Monday, December 11, 2006
Fancy a holiday in Iraq?
Nimrud Baito, Minister of Tourism,KRG
By Yo Takatsuki
Business reporter, BBC World Service, Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan
Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan’s biggest city, is lively and hectic with new buildings springing up all over the place.
In the middle of the city, standing high on a large rock outcrop above the countless cranes, is the Citadel of Erbil.
Some archeologists believe that this dusty red fort is the longest continually inhabited place on earth.
People have lived here for some 8,000 years.
Inside people still live and work, but there are plans to transform the Citadel into a major tourist attraction in Iraqi Kurdistan.
The last time there was a bomb in Erbil was in the summer of 2005. yet, the major challenge to get tourists in to Iraqi Kurdistan is convincing them that the region is safe and secure.
The man entrusted with that is Nimrud Baito, the tourism minister in the regional government.
“That is one of our main problems because all people thinking of Kurdistan from a security point of view thinks [it is] the same as the rest of Iraq,” he says.
“It’s very different here. Security is perfect.”
Yet Mr Baito concedes that as far as he knows, not a single foreign tourist has come to Iraqi Kurdistan as yet.
He hopes this will change quickly.
“The big tourist companies are starting to see the (security) situation. Maybe in 2007, over the summer, we are expecting people to come here.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Investment law in Kurdistan region opens wide horizons for private sector
Sulaimaniyah, Kurdistan Region (Al Sabaah)
PNA- Businessmen in Kurdistan region have said that special investment law of the region has opened wide horizons for international firms and private sector to inter Iraqi market and compose a real partnership with businessmen in the country.
Head of Iraqi businessmen union of Kurdistan said that agreement of Kurdistan parliament and government of allowing international firms to invest in the region has emboldened private sectors in the region to contact major international firms and encouraged to attract foreign reserve capitals.
He added that the union tries to represent help for each investor who wants to invest in Kurdistan with giving him economical advise to inter businesses that not available and which represent real needs of the region and have economical use.
He referred that the region prefers strategic projects with economical dimension which will serve the region and modern factories can participate in developing the fact of the city.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Kurdistan PM’s speech: With investors’ help we’ll be producers again
Sulaimaniyah, Kurdistan Region (Iraq)(AP)
PNA-Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani’s speech at the opening day of the Second Annual Kurdistan DBX International Trade Show in Sulaimaniyah, Kurdistan Region. The trade show runs from 11th to 14th November.
2nd Annual Kurdistan DBX International Trade Show, Sulaimaniyah, Kurdistan-Iraq, 11-14 November 2006
Speech by H. E. Nechirvan Barzani Prime Minister, Kurdistan Regional Government 11 November 2006
Participants, distinguished guests. Good morning and welcome all to this event, the second international trade show, in the City of Sulaimaniyah on the reconstruction of Iraq.
My thanks to the sponsors and organizers for providing this opportunity and for making elaborate arrangements for so many participants to attend who have made the effort to join us here today. I wish you all success.
Many of you have heard me say it: “Kurdistan is open for business”. This trade show is further evidence of this fact. The entire Kurdistan Region is ready for business and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) will do its best to be supportive.
Today, all over the Kurdistan Region we see evidence of economic growth and development. Every enterprise offers new products and services, and new work opportunities. All of these endeavors help improve the living conditions of our people.
We know very well that we have only just begun and that we have a long way to go. We have much work ahead of us, and we expect to face many obstacles as we simultaneously learn and act to serve the needs and aspirations of our people.
Our regional government continues to actively improve basic services that have been neglected for decades. The support and patience of our people are the keys to success at this early stage in taking appropriate steps to solve our problems.
No political entity, no matter how strong, can face the challenges of today’s world without having a strong economy. The existence of a stable political system, a secure and peaceful environment, and a legal framework to develop policies, programmes, and projects are all critically important for economic growth.
We are pleased that the political situation in the Kurdistan Region improves day by day, and the security situation is becoming more stable. The participation in this trade fair of more than 300 companies, domestic and foreign, from more than 30 countries is further evidence of this.
The KRG is committed to the Constitution that the majority of people in Iraq voted for. Our endeavors have been, and will remain, within the framework of our constitutional rights.
The Kurdistan Region is a safe, secure, and stable part of Iraq. It is your gateway to the greater Iraqi market. This trade fair is one of many illustrations of this fact. Sulaimaniyah, Duhok, Erbil and all the cities and townships of the Kurdistan Region are ready to welcome you to establish and develop your enterprises.
Here I would like to thank the Suleimaniah Chamber of Commerce, the Governor of Sulaimaniyah, the Iraqi-American Chamber of Commerce, and all those who have been helpful in making this trade show a success. I also take this opportunity to emphasize that the KRG welcomes the private sector – its investors and entrepreneurs – and offers all its capabilities so that they can participate successfully in the reconstruction of our country.
With the unification of two administrations, the KRG has come together with the spirit of one team to enact the Kurdistan Investment Law, which is progressive and attractive to investors. This law has authorized the establishment of the Kurdistan Investment Board to support those who wish to participate in the reconstruction of our country.
Here I would like to direct my speech towards the businessmen, investors, and business community here in our country. We want to strengthen our economy. We want to establish a proper industrial base in our country. We need your participation to help reconstruct the Kurdistan Region. We have to try together to solve our problems. We especially want to provide more work opportunities for our youth and unemployed people.
This trade fair is yet another opportunity to convey the message of the Kurdistan Region. We are serious about our policy and our position. We want serious partners to work with. We believe in equal opportunities for everybody. The KRG itself is a reflection of the social composition of the Kurdistan Region.
Having this trade fair in the beloved City of Sulaimaniyah offers new opportunities for those who are serious about working with us. We are optimistic about the future of our people. While it is true that we are at a delicate stage, we shall pursue our future in accordance with the law and in full consideration of our constitutional rights.
This trade fair in Sulaimaniyah is an opportunity to introduce foreign, national and local companies to each other. There are many areas for teams of experts to study fully and to make recommendations. We very much look forward to new and proven technologies, successful experience and professional expertise to rapidly advance our economic growth and development.
We support and encourage joint projects in the form of joint venture activities. We know this fact very well: not only the Kurdistan market is connected within itself, but the whole Iraqi market is tied together.
Kurdistan’s society feels proud of its culture and its attitudes regarding tolerance, coexistence and acceptance of each other, and this is a feature of our success. We in Kurdistan, whether Turkoman, Chaldean, Assyrian, Kurd, or Arab, regardless of our ethnic or religious background, we are all working together to rebuild our country.
