Fascinating Year for Kurdistan Region

By Chris Bowers, British Consul General in Erbil. This article was originally published by Rudaw, and is re-published with permission by Iraq Business News.

After months of waiting, we look to be in the final stages of government reshuffle. Around the world that is a time when the political system takes a deep breath, scans the horizon and looks at what needs doing.

The arrival of a new set of ministers in Iraqi Kurdistan gives civil servants the opportunity to come up with some new plans, changes of direction, new initiatives. New ministers will want to set out their new messages; a clear sense of strategic direction.

Any responsible government faces similar challenges: ensuring the security of its citizens, enhancing their prosperity and the efficiency of services. It sounds so simple!

The new cabinet will be building from a strong base. Security is good – excellent when compared to the rest of Iraq – the economy is growing at around 10% and the KRG should have more money to spend this year than last year. A lot of cabinets around the world would be delighted to inherit that. More than that, the new cabinet will inherit a political mood of optimism and a recognition that society is going through radical and dynamic change – the bulk of it for the good. There is a mood of opportunity in the Kurdistan Region’s cities: the realization that the Region having been held back for so many decades is on the verge of doing something special. That is a valuable political commodity.

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