to a Dec. 2022 United Nations report.

https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/story/33 ... to-Baghdad
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Re: Kurdistan Economy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Nov 05, 2023 9:31 pm

KRG to Export Apples to UAE

Apples from the Kurdistan Region's Kani Mase district in Duhok province are set to be exported to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the near future, a Kurdish official said on Sunday

As the apple season nears its conclusion, apples suitable for export are now housed in warehouses, with only the packaging process remaining. "The rest will be used for other items, and once the process is completed, we will export directly," Ahmad Jamil, the Director of Agriculture in Duhok, told Kurdistan 24.

This move comes as part of the Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) ninth cabinet's extensive focus on the agricultural sector. The KRG has been working to transition from an import-heavy approach to an export-oriented one. The move is expected to involve diplomatic efforts to open export routes for Kurdistan's products to foreign markets, boosting domestic production.

Earlier in January, Jalil Salihi, the supervisor of the pomegranate export project in the prime minister's office, highlighted that the upcoming strategy will include the establishment of an institution for agricultural products. This institution will facilitate the export of Kurdish agricultural goods to the Gulf countries, European Union, and the UK.

The official noted at the time that other than pomegranates, the KRG was also gearing up to export apples, grapes, and honey. Plans are in motion to further support farmers and streamline the process of exporting their produce to international markets.

https://www.basnews.com/en/babat/829239
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Re: Kurdistan Economy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Nov 09, 2023 9:27 am

Pomegranates to European Markets

Kurdistan Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources on Wednesday announced the export of 100 tons of domestic pomegranates to European markets, marking the first stage of exports, with plans for further shipments

The Ministry said in a statement that local pomegranate products from Zakho and Halabja were meticulously packaged into special boxes and sent to French and British markets. The initial phase involved shipping 100 tons, with projections to export over 1,000 tons of pomegranates to the European Union.

In the previous year, the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources exported 2,000 tons of pomegranates to the Gulf Arab countries, indicating a growing demand for Kurdistan Region's agricultural produce in various international markets.

Hiwa Ali, a spokesperson for the Ministry, explained to BasNews that the Kurdistan Region's pomegranates, along with other products, are highly sought after in both Arab countries and Europe.

Delegations frequently visit to obtain product samples and establish production, storage, and export conditions. Once these requirements are met, exports are initiated. The key agricultural products currently being harvested and prepared for export include honey, apples, and grapes.

https://www.basnews.com/en/babat/829599
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Re: Kurdistan Economy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Nov 14, 2023 1:00 am

Water and Infrastructure Projects

The Governor of Erbil, Omed Khoshnaw, was received by Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ al-Sudani in Baghdad on Monday, discussing Baghdad’s support for a number of infrastructure projects in Erbil

The meeting primarily focused on service projects in Erbil province. Khoshnaw addressed concerns about climate change, emphasizing its impact on Erbil, including water shortage problems and groundwater depletion. He highlighted various projects submitted to the Presidency of the Federal Council of Ministers to address these issues.

The Governor briefed Prime Minister Sudani on a recent visit to Saudi Arabia, where Erbil officials discussed the initiation of the fourth sewerage line project. This strategic project aims to significantly alleviate water scarcity in Erbil. Khoshnaw noted that Saudi Arabia has agreed to provide a loan for the project, with all procedures completed, awaiting the prime minister's consent.

During the meeting, Sudani expressed his respect for Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani and assured full support, cooperation, and facilitation to address the mentioned challenges. The Iraqi premier pledged to assist in finding solutions to the pressing issues raised by Governor Khoshnaw.

Khoshnaw, leading a delegation, arrived in Baghdad on Monday with a proposal for several Erbil projects totaling 14 billion dinars. During a news conference, he highlighted the ongoing efforts to address Erbil's crucial water and infrastructure needs, seeking collaboration and support from the Iraqi government. The meeting between Erbil officials and Prime Minister Sudani marks a step toward addressing these pressing challenges.

https://www.basnews.com/en/babat/830137
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Re: Kurdistan Economy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Nov 19, 2023 1:43 pm

Govt's Development Projects

Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Sunday called on all political parties in the Region to stand behind the government so that they can deliver on their promise of better and moder public services

"In order to develop the economic sector, we need to connect markets in the Kurdistan Region. And this is viable when we have good roads to ease travel and reduce travel duration," the Kurdish leader said during remarks he made in Zakho while laying the foundation stone for an industrial complex and a recycling factory.