In the past, with all its resources, Iraq in general, and the Kurdistan Region in particular, has not seen the progress that was possible because of the distorted policies of the Ba’ath regime. We all have to try to compensate for the oppression, injustices and deprivations that our people have suffered in the past.
Rebuilding and reconstruction and modernizing are difficult tasks. They need time, capabilities, financial resources, dedication and patience. Therefore, here I will stress to investors that this trade fair today is the proper opportunity to enter the market of the Kurdistan Region and to work shoulder to shoulder with us in the tasks ahead. Your participation shows your commitment, especially when the exhibition is about the reconstruction of Iraq.
The KRG has at this stage identified the main priorities. We want to place great attention on the importance of the industrial sector and the establishment of an industrial base in the Region.
We want to become producers again as we once were, but with modern production methods to meet our needs and to provide opportunities to increase our people’s income. We want to upgrade the level of services. We want to improve the living conditions of our people. We have expansive underutilized lands and we need to pay more attention to the agricultural sector in meeting our food requirements, expanding job opportunities through agro-business, and increasing incomes.
This can be achieved with policies that will direct us to a state of self-sufficiency, food security and the renovation of the economic infrastructure of the country. The peace, stability and security that prevail in the Kurdistan Region will make our task less difficult, so that we all start to work together. But we have a lot of challenges and obstacles ahead of us. While it is true that we have made decisions to pursue a secure, stable, and progressive future that our people deserve, the time available to us is not unlimited.
Iraq is a rich country. It has abundant natural and human resources. Today, Sulaimaniyah welcomes you, offering you business and investment opportunities. It is my pleasure to see this outstanding participation from foreign countries. I wish to thank the embassies, consulates, and chambers of commerce for their hard work in organizing this exhibition.
Now you are here, your partners from the Kurdistan Region and Iraq are participating with you in this trade fair. You have the chance to see for yourself, through your own eyes, the opportunities available.
We want all of Iraq to be reconstructed within the framework of a democratic and federal system, within the framework of the new Constitution of Iraq, to establish a modern economic system. We believe that business language is the best language in today’s world to bring people closer to each other. We are confident that this kind of attitude would lead to stability, peace, and security throughout Iraq and all over the world.
I am pleased to see that the private sector of Kurdistan and Iraq is about to step forward and participate wholeheartedly in the rebuilding of our country. I have said in the past that without the enthusiastic and successful involvement of the private sector we cannot succeed. We have great hopes in you, in the private sector, in investors, domestic and foreign, offering your capital and devoting your efforts so that we reconstruct our country.
Finally, I am pleased and privileged to meet with you here in beloved Sulaimaniyah, the city of innovation and sacrifice. Once again, thank you. I wish you all success.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Austrian Airlines to start scheduled flights to Kurdistan
Erbil, Kurdistan-Iraq (KRG.org) – Austrian Airlines announced on Monday that it will start scheduled flights to Erbil International Airport on 11 December.
Peter Katzlberger, the company’s representative in the Kurdistan Region, said, “Austrian Airlines is proud to announce that it is the first western regular scheduled carrier operating in the Kurdistan Region in Iraq.” The airline said that it will operate two scheduled flights a week between Vienna and Erbil, and tickets can be booked at any Austrian Airlines office around the world or in Erbil, or through an IATA (International Air Transport Association) member travel agent.
Falah Mustafa Bakir, the minister in charge of the KRG’s Office of Foreign Relations, said, “We are pleased that the Austrian foreign ministry amended its Iraq travel advice to show the true picture that the Kurdistan Region is safer.” He added, “I hope that other scheduled carriers will start to recognise that Kurdistan’s air travel market is growing and ripe for investment.”
Charter carriers have been operating direct flights to the Kurdistan Region since July 2005, with routes including Frankfurt, Stockholm, Istanbul, Dubai and Amman. Austrian Airlines is the first western scheduled carrier. The Kurdistan Regional Government is improving aviation infrastructure by expanding the airport to accommodate 1.5 million passengers and 35,000 tonnes of freight a year. The new airport is due to be completed in 2007.
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Iraqi Kurdistan Airport Hopes to Land Tourists, NASA
Erbil, Kurdistan Region (Iraq)
PNA- The Kurds are building a new $300 million airport in Erbil city, Kurdistan Region (Iraq) that will take the biggest aircraft in the world, including the Russian Antonov 225 cargo plane and the American C-5 Galaxy, which is so big that the Wright brothers could have made their entire flight within its cargo bay.
The Kurds are hoping their dramatic mountain region, the one tranquil part of Iraq, will become a tourist haven as well as a transit refueling stop for international carriers between Europe and Asia or Australia.
But Kurdistan Regional Government Civil Aviation Director Zaid Zwain hopes the airport, scheduled for completion next year, will intrigue another potential customer: NASA.
When Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s military aircraft developed technical problems in Erbil last week, Zwain took advantage of the two-hour delay to tell U.S. officials and journalists about his goal of becoming a backup landing strip for NASA shuttles for emergency landings.
The runway will be about three miles long — just a bit longer than the length required by the space shuttle, he told members of the U.S. delegation. “If you have any trouble,” Zwain offered, “you can land here free of charge.”
Friday, September 15, 2006
US envoy to Iraq urges Americans to invest in Kurdistan
The US ambassador to Iraq has urged American companies to invest in the northern Kurdish regions, considered relatively safe for business compared with the rest of the war-torn country.
“I think you will make large profits on your investments in the tourism sector in the province,” Zalmay Khalilzad said at an opening reception Wednesday for an international trade fair in the northern city of Arbil.
He also urged US companies to look at investing in agriculture, as well as oil-rich Iraq’s energy sector.
Khalilzad said the Kurdish areas had vast resources of water, oil and manpower, which can “help American companies make profits and also help Iraqi people.”
“I do not want you to spend four days in Kurdistan, and then return without a contract and personally I invite you to take advantage of Kurdistan and invest in this area.”
Khalilzad welcomed the new liberal investment laws framed by the regional Kurdistan assembly that encourage foreign participation.
More than 800 companies from nearly 30 countries are participating in the trade fair, including a number of US companies, mainly from the automobile industry.
Friday, September 08, 2006
British trade mission finds investment opportunities in Kurdistan
Erbil, Kurdistan – Iraq (KRG.org) – British Expertise, the leading trade association that this week became the first British trade mission to visit the Kurdistan Region, said more UK companies were likely to follow in its footsteps.
Eight members of British Expertise, representing leading British companies in various business sectors, met President Masoud Barzani, Kurdistan Regional Government ministers and officials as well as leading members of the business community during their visit to assess the Region’s economic and investment potential.
