Tag Archive | "Kurdistan"

The latest news from Kurdistan – security updates, reconstruction and more – brought to you by Iraq Business News

World Bank, KRG Partner to Promote Equity

The World Bank Group and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)-Iraq, have launched a social protection program of support to promote equity in living standards and reduce vulnerability.

The program is aligned with the government’s efforts to develop a comprehensive social protection system and contributes to the goals of KRGs Vision 2020 of “freedom, health, welfare, economic security and opportunity for people.”

Today’s launch of the technical cooperation program which follows the signing of four technical assistance activities between the World Bank Group and the Kurdistan Regional Government-Iraq (KRG) in November 2014, was held under the auspices of KRG Minister of Planning Ali Sindi.

The event was attended by government officials, civil society representatives, parliamentarians, and development and international organizations experts.

“We are pleased to have the experience of the World Bank Group to enhance social protection systems in the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq,” said Minister Sindi. “The World Bank will support KRG to meet objectives set out in in Vision 2020, which starts with ‘Putting People First’ as the initial chapter.”

Discussions revolved around the different phases of the program including scope, objectives, timeframe and implementation. Global and regional trends in social protection were highlighted and emphasis was placed on how they relate to the local context of social protection systems in KRG.

“The World Bank is supporting the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq in its overall socio-economic development,” said Robert Bou Jaoude, World Bank Special Representative for Iraq. “Social protection programs are a critical element in building resilience so that people are better equipped to face shocks and crisis.”

Posted in Employment, Industry & Trade, PoliticsComments (0)

UK Hails Courage of Peshmerga

In the context of his visit to Britain, Minister Falah Mustafa, the Head of KRG Foreign Relations met with Tobias Ellwood, Middle East Minister at the Foreign Office, and during their meeting both sides discussed the current situation in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq and the threats of the terrorist organization of Daesh.

The Head of KRG Foreign Relations pointed to the victories of the Kurdistan Peshmerga forces, he said, “however, the Daesh terrorists threat has a constant influence on the situation and we should unite and harness our capabilities to eliminate these terrorists,” also said:

“The elimination of Daesh should be our goal in this war , not to resist or weaken them, for being a tireless threat to all the world, and, if it is not eliminated entirely, their threats will be more day-to-day and they will intensify their attacks on the region and the world.”

He added: “In order to achieve this goal, the Peshmerga forces should be provided with the heavy weapons and further training, to be able to direct effective blows to the terrorists. With regard to the liberation of the city of Mosul, Minister Falah Mustafa noted that the Peshmerga forces can play a significant role in this process, but on the Iraqi side the private component of the Sunni should have a major role and there should be more preparations for it.”

Minister Falah Mustafa ruled out the possibility of eliminating Daesh by military means only, but by cutting off supplies of financial and economic sources also ideological, and added that the Iraqi government must work not to marginalize the Sunni component. They should have a role in the political process in Iraq.

On the other hand he expressed the resentment for the government and the people of Kurdistan regarding the non-participation of the Kurds in the international anti Daesh coalition Conference held recently in London. He said; you must take into consideration the role of political leadership and the Kurdistan Peshmerga in the war against Daesh and change the balance of power, because the Peshmerga was able to defeat these terrorists and weaken their power.

Posted in SecurityComments (0)

Abadi “Tried to Block Turkey/KRG Deal”

By John Lee.

BasNews reports that Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi secretly tried to block the Turkish government’s deal to lend $500 million [583 billion Iraqi dinars] to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).

According to sources, Abadi made the request to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a telephone call.

A later request to Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was also turned down.

(Source: BasNews)

Posted in PoliticsComments (6)

GKP Shares Rocket on Possible Takeover

By John Lee.

Shares in Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP),  operator of the Shaikan field (pictured) in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, jumped 65 percent on Wednesday after the company announced that it has recently engaged in discussions with a number of parties in relation to possible asset transactions or a sale of the company.

GKP advised that these discussions are preliminary and, as such, there can be no certainty that any offers will be received and any transaction concluded, or any certainty as to the terms on which any offer might be made. Further announcements will be made by the company as and when appropriate.

As at today’s date, the Company’s cash balance is US$69.3 million and it has been informed that a further US$26 million gross payment (US$20.8 million net to Gulf Keystone) for Shaikan crude oil sales has been received by the Company’s bank and is expected to be credited to the Company’s account shortly.

Concurrently, and in view of strategic discussions and its current liquidity position, and with the intention of meeting its existing debt payment obligations, the Company is undertaking a review of its financing options and in that context will engage in discussions with its key stakeholders.

The Company has appointed Deutsche Bank and Perella Weinberg Partners as financial advisers.

(Sources: GKP, Yahoo!)

Posted in Oil & GasComments (7)

Turkey Agrees Loan for KRG

By John Lee.

Turkey has agreed to provide a $500-million [600 billion Iraqi dinar] loan to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to help pay the wages of state officials.