In recent years, we have worked on this aspect of the economy. We now have modern roads connecting cities and towns in the Kurdistan Region."

On the recycling factory, the prime minister stressed that the plant is designed to create good paying jobs and contribute to ongoing efforts to protect the environment.

He also urged all political parties in the Kurdistan Region as well as friends and allies to support the development agenda of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to deliver better public services.

https://www.basnews.com/en/babat/830728
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Re: Kurdistan Economy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Nov 26, 2023 1:01 pm

KRG / Baghdad Budget Talks

A high-level delegation from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is due to visit Baghdad on Monday to meet with federal authorities on budget issues

The KRG delegation will be led by the head of the Diwan, Omed Sabah, Kurdistan 24 reported today.

They will be meeting with Iraq's Prime Minister Mohammed Shia' al-Sudani to push for lasting solutions to outstanding problems between Erbil and Baghdad, including to Kurdistan's financial entitlements and necessary amendments to the budget law to ensure a smooth budget flow to the Region.

Recently, Erbil has encountered difficulties in ensuring timely salary payments to its civil servants due to Baghdad persistently violating the Iraqi constitution and financial entitlements of the people of the Kurdistan Region.

The Kurdistan Region is seeking enduring solutions to address these ongoing issues in its relationship with Baghdad within the framework of the country's constitution and standing agreements between the two.

https://www.basnews.com/en/babat/831452
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Re: Kurdistan Economy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Nov 29, 2023 1:22 am

Japan’s rich experience

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Region could benefit from Japan’s experience and success story, as the nations share a similar history of war and destruction as well as resilience, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani said

The premier on Tuesday morning in Erbil attended an event, highlighting the projects of Japan’s flagship development agency JICA – standing for Japan International Cooperation Agency.

Describing Japan as “one of the biggest and most modern countries in the world,” Barzani said the Asian country’s “successful experience” is worth taking lessons from in the Kurdistan Region, particularly in investing in human capital and educating a new generation on innovation, respecting time, love for the homeland, protecting national identity.

The premier said both nations have gone through wars, destructions, and conflicts, adding Japan emerged as a modern country following the Second World War only through the power of “human capital”.

Barzani extended his gratitude to the people and government of Japan as well as JICA which had helped the Kurdistan Region in various sectors, particularly in water and sewage projects, electricity, and agriculture.

The Asian development agency has also provided capacity-building training for KRG employees in various sectors. The premier hoped that the public servants who had been trained by JICA to use the gained skills in developing the Kurdistan Region.

"I hope the cooperation [between Japan and Kurdistan Region] to expand, so it can support the comprehensive reform program that we have embarked on," Barzani said.

https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/story/33 ... PM-Barzani
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Re: Kurdistan Economy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Nov 29, 2023 1:25 am

Construction of Duhok Airport

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The construction of Duhok International Airport has resumed after an indefinite halt, according to a statement from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)

The airport is to be built on about 1,000 hectares of land

Duhok Governor Ali Tatar said, "The old design of the Duhok International Airport, which was previously installed, has been changed on the orders of Prime Minister Masrour Barzani and a new design has been installed."

The Ministry of Transport and Communications will implement the construction of the airport in two phases.

Dilan Rashad, spokesman for the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, said: "The project will go through two phases, the first phase is to review the master plan and design of the project, and the second phase will involve constructing the airport, [...] which costs $12.8 million.

In the past, work on the Duhok International Airport project has been intermittently halted due to financial crises. However, in Sep. 2021, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani visited the site and said: "Work on the project should be resumed."

Initially conceived in 2012, oversight of the airport's construction has often been redelegated and stuck in a quagmire, with Lebanese and Korean companies unable to come to terms with KRG leadership on the direction of the project.

Duhok is the second-largest province in the Kurdish region and has a population of over 1.2 million. The province is known for its mountainous scenery and ancient archaeological sites.

https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/story/33 ... rt-resumes
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Re: Kurdistan Economy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Nov 29, 2023 11:48 pm

Kurdistan to Export Honey Abroad

Kurdistan Prime Minister Masrour Barzani unveiled plans to export the region's honey to international markets in a video released on Wednesday. Building on the success of exporting pomegranates and potatoes, the Prime Minister personally supervised the honey export process, anticipating entry into markets in Canada and Europe

Prime Minister Barzani emphasized the region's commitment to diversifying the economy and supporting agriculture, recognizing the superior quality of Kurdistan honey. The ninth cabinet's vision involves reducing dependence on oil revenues and actively engaging the private sector to enhance the export process within the Kurdistan Region.