Phil Dowrick, who led the mission and is British Expertise’s director for the Middle East and Africa, said: “All the delegates on the first British trade mission to have visited the Kurdistan Region were genuinely amazed at the scope and opportunity for business and investment in Kurdistan. The welcome provided throughout the stay was exceptionally warm and our safety and security appeared to have been assured with the minimum of effort. ”
The companies represented in the delegation were Black and Veatch engineering and construction; Control Risks security consultants; Crown Agents public sector modernization; HLSP healthcare consultants; Perenco petroleum exploration and production; Scott Wilson infrastructure consultants; and Mott MacDonald management and development consultants. Ms Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, the KRG’s High Representative to the UK and chairman of Kurdistan Development Corporation, helped arrange the visit. They met members of the Erbil Chamber of Commerce and visited various sites, such as a water supply project, Erbil International Airport’s new terminal which is currently under construction, and healthcare centres . As well as getting an overview of the political, financial and economic situation in Kurdistan from the government, the delegation also had meetings focusing on three main areas: water, power and infrastructure; natural resources; and capacity building, health and poverty reduction.
Mr Dowrick said: “The Kurdistan Region clearly needs immediate assistance and investment in the electricity, water and oil sectors – all industries where British firms have significant experience. I am quite sure that this visit will be the catalyst for an increased number of visits by UK firms looking to renew, or establish, long-term partnerships with local firms and official organisations.”
President Barzani said he hoped the delegation would convey to others in the UK the security, stability and growing prosperity they saw in Kurdistan. The President also spoke of Britain’s role in liberating Iraq. He said that British companies had every right to contribute to the reconstruction of Kurdistan.
Friday, August 18, 2006
Iraqi Kurdistan : A Tourist Destination?
Erbil, Kurdistan ,Iraq (VOA )
By Brian Padden
-The Kurdish region of northern Iraq has launched an international advertising campaign called “The Other Iraq.” The campaign tries to differentiate relatively safe Kurdistan from the rest of the country, where insurgent bombings and sectarian violence are daily occurrences. The purpose of the ads: to generate business investment – and tourism. Iraqi Kurdistan has real tourism potential.
A promotional advertisement from the Kurdistan Development Corporation, which recently ran on U.S. television says:
“Have you seen the other Iraq? It’s spectacular. It’s joyful. It has an experienced security force. Fewer than 200 coalition troops are stationed here. Arabs, Kurds and Westerners all vacation together. Welcome to Iraqi Kurdistan.”
The message is simple, if somewhat unexpected: Northern Iraq is a safe and a beautiful place to visit. While Westerners may not be vacationing in Kurdistan just yet – Iraqis are.
At the Gali Ali Beg waterfall, Iraqis such as Dahud Lukman come from all over the country to enjoy the cool waters and the sense of security.
“I like this place. It’s very nice,” Lukman says. “And the tense situation back home also helped us decide to come here.”
Kurdistan is a land of beautiful mountains, rivers and waterfalls. It is also, for the most part, a safe haven from the violence of southern Iraq. Since the fall of Saddam Hussein, the region is being rediscovered, and is enjoying a boom in tourism.
Mahadi Ramadan owns a campground near a place called Miracle Spring.
“Since last year many more people have come here and they stay for a long time. They like this safe environment,” Ramadan says.
For now, most of the tourist sites cater to local, mostly low-income visitors. But Douglas Layton says that will change.
Layton is an American who has worked on development projects in Kurdistan for the last 15 years. He is currently director of the Kurdistan Development Corporation. And he is confident that with time and investment, Kurdistan will become a major international tourist destination.
“We have the capability here eventually to develop resort areas where there is snow skiing, for example,” he says. “Now, that doesn’t happen to exist in most of the Middle East. Water rafting. All kinds of water sports. This is the land of water.”
Layton says development – and peace – will be required before the region reaches its full potential. But for anyone willing to invest in Kurdistan’s tourist industry, he maintains, this could be the land of opportunity.
Monday, July 31, 2006
Holland Consulate opens in Irbil
The Ambassador of Holland announced that the Consulate of his country will be opened in Hewler in near future.
In a meeting with the Minster of Agriculture, the Holland Ambassador discussed this matter in the presence of Director of Iraq-Holland Company. Moreover they discussed about the project of building a giant dairy company in Kurdistan Region support by the Holland Government which will be executed by Holland companies.
The Minister of Agriculture talked about the need of changes in agriculture fields in order to correspond with global development, he also called upon the capital companies to invest in Kurdistan as the Kurdistan Law Investment support them.
Saturday, July 08, 2006
IRAQ: Kurds approve foreigner-friendly investment law
The parliament of Iraq’s northern Kurdistan region unanimously approved a new investment law this week in hopes of luring foreign capital to the region.
“We hope the passing of this law will entice foreigners and locals to invest here so we can rebuild infrastructure in the areas of industry, agriculture and transportation,” said Dler Haqi Shaways, head of the Arbil-based Kurdistan parliament’s economic and financial committee. “This law will offer investors guarantees and facilities with regard to taxation and custom tariffs.”
Infrastructure in the region is badly dilapidated as a result of decades of war – first between Iraq and Iran, later between Iraq and US-led coalitions – and UN sanctions. The new investment law, therefore, will allow foreign companies to bring in the machinery and facilities needed for infrastructure projects free of taxes and custom duties. The legislation will also grant investors 10-year tax holidays upon completion of their respective projects
Before the unification of the region’s two separate administrations – which had been run by two rival Kurdish factions – in May, two different investment laws had been applied. According to those regulations, foreign companies with projects in the region were only allowed to hold minority stakes, while majority shares went to local firms – a requirement that served to deter many foreign investors. Under the new legislation, however, foreign firms will be allowed to hold up to 100 percent of a given project.
Additionally, foreigners will also be allowed to own land, a provision opposed by many local economists. “Foreign companies must not be given the right to own property, because that would come at the expense of national sovereignty,” said Arbil-based economist Shamal Nouri. He conceded, however, that, in a country as volatile as Iraq, “You need to offer investors certain privileges to motivate them to invest”.
Ever since the US-led invasion and occupation of the country in 2003, the Kurdish region has been spared much of the bloodshed seen elsewhere in Iraq, leading a number of foreign companies to set up projects in the area. According to figures from Kurdish Regional Government officials, Turkish firms currently account for the lion’s share of investment, estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of US dollars.
According to the nascent constitution, the regional parliament is authorised to pass legislation governing the region’s internal affairs. In cases of a dispute between the central government in Baghdad and the regional government, according to the national charter, regional law prevails.
