Dara Jalil Khayat, Chairman of the Kurdistan Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry said, “Despite the recent challenges, Kurdistan Region has preserved its economic and trade position. The Kurdistan Region has become an important centre for trade in Iraq and the overall region thanks to its security and stability.”
Dara Khayat told KRG.org that withholding the Kurdistan Region’s share from the federal budget by the former Iraqi government and the terrorist threats “were the two main challenges for Kurdistan Region. These challenges have pushed Kurdistan Region to resort to other plans to protect its trade and economy, taking advantage of its prevailing security and political stability and an active private sector.”
The Government’s support for the investment amid such circumstances "was the best response; and the presence of local investment in active economic sectors has considerably saved the Kurdistan Region’s markets from stagnation and reduced the loss compared to the rest of Iraq"
Due to the recent events in both Iraq and Kurdistan Region, marked by the threats of the Islamic State's terrorist organisation, known as ISIS and withholding Kurdistan Region’s share from the federal budget and failure in paying the civil servants salaries by Baghdad, the Kurdistan Region has faced an economic crisis where the implementation of a large number of projects were suspended.
Dara Khayat considered the agreement reached between KRG and Baghdad as a significant development, which will pave the way for resuming economic activities.
He said that this would lead both Iraq and Kurdistan Region to have a solid presence in the international oil market, despite the fact that oil price has sharply fallen. Mr. Khayat added that "it is expected that Iraq’s oil income will reach over $300 billion in the next five to six years."
Dara Khayat stressed the need for holding trade and economic forums particularly with the countries with solid investment capacity. He said the recent agreements that the Kurdistan Region has signed with Belarus and Hungary have "marked an important initiative towards further similar important steps in the future."