Is there access to the Internet?
Since around 2001, the region has established access to the Internet. The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) has installed costly and thus, limited in quatity, satellite Internet systems in a number of government organisations and university colleges. The KRG replaced some outdated analog telephone exchanges with those incorporating modern digital technology. More recently, the KRG has establised an ISP (Internet Service Provider) in the city of Erbil that allows Internet access in any location with a telephone, including private homes, without restriction/censorship.
What type of banking system exist in the region?
Since 1992, The Kurdistan Regional Government has endeavoured to turn around the state controlled banking system into a loose network of financial institutions, engaging in normal banking activities; lending mostly to civil servants, taking deposits and paying out salaries on behalf of the Government. Saving accounts have been thriving since 1996. Currently, the Central Bank of Kurdistan doesn’t set interest rates, which are left to market forces. Kurdish people in the diaspora send a significant propotion of foreign currency into the Central Bank of Kurdistan. These fluctuating levels of foreign currency influence the level of interest rates. Bank to bank business is increasingly being computarised.
What are Iraqi Kurdistan main resources?
Iraqi Kurdistan is rich in natural resources. The rivers of Tigeris, Higher Zab, Lower Zab, Sirwan Zab, Khaboor, Khazir and tens of other smaller rivers rub along Kurdistan. This region has enormous sources of power, especially oil. Kurdistan also has ample reserves of iron, copper, zinc and other kinds of minerals. Agricultural lands are very fertile and Kurdistan produces about 50 percent of the amount of watch produced in Iraq; 40 percent of barley, 12 percent grain; 98 percent of tobacco; 30 percent of cotton and 50 percent of fruit.
How about social and cultural development?
Culture, media, sports and arts have been greatly enhanced trhough a policy of free press and media. Some 60 publications are issued monthly. Music, art exhibitions, theater and cinema have also advaced greatly.
How about municipal services?
The region is going through a succesful reconstruction programme to include: cleaning of major cities and towns, new drainage systems, water supplies, electricity generating resources, traffic signals, recreational parks, reforestation of burned out villages and areas, etc. The regeneration of the rural and semi-urban areas is subjected to a clear mission estalished by the region’s Ministry of Reconstruction & Development -” a regeneration that is culturally compatible, economically productive, and which protects and enhances our environment.
How is the security situation in the region?
For a over a decade, the area has not suffered any of the bombings or shootings seen elsewhere. Though there have been internal armed confilcts that may well have become a feature of the past. Today, the two main political parties are increasingly communicating and cooperating with each other. Resources are increasingly shared, and there is more collaboration on matters pertaining the public interests.
Kurdish security forces and police have been reconfigured and trained by high level experts. Police stations have been rebuilt. Police and traffic police are being provided with distinct uniforms and new equipment. Stability, tranquillity and security based upon the rule of law is a distinct achievement of the Kurdish Regional Government.
Crime in the region is remarkably low. Further, the region has remained free of the twin modern scourges of drug abuse and HIV-AIDs infection. Families travel freely and safely throughout the region. There are virtually no travel restrictions and all roads have become open to explore and enjoy the region’s great outdoors.
Does Iraqi Kurdistan region have an airport?
Erbil International Airport had its first commercial flight from London Heathrow in December 2003. Plans to open the airport are on the way. joy
What’s the general opinion on the Region’s business outlook?
“In my estimation, the business opportunity in Kurdistan is in many ways more attractive than China was in the early 1990s. What is needed are astute investors who can see an opportunity in its infancy and who can move quickly to take advantage of it before others do.” Lieutenant-Colonel Jim Bullion of the USA 404th Civil Affairs battalion “Foreign companies need to spend more time and see more of Kurdistan to know what is available and to be well informed of investment opportunities.” Business Representative – Shial Company, Erbil “The Kurds say they are undergoing an economic miracle…they are mounting a major public relations push to bring in big business from the outside world and show them the potential and – equally important – the security of the area which has not suffered any of the bombings or shootings seen elsewhere.” Reuters TOP NEWS 7-12-2003
How is Iraqi Kurdistan governed?
As a result of the de-facto separation from the rest of the country, elections were held in May 1992 and the Kurdistan National Assembly (KNA), the regional parliament, and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) were formed. Regional governmance has been based on a March 1970 autonomy agreement with the Iraqi government. The KNA has largely adopted the laws of Iraq. Four governorates (provinces) were established, each headed by a governor. A regional government headed by a prime minister with a cabinet of ministers was institued in the regional capital of Erbil.
Initially, with 5 to 105 parliamentary seats allocated to the minority Christian community, the two main regional political parties equally shared power, but this 50:50 arrangement proved unworkable. Today, Lesser Iraqi Kurdistan is governed in two parts, each by one of two main political parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Unio of Kurdistan (PUK). On 4 October 2002, the KNA reconvened after a hiatus of more than five years. Successful efforts are currently underway to better inegrate the two regional administrations.
Is Kurdistan democratic?
In order to encourage pluralism, the democratic process and to bring about a solid civil society, the Kurdistan regional government allocates a significant amount of the region’s budget to opposition parties, political organisations, social organisations and trade unions.
Where is Kurdistan?
Kurdistan is the northern part of Iraq which was annexed to the state of Iraq in 1926. It is in itself a part of the country of the Kurds called the Kurdistan which is divided between Turkey, Iran and Syria (in addition to Iraq). The area of Iraqi Kurdistan is about 83,000 square kilometers. Its population is about five million therefore, Iraqi Kurdistan is bigger, in terms of area and number of population, than states like Israel and Ireland, and all Arab Gulf Emirates.