Monday, July 03, 2006
Foreign investors see Northern Iraq as gateway to rest of country
By Margaret Besheer, Erbil, Iraq – 30 June 2006
Iraq is struggling to rebuild after years of economic sanctions and conflict. But the lack of security in much of the country has scared away potential investors and slowed reconstruction. But in the relatively quiet Kurdish area of northern Iraq, stability is paving the way for prosperity as the region works to attract foreign investment.
Security fears in central and southern Iraq have made it impossible for many foreign companies to do business in those areas. But with the ability to offer security in the north, the Kurdish government has declared itself open for business.
Many foreign companies have already started coming to the Kurdish region.
Hersh al-Tayyar, the chairman of the Iraqi Businessmen’s Union based in the northern city of Irbil, says recently Lebanese companies have been exploring the area’s potential, but the bulk of the foreign businesses now in northern Iraq are from Turkey. One such company is the Turkish firm 77, which has invested a lot of money in cement batching plants.
Many of the companies here right now are seeking projects funded by the Kurdish regional government, rather than putting up the capital. But others, such as the Lebanese Bank Audi, have entered northern Iraq with an eye to the long-term, and are investing money and hiring and training local employees.
The Kurdish regional government also shares this view, and has been working to revise its foreign investment law to attract international investors to the north.
Douglas Layton, the director of the Kurdistan Development Corporation, a joint public-private company, says the new investment law will have many incentives for foreigners.
“For example, foreigners will be able to own 100 percent of a local company, whereas in the past it was 49 percent, and it had to be majority controlled by Iraqis,” he said.
Foreign investors will also be able to own property; they will receive an automatic five-year tax holiday that can be extended to 10 years, and they will be exempt during that time from import duties, income taxes and taxes on repatriated profits.
Northern Iraq also lacks a proper infrastructure to support large-scale foreign investment. Douglas Layton, however, sees that not as an obstacle to investment, but as an opportunity.
“From an investment point of view, this is a tremendous opportunity,” he said. “We are going to have to build everything from A to Z. So whatever sector a company is involved in, there is opportunity here in Kurdistan to see a significant return on investments that they make.”
Layton says smart investors realize that now is the time to be entering northern Iraq as the region is beginning to take off.
VOA, KRG website
Saturday, June 24, 2006
Kurdistan National Assembly presents region’s Investment Laws
In one of its regular meetings last week, the National Assembly of Iraqi Kurdistan put forward a project regarding Investment Laws in the region.
The draft of the law subsumes 26 articles. It claims that this law will create an attractive environment to investing in Iraqi Kurdistan Region, removing obstacles, and bringing about more entrepreneurship opportunities to help businessmen in the region with investment projects. This is expected to build robust economic growth and facilities required to encourage more business owners to invest their capital in Kurdistan.
In a statement to the news agency of Aswat Al-Iraq (The Voices of Iraq), Karkhi Najmaddin, member of the Kurdistan National Assembly said, “We are still working with Iraqi laws; but the proposal the Kurdistan Regional Government recently presented for endorsement by the Parliament will motivate foreign investment in the region, which will provide numerous simplifications for investors.”
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Kurdistan opens gates for foreigners to invest?
Law of regulating investment in Kurdistan
Recently, the draft of a project, which includes elements concerning investment, has been sent to KRG PM Nechirvan Barzani for organizing investment in Kurdistan, a source has told PUK media.
This draft contains all the details about new laws of investment in the region. It is worth mentioning that the PM has agreed on the draft and sent it to the parliament for review and final approval.
Meanwhile the general director of communications and floating projects in Kurdistan, Mahdi Shera, has responded to an article published in Hayat newspaper on June 4, stating that Iraqi businessmen were prevented to invest in the region.
In his response, Shera stressed that the Investment Promotion Group in Kurdistan gives priority to reconstructive projects by encouraging both, Iraqi and foreign capitalists, to invest evenly in Kurdistan.
He pointed to a new act that was enforced by the Kurdistan Regional Government in 2004, which provides a number of facilities to investors, giving equal rights to foreign and local firms for investing in the region.
The Globe – PEYAMNER
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Direct flights between Kurdistan and Kuwait
The manager of the Erbil International Airport Zaid Mohsin said serious efforts were being made between his airport and the Kuwaiti International Airport to start direct flights, reported the Kuwaiti news agency of KUNA Thursday, June 8.
In a statement to KUNA, the airport manager said that the partnership between the two airports will enable Kuwait to take part in the investments and reconstructions taking place in Kurdistan Region. He added that this will also contribute to boosting the friendly relations between the people of Kurdistan and Kuwaitis.
Zaid said that relevant authorities were to build a larger airport with the longest terminals in the area next to Erbil International. The new airport will be constructed according to modern designs and international standards aiming to establish a solid base for the local touristic infrastructure. He added that there were also solemn plans to hold training courses for the employees of the airport.
“We are also seeking to open direct flights between Erbil and Basra to meet the growing demand from the local business-owners who intend to visit there, where the only port in Iraq is located,” the airport manager said in reference to the recent opening of Iraqi Airways in Kurdistan Region to coordinate flights between Kurdistan Region and Baghdad.
The Globe – PEYAMNER
Monday, June 12, 2006
PM invites Arab Gulf investors to invest in Kurdistan
The Prime Minister of the Kurdistan province of Iraq, Nechirvan Barzani on Sunday called for Arab Gulf investments in his areas.
“When we talk of investment, we prefer that our neighbors from the Arabian Gulf to invest here due to their economic potential,” he said in a statement published in local media.
He added that he preferred foreign investments to come from the Arabian Gulf because its people “know us well and due to our common customs and culture.” He added that the new law on foreign ownership allowed foreigners to own properties up to a 100 percent in Kurdistan and in other Iraqi areas.
He called on foreign investors to “make a difference between the general situation of unrest in many parts in Iraq and the significantly quiet situation in Kurdistan.” He described it as “Iraq’s first gateway.” He added that Kurdistan’s foreign investment laws were transparent and provided complete security to potential investors.
He stressed that “separate areas would be set aside for foreign investment projects. In those areas, funds could be brought in and out in complete freedom.”
Sunday, June 11, 2006
Major oil discovery made near Zakho
Zakho – June 11, 2006 (KRG.org) – A major discovery of oil has been made near Zakho in the northwest corner of Iraqi Kurdistan, said Dr Ashti A Hawrami, the Minister of Natural Resources for the Kurdistan Regional Government. “I am pleased to announce that commercially recoverable quantities of oil have been discovered following the drilling of an exploratory well in the Tawke structure. The well has been tested at 5,000 barrels a day of good quality oil from one of the upper zones of interest,” said Dr Hawrami.