According to a report from Daily Sabah, the loan will be repaid by either being set off from Turkey’s crude oil debts or being repaid directly by the KRG.

KRG Minister of Finance and Economy Rebaz Muhammed Hamlan (pictured) said that the loan had reached Erbil, but added that it is not suffient to cover the wages of public workers and state officials; the government will have to export more crude oil to obtain the cash it needs.

(Source: Daily Sabah)

Posted in Banking & Finance, Oil & Gas, PoliticsComments (6)

PM Barzani “Fully Committed to Baghdad Agreement”

Kurdistan Region Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani told the press that Kurdistan Regional Government is committed to the agreement reached between Erbil and Baghdad last December on oil export and Kurdistan Region’s share in the 2015 federal budget.

In a meeting held yesterday with representatives of media outlets in Kurdistan Region, Prime Minister Barzani highlighted the technical and political problems and obstacles which stood as impediments to the implementation of the budget law.

Prime Minister Barzani stated that the KRG will exert all its efforts to overcome the problems and obstacles that hamper the implementation of the agreement, adding that the Kurdistan Region’s priority is to resolve the outstanding issues with the federal government and the implementation of 2015 budget law. This is in the interest of the Kurdistan Region and the rest of Iraq.

Prime Minister Barzani said, however, if the Iraqi government was not to honour the agreement, the Kurdistan Region will have no other options but to look elsewhere for solutions. He reaffirmed that the Kurdistan Region has so far honoured its obligations towards Baghdad.

Regarding the Kurdistan Region’s oil policy, the Prime Minister stressed that it is in line with Iraqi federal constitution and that the Kurdistan Region will use all its constitutional rights regarding the oil sector and will not waive its constitutional rights.

Posted in Oil & GasComments (8)

KRG and Turkey Discuss Latest Developments

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday received in Ankara Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani and his delegation.

The two sides discussed the latest developments in the region, the war against the Islamic State terrorist organisation, ISIS and the role of Kurdistan Peshmerga Forces.

They also discussed the agreement reached last December between Kurdistan Regional Government and the federal Iraqi government on oil export and budgetary issues.

Bilateral relations between the Kurdistan Region and the Republic of Turkey were among the topics discussed in the meeting. They two sides stressed the importance of pursuing cooperation in the fields of energy and trade as well as other areas of mutual interests.

Prime Minister Barzani also stressed the importance of the peace process and the resolution of the Kurdish issue in Turkey, saying that the Kurdistan Regional Government is ready to take any steps needed to ensure its success. He added that the peace process will bring progress, reconstruction and stability to the region.

In his visit to Turkey, Prime Minister Barzani was accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister, Qubad Talabani, Minister of Natural Resources, Ashti Hawrami, Minister of Planning, Ali Sindi and Minister of Finance and Economy, Rebaz Muhammad.

(Source: KRG)

Posted in Industry & Trade, Oil & Gas, SecurityComments (0)

NI Firm Wins First Business in Kurdistan

Northern Ireland-based Lignum Interiors, a joinery business specialising in bespoke furniture particularly for high-end hotels, has recently secured a six figure contract in Northern Iraq.

The company is fitting out a luxury apartment complex in Northern Iraq and secured the deal with advice and networking assistance from Invest Northern Ireland. This support helped the company to compete in this developing marketplace.

Lignum Interiors is working in association with leading international architects on the important project, the Northern Ireland company’s first in the Middle East.

Dr Vicky Kell, Invest NI Trade Director, during a visit to the company’s manufacturing operation on the outskirts of Downpatrick, said:

This is a very significant and substantial contract which will help to strengthen Lignum Interior’s position in this particular region of Iraq and, of course, the wider Middle East marketplace. Our marketing teams in Belfast and Dubai assisted the company with advice and very practical support on doing business especially in this area.

“We identified market opportunities in this region of the Middle East around five years ago and have been supported by the Ministers in fostering trade and other exchanges with the local regional authority. Leaders from Northern Iraq have also visited Northern Ireland for discussions on areas of mutual benefit.

Lignum Interiors was founded by Ciaran McMenamin and Simon McAllister. Mr McMenamin said:

The contract at the complex is exceptionally important for us at this stage in our development as an internationally focused supplier of bespoke joinery services.

“We secured the business on the back of the successful completion of contracts, particularly in the US, for a leading architectural practice. Their office in the Middle East approached us to work with them on the design, manufacture and installation of furnishings for the luxury apartment complex.

“It’s an immensely prestigious complex that along with bespoke items of furniture and joinery work has involved extensive glass and marble features. There will be benefits for another local company, Lamont Stone, which will supply the marble.

“Invest NI’s guidance on business procedures and contacts in the region were extremely important and helped overcome initial reservations about operating in this part of the world. There are huge opportunities there for our expertise and we now have the confidence and knowledge to exploit these.

(Source: Invest NI)

Posted in Construction & EngineeringComments (7)

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