The Kurdistan Region imported nearly 10,000 Kg of gold in the first six months of this year, nine times more than last year, a source at the Region’s Jewelry Control Directorate told AKnews.
Ismael Sabir, the technical administrator in Kurdistan Region's Jewelry Control Directorate, said that 9, 449 Kg of gold were traded in the Region in the first six months of 2010.
The imported amount of gold is worth over $345 million [400 billion Iraqi dinars] reflecting the high demand on jewelry in Kurdistan, said Sabir.
While 1,000 Kg of gold was imported to the Region, after quality inspections only 982 Kg were allowed to enter the local market in 2009.
“The rise in gold imports is due to the safety and stability in Kurdistan, the growing demands among the region’s residents, and the fact that the Regional Government promotes businesses,” he said
Corresponding to the increase in gold demand, the number of the jewelry stores has risen to 1, 200 this year.
The goldsmiths and jewelers say that 80 percent of their customers are the newly-wedded youth who purchase gold prior to their marriage as ornamentation.
Kurdish customers show greater interest in gold jewelry from Turkey and the Gulf region because of their higher artistic value and craftsmanship, said a jewelry store owner in Erbil.
Bakir Barzinji, a local jeweler said one kilogram of 24-carat gold is sold at nearly $38,000 while the price for the same amount of 21-carat gold – more common in Kurdistan – is around $33,000.
Since the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003, Kurdistan has undergone a major economic boom attracting billions of dollars in foreign investment.
(Source: AK News)