The discovery was made by the Norwegian oil company DNO, which started drilling in exploration territory in the Dohuk Governorate in November 2005 after signing a production sharing contract with the Kurdistan Regional Government a year earlier.
“This is not just good news for the Kurdistan Region but for all of Iraq”, said Dr Hawrami. “The Tawke discovery is from the first new well drilled in Iraq since Saddam’s overthrow. We anticipate production by early 2007, which will allow for the export of oil along a completely secure route from the one fully secure part of Iraq. The Tawke discovery is the first product of the partnership between the government and international oil companies in the new Iraq. It will boost Iraq’s total production and exports and as a result everyone wins.”
Friday, June 09, 2006
Flights from Amsterdam to Suleimaniah
KDC, 9 June 2006
Flights from Amsterdam to Suleimaniah
9 June 2006 (krg.org) – two airline operators, Azmar Air and Sawan Airlines, plan to soon start direct flights between Amsterdam and Suleimaniah. Please see the travel information page, which provides contact information for these as well as other airlines.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
US Iraq envoy tells business to invest
By Sharmila Devi in Amman
Zalmay Khalilzad, US ambassador to Iraq, on Tuesday urged the business community not to miss opportunities in Iraq because of the myriad risks posed by instability and violence.
“From the business perspective, the question is when and how to become involved in Iraq,” he told potential investors at the Rebuild Iraq conference in the Jordanian capital Amman.
“While acting now undeniably involves risks, waiting might entail the risk of missing fleeting opportunities as Iraq’s energy industry, agricultural and tourism industry takes shape.
“For those understandably concerned about security, I remind you that 14 of Iraq’s 18 provinces have little or no insurgent or terrorist violence.”
Mr Khalilzad said that purchases of appliances and cars had risen sharply and that the number of mobile phones had increased to more than 6m sets from virtually none before the US-led war to oust Saddam Hussein three years ago.
In addition, more than $54m (€42m, £29m) in micro-loans had been disbursed, while a Loan Guarantee Corporation was being established to encourage private banks to make loans to small businesses, he said. Six foreign banks were licensed to operate in Iraq, mostly in partnership with Iraqi private banks.
Financial Times-KRG website
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Czech Government renovates Irbil Citadel and the Minaret
A Czech delegation currently on a visit to Kurdistan announced that its government will renew the Erbil Citadel and Minaret before opening their consulate in the Kurdish capital. The repairs will be under the control of the Czech Gema Art Company, announced Kan’an Mufti, General Directorate of Kurdistan Architecture, to Xebat daily newspaper Sunday, April 7th.
The Czech delegate said they were willing to cooperate in Erbil to mend the citadel project.
Mufti specifies Fatah Chalabi’s house inside the Citadel as a point to start the project funded by the Czech government.
Kurdistan’s Ministry of Culture and the Czech delegation have signed the contract. After ending the project, the aforementioned person’s house will be the archive for collecting Erbil Citadel’s entire documents.
On the other hand, Sami Ghojar, Director of Gema suggested that the citizens of Erbil should collect all materials such as photos, documents, and history texts about the Citadel and to hand them to the general directorate of Architecture for storage. He also said that the mentioned company would construct the Erbil Minaret.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Czech consulate office inaugurated in Erbil
[15:07 , 09 May 2006]
An official from the Kurdistan Regional Government has referred to the Czech Republic as the pioneer country to open its consulate in Erbil, the capital of Kurdistan Region in the north of Iraq, reported the independent news agency of Hawler Post on May 1.
In a ceremonial event attended by a number KRG and local party officials, the Czech Republic made itself the first country by opening a representative office in Erbil in the afternoon of Sunday May1, 2006.
The US, UK and Russia and number of other countries were to open representations in the region, promises still ink on paper, according to the local government official.
“The representation by the Czech Republic will in general operate in the fields of economy and culture” said the official adding” in political terms, the inauguration of a representative office of a European country is in itself quite an achievement for Kurdistan region.
Saturday, April 22, 2006
KDC visits Sweden to promote investment opportunities in Kurdistan
The Kurdistan Development Corporation (KDC) visited Sweden last week to highlight the investment opportunities in Kurdistan to an audience at the Swedish Trade Council and to attend a workshop on small business start-ups for expatriate Kurds wishing to return home.
Nicholas Somerville, Executive Director and Mia Early, Head of Investment Promotion at the Kurdistan Development Corporation, were invited to Sweden by Hugo W. Rickberg, Programme Manager for Voluntary Repatriation at Swedish Refugee Aid (SWERA). Hugo W. Rickberg said: “The department for repatriation at swera are very pleased that the KDC accepted our invitation to come to Sweden to present to both our students and the Swedish business community.
There is a growing recognition that the young generation of exile-Kurds with entrepreneurial skills are essential contributors to the economic environment of today’s progressive and relatively safe Kurdistan Region. We hope that this unique initiative between both our organisations, the Swedish Trade Council and the Kurdistan Regional Government Nordic Representation will be the first of many”.
The half-day seminar held at the Swedish Trade Council offices was attended by representatives from the Kurdistan Regional Government and over 30 Swedish and Kurdish businesses. The seminar was a successful way of briefing delegates prior to a planned scoping mission to Kurdistan organised by the Swedish Trade Council for the end of April 2006.
Friday, April 21, 2006
Russian Federation to open consulate in Erbil
Erbil, Kurdistan, Iraq, 20 April (KRG) – KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani welcomed Ambassador at Large Sergey Kirpichenko, and head of delegation Ambassador Vladimir Chamov, along with other officials of the Russian Federation.
The Russian delegation chose Erbil as their first stop in Iraq and were pleased to see the economic progress that has been achieved in the Kurdistan Region. Among the political issues that were discussed were the establishment of a federal government of national unity in Baghdad, and the bilateral relations that had existed at a much earlier time.
Following the Russian Government’s decision in Moscow to open consulates in Erbil and Basra, this visit finalized the arrangements. In keeping with the federal structure of Iraq, Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani welcomed the initiative and offered his full support.
Along with the presence of KRG representative offices abroad, Prime Minister Barzani affirmed that with this initiative social, cultural, and economic relations would improve mutual understanding, peace, and prosperity between the Kurdistan Region and the Russian Federation.
Friday, April 21, 2006
Swedish Foreign Ministry revises travel advice to Kurdistan Region
Stockholm, 21 April 2006 (KRG)
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Nordic representation welcomes the decision by the Swedish Foreign Ministry to exclude the KRG controlled areas in Iraq from its otherwise strictly dissuasive travel advice to Iraq.