    After rigorous testing in UAE laboratories, Kurdistan honey has earned global recognition for its exceptional quality. With a 2022 production nearing 1,100 tons, efforts are underway to meet external demand, aligning with the ninth cabinet's goals to further diversify the region's economy and decrease reliance on oil revenues
Collaborations with local private sector companies are driving marketing initiatives for Kurdistan honey. Major purchasers, including Carrefour-Iraq, Talabat Iraq, and international buyers like Qatar, have already made substantial commitments. Ongoing discussions with the UAE and Jordan indicate a sustained interest in receiving Kurdistan honey exports.

Razgar Hamad, an advisor in the Ministry of Agriculture, underscored Kurdistan honey's triumph in international competitions, particularly in France, Italy, Greece, and Saudi Arabia. The honey's exceptional quality, characterized by its color, aroma, taste, and low sugar content below world standards, positions Kurdistan favorably for future expansion into global markets. Continuous efforts are underway to broaden export reach into additional European countries.

https://www.basnews.com/en/babat/831853
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Re: Kurdistan Economy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Nov 29, 2023 11:54 pm

Kurdistan Honey Export to Qatar

In a move aimed at diversifying its economy, supporting local farmers, and bolstering the private sector, the Kurdistan Government (KRG) has commenced the export of high-quality honey to Qatar

Two tons of this golden produce arrived in Doha on Wednesday, November 29, marking a pivotal step in realizing the objectives outlined by the ninth cabinet of the Kurdistan Regional Government.

The export initiative, under the direct supervision of Prime Minister Masrour Barzani and with the support of the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, the Prime Minister's Office, and the private sector, involves over 200 beekeepers.

This endeavor is expected to generate around 100 jobs and foster new relationships with vendors and markets not only in Qatar but across the Gulf region.

The honey, originating from various regions within the Kurdistan Region, has already seen success in the local markets of Kurdistan and Iraq. The availability of this high-quality honey in local markets next month is anticipated to provide a boost to Kurdistan's beekeeping community.

Prime Minister Barzani, expressing his satisfaction with the venture, emphasized the importance of economic diversification, farmer support, and private sector strengthening. In a Facebook post, he affirmed, "Economic diversification, supporting farmers, and strengthening the private sector are the promises we will fulfill."

He also highlighted the significance of honey as a national product and celebrated the successful export of more than two tons of honey to Qatar by air. Acknowledging the substantial participation of over 200 beekeepers in this export campaign, he reiterated the KRG's commitment to finding domestic markets within the Kurdistan Region and Iraq.

This milestone in honey export not only signifies economic growth for the Kurdistan Region but also establishes a foundation for future exports and trade opportunities between the Kurdistan Region and Gulf countries.

https://www.basnews.com/en/babat/831863
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Re: Kurdistan Economy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Dec 02, 2023 12:44 am

Kurdistan's eight million tourists

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Regional Government's (KRG) Board of Tourism is preparing for a busy winter tourism season, anticipating a greater number of tourists during the season in 2023-2024

Sirwan Tofiq, the marketing manager at the Board, gave a presentation to the Department of Media and Information regarding its efforts to attract winter tourists to destinations such as Gara Mountain, Penjwen, Korek, Pirzha, and Sakran, which are renowned for their skiing and paragliding opportunities.

As a result of these efforts, the total number of tourists is on pace to reach eight million in 2023, with even higher numbers expected in future years. If predicted accurately, that figure would account for 2 million tourists more than the 6 million that visited in 2022.

By the end of Aug. 2023, approximately five million summer tourists, 25% of whom were foreigners, had visited the Kurdish region’s tourist attractions. The government plans to further boost tourism, aiming for 20 million tourists by 2030.

The relative security and stability of the Region are generally cited as the primary factors of the booming Kurdish tourism sector.

In addition to the holiday season, thousands of domestic tourists from across Iraq visit the northern Kurdistan Region, known for its mountain resorts and relatively cool temperatures, to escape the scorching summer heat weather in southern Iraq.

The KRG has proposed plans to further boost the tourism sector as an alternative to diversify its overreliance on hydrocarbon revenues.

