The Kurdistan Region in Iraq continues to grow and strengthen economically and remains a prime opportunity for investors to find a profitable home in the Middle East, Qubad Talabani (pictured), the KRG’s Representative to the United States, told investors in Manhattan yesterday.
Addressing an audience at the 10th annual hedge fund symposium sponsored by Institutional Investor, Mr Talabani said, “The Kurdistan Region is the place where those seeking to invest – from some of our newest friends like the Koreans to neighbors like Turkey – find our new economy vibrant, promising and full of opportunity.”
Mr Talabani noted that while there has been significant progress, Kurds expect more progress and continued growth. “We have progressed beyond the humanitarian development of the 1990's and are now utilising our vast human and natural resources to take our economic development to a higher level.” he added.
While lauding the strengthened partnership between the KRG and US-based oil companies, Mr Talabani said, “I know that the US has more to offer than expertise in oil and gas. Kurds would like to see more Americans, from other sectors, particularly the financial services sector, partner with us as we develop our infrastructure.”
Mr Talabani informed the audience that energy production, tourism and IT services remain key opportunities for economic growth in Kurdistan. “Not only will our emerging private sector require IT services, but I strongly believe that Kurdistan -- with its unique geographic location, neighbouring Arabic, Persian and Turkish-speaking countries, and with its large and mostly young, multilingual and educated population -- can serve as an exciting hub for IT development and IT services in the future,” Mr Talabani said.
Highlighting the recent progress between the Federal and Regional governments regarding oil exports and payments, Mr Talabani urged investors to join in the Kurdistan Region’s economic growth. “2011 looms to be a year of change in the Middle East, and Kurdistan is way ahead of the game,” he said.