The Swedish Foreign Ministry had previously advised against travel by Swedish citizens to all regions of Iraq due to the severity of the security situation. In the recent reconsideration of this travel advice on 18 April, the Foreign Ministry states: “The Foreign Ministry advises against all travel to Iraq (with the exception of the three governorates of Duhok, Erbil and Sulamaniyah in northern Iraq)”.
In response to this decision, the KRG’s Representative to the Nordic states Taha Barwary said, “I think the Swedish Foreign Ministry’s new travel advice to Iraq is very positive news.
The KRG Nordic has worked for some time to change the travel advice to accurately reflect the current security situation in the different regions in Iraq.
This is a positive signal from Sweden. Kurdistan has been, and continues to remain, a highly secure area for foreign visitors such as diplomats and businessmen.”
The KRG Nordic Representation hopes that the revised travel advice will contribute to closer cooperation in the already budding relations between Sweden and the Kurdistan Region, not least in business-related areas.
Mr Barwary added, “I sincerely hope that other foreign ministries will follow suit and acknowledge the high level of security that prevails in Kurdistan.”
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Commercial Bank of Iraq opens branch in Hewler
Nichervan Barzani, Kurdish Prime Minister in Kurdistan-Arbil department, inaugurated Arbil branch of the Commercial Bank of Iraq in Mahlat Ronaki, the first branch of the bank outside Baghdad.
“No country can advance without an advanced banking system,” Barzani said during the inauguration ceremony on Sunday night.
“The big problem that the investors and businessmen were complaining of was the lack of a banking system in Kurdistan. Now, this bank uses visa card system and will solve their problems in transferring money,” he added.
“This branch was opened in Arbil as there were big investments in the city and Arbil is now the second province after Baghdad were the Commercial Bank of Iraq is operating,” Hussein al-Zahri, General Manager of the bank said.
The bank would later open branches in Sulaymaniya and Basra, Zahri said.
PEYAMNER, Arbil (Hewler) (VOI), By Chiman Salh
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Jordan carrier to double weekly flights to Irbil
Jordans national carrier Royal Jordanian will increase its weekly flights to the northern Iraqi Kurdish city of Arbil later this month from two to four.
Four weekly round-trip flights to Arbil will begin on March 26, the spokesman said.
The airline also plans to increase weekly flights to the southern port city of Basra in the “near future” from two to three, the spokesman added.
Royal Jordanian also has two daily flights from Amman to Baghdad, which are increased to three according to demand.
PEYAMNER – AMMAN (AFP)
Sunday, February 19, 2006
Austrian becomes first European airline to fly to Iraq from March 2006
The Austrian Airlines Group will become the first European airline to be granted the right to operate scheduled services into Iraq in the near future. As from March 2006 we will fly twice a week to Erbil and three times a week from May onwards.
Erbil, the largest city in northern Iraq, is a safe gateway into Iraq. It is characterized by its unique location atop a 30-metre high plateau formed from the ruins of the city over thousands of years of history. Erbil is one of the oldest continuously inhabited centers of population in the world today.
Today, with a population approaching one million people, Erbil is the fourth-largest city in Iraq, and the fastest-growing in the country. It is situated next to the Turkish and Iranian border and provides rapid overland access to the cities of Mosul, Kirkuk and Sulaymaniyah.
From To Day Time Flightno.
Vienna Erbil Thu., Sun. 20:15-02:00 +1 OS 829
Erbil Vienna Mon., Fri. 03:45-06:00 OS 830
KRG website from – www.aua.com
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
NREC and KDC invest in real estate in Iraqi Kurdistan
KDC, LONDON – The National Real Estate Company (NREC), one of the largest publicly traded companies in Kuwait, has entered a partnership with Kurdistan Development Corporation (KDC) to develop real estate projects in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
The joint initiative, Kurdistan Real Estate Development Corporation (KREDCo), illustrates NREC’s commitment to investing in strategic projects within the Kurdistan Region. The Kurdistan Region enjoys a level of peace and stability not seen in the rest of Iraq and is fast becoming the commercial gateway to the whole country.
Projects undertaken by KREDCo will include leisure and industrial developments such as warehousing, logistics and distribution centres, similar to projects already underway in Aqaba in Jordan. The first project planned to start in 2006 will be the development of a 104,000 square meters of land equidistant from the Citadel in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region, and the newly opened Erbil International Airport. The land will be developed for mixed commercial and residential use.
Ms Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, Kurdistan Regional Government’s High Representative to the UK and Chairman of KDC, said: “For KDC to have secured a partnership with one of the largest and most highly regarded real estate and logistics companies in Kuwait, if not the whole region, is a significant milestone in the development of Kurdistan. The Government and the people of Kurdistan will benefit from the significant skills and expertise that NREC will bring.”
Mr Jamil Sultan Al Essa, Chairman and Managing Director of NREC, said: “In view of our many other interests across the Middle East and in the rest of Iraq, NREC sees a tremendous opportunity within the relatively stable region of Kurdistan to develop a foundation for our business interests. We have chosen KDC as our partner in this exciting venture and through this partnership NREC aims to accelerate crucial development in Kurdistan – establishing the region as one of the most prominent industrial, trading and leisure centres of Iraq.”
NREC developed the hugely successful Kuwait Free Trade Zone, which is attracting foreign capital to Kuwait, expanding the trade exchange and giving a substantial boost to the research and technology sectors. Other NREC flagship projects include the unique Sharq Sea Front Project and the Al-Joan Resort complex, both in Kuwait.
Kurdistan Development Corporation (KDC), a partnership with the Kurdistan Regional Government, is an investment holdings and trading company with offices in London, Berlin and Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan.
The Globe, KRG
Tuesday, January 31, 2006
Return of cultural centers in Irbil
[13:58 , 31 Jan 2006] IRBIL– Temporarily housed behind a German company in Ainkawa is the newly opened German Cultural Center. It has plans to become a training ground for people to work with potential German companies.
In the center of Irbil, tucked away in one of the grand houses in the citadel, is the French cultural center that opened last fall. A rustically refurbished interior offers a cozy space that evokes images of a salon where people meet to talk French, watch movies, and read books and periodicals. Visitors can also enjoy drinks from in the small café and see exhibitions. (The latest sculpture exhibition of an Iranian Kurd art student, Wria Budaghi, opened recently and will last to the end of February) Beginners French courses will start in the next two weeks.
Both countries had greater presence in Iraqi Kurdistan before the American invasion in 2003, but have since been largely absent. Small steps are being made again to shift the tide.
The regional government helped with the establishment of the French center though most of the funds are from the French embassy in Baghdad.