Earlier in 2023, the government launched an electronic visa application system as part of its goal to facilitate investment and tourist traffic into the Kurdish region.

https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/story/33 ... ts-in-2023
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Re: Kurdistan Economy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Dec 04, 2023 1:04 pm

Kurdistan’s green future

The United Nations Climate Change Conference, more commonly known as COP28, held in Dubai this year, is not only important for advanced and developing economies but also for Kurdistan

For the Kurdistan Government (KRG), which has built its economic foundation on developing fossil fuels, especially crude oil and natural gas, COP28 is of paramount importance.

Despite a temporary halt in the KRG's oil exports, the Region continues to produce around 250 bpd (barrels per day) for internal use. If exports resume, oil production could experience a substantial increase.

It must be noted that the Kurdistan Region is part of a federal country which is heavily reliant on oil, with 90 percent of its revenue deriving from international oil exports. The climate goals set at COP21, held in Paris in 2015, have already influenced investments in the Kurdistan Region's most valuable asset - oil.

The goals outlined in COP21 aim to reduce carbon emissions to a defined level, controlling Earth's temperature below 2.0 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. This has led the Kurdistan Region to reconsider its oil-centric economy and transition towards a more environmentally friendly model.

While this shift presents challenges, the Region, as a developing entity, can leverage opportunities and green investment initiatives discussed at COP28 by taking a proactive stance in the discussions.

Until recently, the primary income for the KRG came from the direct sale of crude oil in the international market. Even if the KRG receives its full budget share from Baghdad, it is obligated to produce 400 bpd, requiring continuous investment in the sector.

Operating oil and gas fields has become increasingly difficult due to environmental concerns, and adherence to environmental standards will raise operational costs. On the sidelines of COP28, 50 oil companies, representing nearly half of global production, pledged to achieve near-zero methane emissions and end routine flaring in their operations by 2030, indicating a more restrictive future for the oil and gas sector.

Kurdistan Region's oil and gas producers, like their international counterparts, must address emissions through various measures, including methane emission reduction, eliminating non-emergency flaring, electrifying facilities with low-emission electricity, implementing carbon capture technologies, and incorporating low-emission hydrogen in refineries.

These solutions require substantial additional investment. Therefore, the Kurdistan Region, after resolving issues with Baghdad, must focus on a new framework for optimizing oil and gas operations in an environmentally acceptable way, aligning with global standards and recommendations.

As emphasized by French President Emmanuel Macron at COP28, renewable energy production alone is insufficient to meet global energy demand and transition away from fossil fuel production.

Kurdistan Region's policymakers should prioritize maintaining fossil fuel production while facilitating renewable energy projects for the private sector, outlining clear guidelines and incentives in its long-term economic interest.

Shifting subsidies from fossil fuels to renewable energy, providing tax and tariff exceptions for companies importing new technologies in renewable energy, can rapidly transform the investment landscape in Kurdistan.

While the KRG may currently appear financially fragile, it can explore two potential sources for financing green projects - local sources through Iraqi central banks, private banks, and Iraqi federal government green promotions, and international sources announced at COP28.

Regarding local financing, the announcment Iraq's Minister of Environment, Nazar Amedi, at the Arab ministerial meeting in COP28 was very important. Amedi said that Iraq is opening up to green economy investments aimed to be worth up to $100 billion by 2030 and 2035.

The Kurdistan Region can formally request funding from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), especially for solar energy and advanced green hydrogen projects, considering the close and strategic alliance between the two.

The UAE said on Friday that it was launching a new $30 billion private investment fund focused on climate projects in developing countries. The oil-rich host of the crucial UN COP28 climate negotiations said it hoped the fund, called Alterra, would leverage $250 billion in investment by 2030.

Additionally, the World Bank, announcing an increase in annual spending on climate-related projects, offers another funding source. Kurdistan can produce green energy and sell it as carbon credits through the World Bank mechanism.

Furthermore, the KRG can seek funds from the US and other capable G7 members, leveraging its close alliances. For example, Kurdish leaders are known to have good relations with John Kerry, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, who has a flexible mechanism for funding green projects via US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) .

With the world's focus shifting towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions, it is time for the KRG to engage in negotiations with its allies to fund precisely defined and valuable green projects while enhancing the environmental efficiency and acceptability of its oil industry based on new global standards.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/opinion/04122023

Omer Ahmed is the Editor-in-Chief of Rudaw Media Network's Economy Desk
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Re: Kurdistan Economy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Dec 04, 2023 6:56 pm

Resumption of Industrial Work

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Erbil Governor Omed Khoshnaw and Chairman of the Kurdistan Board of Investment Dr. Mohammed Shukri chaired a meeting on Monday to follow up on the steps to provide more services to the Tiemar Industrial Zone, according to a statement from the Erbil Governorate

In the statement, the governor noted that the steps taken to provide services to the industrial site were on the recommendation of Kurdistan Region Prime Minister Masrour Barzani.