“We wish to strengthen our presence here on the cultural and economic level. French companies must not miss the train,” said the French ambassador to Iraq, Bernard Bajolet, in an interview during his visit to Irbil. Francophone Iraqi Kurds “can contribute to the diffusion of French culture and help French companies establish themselves in the region.”
The idea behind the German Cultural Center is to create a place where Germans and Kurds can connect. Kurds who have an interest in Germany can come to learn or improve their language skills. There are plans to organize social events, bring in artists and intellectuals, and build a resource library with periodicals and books.
The center is mostly funded by the Martsch International Arbil headquartered in Ankawa and receives no German government support. Its first beginner and intermediate courses are full but new courses will start in March or April.
“The base of this course is to train them not only to speak German and learn the grammar but to use it in a job,” said the center’s manager, Tim Brüggenmann. There are also plans to open a vocational training center. It will create a viable workforce for companies that come here.
The center is largely the idea of Siggi Martsch, who has a longstanding relation with the region. There is a strong pressure from the government and the German public to keep involvement in Iraq at a minimum, especially after the kidnapping of two German engineers near Beiji. He hopes it will fill a void between his country of origin and Iraq.
“Most people, also companies, close their ears when we want to discuss Iraq. They don’t want to differentiate between Baghdad and Irbil,” said Martsch . “We want to make a signal with the opening of the cultural center. It’s more psychological: we are close friends with Iraq all the time, not only during the sunny days.”
***For information about the German Cultural Center call: 2529356 or 4513874 and for the French Cultural Center call: 4537589, 4565679 or 4777636.
By Cyrille Cartier, Globe Correspondent
Thursday, January 26, 2006
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
Subject/Invitation to Bid
Kindly be informed that Offers are available in (General Establishment of Tourism) in Kurdistan-Iraq for:
1- Preparing Designs for a tourist city in “Safin”.
2- Implementing (erecting) “Shaqlawa” tourist compound.
Those who wish to participate in the aforementioned projects are requested to attend the Directorate of Engineering-(General Establishment of Tourism) in order to receive the tenders.
Deadline for submitting the tenders to the above mentioned department is 12 a.m.,Tuesday 28/02/2006.
Head of General Establishment of Tourism
Address: (Kurdistan-Iraq)-Arbil-Shorsh Q. (opposite to the Maternity and Pediatric Hospital).
GENERAL ESTABLISHMENT OF TOURISM
Sunday, January 08, 2006
Businessman: Gulf firms plan to invest in Kurdistan-Iraq
Gulf firms plan to invest in Kurdistan-Iraq: Businessman.
Several Arab Gulf firms, mainly from the UAE, plan to invest in Kurdistan-Iraq, a Dubai-based Kurdish businessman said Saturday.
Aref Ramadan, who has been living in Dubai for the past 18 years, said that he is visiting the Kurdistan region at the invitation of Kurdish businessmen who seek to benefit from the Dubai economic and constructional experience.
Ramadan said that companies intending to invest in Kurdistan range from those specializing in foodstuffs, cooking oil, baked goods, carpentry and tourism, pointing out that everyone is awaiting the endorsement of the investment law by the Kurdish National Assembly (parliament).
He hoped that Kurdistan would organize specialized fairs at least once a month.
ERBIL, Kurdistan (Iraq) Jan 7 (KUNA) –
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Norway Oil Company Strikes Oil in Iraq
(23 Dec 2005) A small Norwegian oil company said Thursday it struck oil with its first well in a Kurdish area of Iraq in a project that angered some Iraqis. The well was drilled under a deal between the Kurdish provincial government [Kurdistan Regional Government] and oil company Det Norske Oljeselskap AS, usually called DNO, signed in 2004. The start of the project angered many Sunni Muslims in Iraq, who called it a first step toward Kurdish areas seeking to secede from Iraq. Less than a month after drilling of the first well started, DNO announced that it had struck oil at a well depth of about 1,150 feet and that drilling would continue to possible deeper reservoirs. The company did not estimate the size of the find, because more testing was needed, but said the reservoir could be 2,600 feet thick. Iraqi officials have said the field near Zakho, 250 miles northeast of Baghdad, could have about 100 million barrels of oil reserves. Shares in DNO, which has a 40 percent stake in the field, soared more than 30 percent to 50.75 kroner ($7.46) per share on the Oslo stock exchange after the announcement. Iraq’s new constitution allows provinces to make their own deals with oil companies for existing reserves, but no regulations for new reserves have yet been written. DNO managing director Helge Eide earlier told The Associated Press that the company was confident that its deal was in line with the new constitution. Sunni Muslims, the majority in resource-poor central Iraq, oppose the new constitution because they fear it could lead to Iraq splitting into Kurd, Shiite and Sunni regions. Kurds make up between 15 to 20 percent of the country’s 27 million people, while Shiites make up 60 percent and Sunnis another 20 percent.
KRG website/Associated Press
Sunday, November 27, 2005
Royal Jordanian Direct Flights ” Amman – Erbil ”
Royal Jordanian Direct Flights ” Amman – Erbil ”
Flight number/ From/ To/ Dep. Time
810/ Amman/ Erbil/ 5 : 45 am*
811/ Erbil/ Amman/ 8 : 45 am*
*All times GMT ( Erbil time GMT + 3 )
Flight dates December
From/ To/ Class/ One way price
Amman/ Erbil/ Y/ 525$
Amman/ Erbil/ J/ 625$
Erbil/ Amman/ Y/ 450$
Erbil/ Amman/ J/ 550$
Erbil – Amman – Erbil on “w” class only $775 validity for one month only ; Non – refun.