Notably, the site had been shut down since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The meeting’s attendees also discussed in detail the importance of the industrial sector and the need to “encourage entrepreneurs to invest in the Kurdistan Region.”

Lastly, the attendees discussed the urgency of abiding by international standards, particularly in preventing the emission of pollutants from factories. This remark comes as the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) recently outlawed gas flaring from industrial sites, claiming that a daily 150 million cubic feet of flared gas was eliminated after the law was passed.

Tiemar Industrial Zone covers an area of ​​3,678 acres of land and is one of the largest sites of its kind in the region. The factories are a critical source of job opportunities in the Kurdish region.

The Investment Board further strives to invite investors to show them the potential of these zones.

The Board has also provided procedures for attracting international investors, paving the way for the government to study potential offers.

Optimism in investments come with caution, however, as it was not too long ago when the emergence of ISIS in 2014 caused the Kurdish real estate market to burst.

Security in the Kurdish region, while historically strong, has perpetually been linked with the dangers of Iraq, something Kurdish leadership has struggled to disassociate itself from.

https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/story/33 ... l-Governor

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Re: Kurdistan Economy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Dec 05, 2023 9:57 pm

BCF Aids IDPs in Duhok

The Kurdish Barzani Charity Foundation (BCF) has distributed humanitarian assistance to internally displaced persons (IDPs) with special needs at Dumiz 2 camp in Duhok province

In a collaborative endeavor with the ILC Foundation, the BCF distributed blankets to IDPs at Dumiz 2 camp, where 96 IDPs with special needs benefited from the humanitarian effort, the charity group said in a statement on Monday.

Based in the Kurdistan Region, the BCF plays a crucial role as a local and regional charity organization. Its primary mission is to provide financial assistance to disadvantaged families and deliver humanitarian aid to those dealing with the aftermath of natural disasters and conflicts.

Additionally, the charity plays a vital role in aiding IDPs by supplying essential resources such as tents, blankets, medical supplies, educational materials, food packages, financial aid, and other necessary provisions.

    Last week, the BCF donated 1,000 cartons of essential medicines to the Rizgari emergency hospital in Erbil
Recently, the charity group also sent 14 tons of medicines and medical equipment, along with 2,500 food baskets, 200 health baskets, and 200 cartons of clothing to the people of Gaza following the announcement of a temporary truce between the warring sides.

https://www.basnews.com/en/babat/832465
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Re: Kurdistan Economy

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Dec 08, 2023 8:54 pm

200 British companies in Kurdistan

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Mohammed Shukri, the Chairman of the Kurdistan Board of Investment, on Friday told Kurdistan 24 on the sidelines of the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) in Dubai that it is crucial the Kurdistan Region continues to participate in the IBBC meetings

The Chairman said that Kurds are currently included among the Iraqi representation in the conferences, panels, and meetings, but that there should be more Kurdish entrepreneurs. It is an “opportunity to further introduce the Kurdistan Region abroad,” especially in investment.

Shukri added that the second day of meetings of the Council focused on several topics: agriculture, the manufacturing industry, banking oppression, trade-in dinars, and dollars, as well as facilities for implementing investment projects.

“Among the main topics to be discussed are the MyAccount Initiative and the regulation of the market and banks, which is the initiative of Prime Minister Masrour Barzani,” he added.

In his speech, Shukri revealed that about 200 British companies, along with 3,300 other international companies, currently work in the Kurdistan Region, in the sectors of education, food, transportation, health care, industry, oil, and gas.

Earlier in November, the UK’s Nadhim Zahawi gave a speech in length at the Middle East Peace and Security Forum (MEPS) in Duhok, where he spoke about British-Kurdish economic ties, including an urgent need for Kurds to diversify their economy.

    “I think the KRG, with a prime minister completely enlightened and committed to diversifying and modernizing his economy, is an excellent candidate to become a leader in that field,” Zahawi revealed
Moreover, former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson also gave a speech at the MEPS23 Forum, where he noted that trade between the UK and the Kurdistan Region is increasing by "83% year-on-year. One company in Halabja alone last year exported 22 tons to the United Kingdom.”

https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/story/33 ... Board-head
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