Contact Details of RJ Agent in Erbil :
Mobile : Korek 491 0973
Email : babantourism @yahoo. Com
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Antique pieces go to Irbil Museum
A worker in the central part of the Kurdish Capital, Arbil, has found ninety-four pieces of antiques. The directory of Fighting Crimes announced that a Syrian worker who works in Arbil’s new market project, has found 94 antique pieces and an ancient basin, the Arbil based Xebat daily reported, Thursday. According to other workers in the project that is implemented by the Middle East Constructing Company, the pieces were found in a jar during the process of digging the ground. After the police were informed, the pieces were taken to Arbil Museum. Bayiz Ahmad, the director of the museum told the paper that the mentioned pieces would be cleaned and then investigated closely to find their history.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
First UK airplane arrives in Irbil
The first airplane coming from the UK arrived at the Irbil International Airport via Athena Airport Wednesday and was received by the KRG Communication and Transportation Minister, Hayder Sheikh Ali and his Deputy, Rashad Omer along with other officials. The plane carried Mr Stays, representative of the Alexander Aero Company and the manager of the local Sawan Company, Kawa Besarani. In a press conference, Mr Besarani expressed his appreciation for the event and said that this was the first time he was able to witness the word “Irbil” (Hewler) in the International Airports table, which is a great honor for the Kurds. “It is important to link Irbil with other capitals, especially London” he said, “I hope the project of linking Irbil to the world will develop the economic, political, and social conditions in Kurdistan” Mr Stays, of the Alexander Aero Company also showed his happiness about the visit. “It is an honor for me to come to Kurdistan for serving our mutual interests and cooperate with Kurds in other projects as well,” he said. There are three flights scheduled per week from Stockholm, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, and London to Irbil International Airport. This airport was established in 2004 and ever since, has had a key role in linking the region to the rest of the world. As well, the port already has other Semi-daily flights to other neighboring and western countries.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Erbil International Airport (EIA)
Erbil International Airport (EIA) continues under rapid development as more flights and services are being added. The situation is constantly changing. EIA facilities are being expanded and more staff are being trained. The current airport is an interim full –service facility which meets required technical standards and is internationally certified.
The International Landing Certificate (ILC) was received in July. Another separate, larger, and more modern airport with longer runway and latest in facilities and services capable of handling much heavier passenger and cargo loads is under construction.
Some information is available on the EIA website at http://www.hawlerairport.org/. The website is in the process of being upgraded and updated.
1. Kurdistan Airline offers direct flights Erbil-Frankfurt and Erbil-Dubai twice per week.
2-Sawan (an agent) is just beginning to offer direct flights Erbil-Athens-London, Erbil- Athens-Stockholm, Erbil – Athens-Oslo, 3 flights per week.
The first flight from London was to arrive today, Wednesday 26 October.
3. Iraqi Airways is offering direct flights Erbil-Amman twice a week, to Cairo via Baghdad, and to Istanbul via Baghdad.
4. Flying Carpet Airlines offers direct flights Erbil-Beirut.
5. Royal Jordanian Airlines is anticipated to start direct Erbil-Amman flights in November, hopefully to connect with non-stop flight to Europe and North America.
6. Austrian Airlines offering direct Erbil –Vienna flights is under development.
Erbil International Airport website (www.hawlerairport.org)
Monday, October 03, 2005
The first direct flight from London to Erbil takes off on the 26th October
The first direct flight from London to Erbil takes off on the 26th October By SAWAN Airline.
Press Release, Yes, it is real this time. The first commercial flight will take off from Stansted airport to Erbil; the regional capital of Kurdistan-Iraq. The unprecedented move symbolises Iraq’s long awaited reconnection with the international community and the recovery of its economy.
The first flight, scheduled on Wednesday 26th of October, does not only mean cheaper and safer journeys to Kurdistan but it also symbolises the strong will of the Iraqi people fighting against the odds. This pioneering project also reflects the stability and security in the Kurdish area.
Traditionally people traveled to neighboring countries and spent several hours or days on the road in very tiring and sometimes dangerous conditions. Now for the first time, members of the Kurdish and Iraqi community in Britain could fly from London (or Stockholm, or Copenhagen) and step straight out of the plane to their hometowns in Kurdistan.
The newly introduced airline ‘Sawan’ is to become Kurdistan’s first operator to connect Britain to Iraqi –Kurdistan, regenerating Erbil’s airport and strengthening the local economy.
The flight runs on a weekly basis and it is non-stop to Erbil Airport. There is an additional route running from Stockholm-Copenhagen to Erbil, first flight being on the 27th October
Turkey has not given the permission to all flights to fly through the Turkish air, the flight will take the path through EU, Greece, the Mediterranean Sea, Syria, Kurdistan- Iraq.
Peyamner, 03 Oct. 2005
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Commencement of flights between Erbil and Germany .
The first Kurdistan airlines flight , Boeng 737 , coming from Frankfurt to Erbil arrived at Erbil airport , at 6:30 a.m today 20/9/2005 with 40 passengers on board . Mr.Haider Faili the minister of transportation &communicution in the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Goverment announced that they are working on connecting Erbil the capital of Kurdistan Region with other countries around the world and they will continue working to open new air routes , to London , Stokholm and Amesterdam via Athens to Erbil airport directly . Futhermore the same airplane tookoff towards Frankfurt from Erbil airport at 8 a.m Tuesday 20/9/2005 with 36 passengers on board .
Monday, September 19, 2005
Inaugurating the German Consulate in Erbil
Adnan Mufti the head of Kurdistan Parliament met yesterday morning, Sep.,18,2005 with Mr. Manfred Miller the German Consul in Erbil on the occasion of opening the German consulate in Kurdistan region. Several issues were discussed such as the bilateral relations and the political, economic and security circumstances in Kurdistan and in Iraq. The consul said “the consulate has been opened due to demand and recommendation of the German government in the light of that Iraq and Kurdistan are of great importance to us and we wish to establish strong relations with Kurdistan People and participate in the reconstruction projects in Kurdistan”. After that, the German Consul was congratulated by the head of the Kurdistan Parliament and he wished him success. The head of the Parliament pointed out to the strong relations between Kurds and Germany and also thanked the German government for taking this significant step, he also emphasized the importance of increasing the coordination between KRG and German government especially through the involvement of German companies in Kurdistan region.
PNA – Peyamner- 19/9/2005
Friday, September 16, 2005
Irbil hosts international exhibition
The Kurdish capital, Irbil, witnessed the first international trade exhibition, Thursday. More than 300 local, Arabic and international companies from 30 countries worldwide participated in the exhibition which is also a conference. Kurdistan president, Masoud Barzani, opened the event at 11:30 am. The opening ceremony was attended by a large number of officials and ministers from the participating countries in addition to the KRG ministers and parliament members. The attendants were puzzled by the special security measures and the good security situation in the Kurdish capital. The president delivered his opening speech in which he concentrated on different aspects of the Iraqi and Kurdistan situations. “Kurdistan economy right from the liberation in 1991 has encouraged the private sector but the general situation in Iraq at that time and the economic sanction on Kurdistan by the former Iraqi government made it impossible,” President Barzani said. “After toppling of the Iraqi regime, Kurdistan economy has developed,” President reaffirmed the effective role of the private sector in establishing small companies that help effectively in the process of the reconstruction in Kurdistan. “Kurdistan Regional Government encourages investment in the region and so it presented a draft of investing capital to Kurdistan parliament to be approved,” he said. “Establishing a concrete economy in Kurdistan is on the behalf of all Iraq since Kurdistan economy depends on the principle of the free market economy,” He invited the foreign companies to cooperate with the local companies in the reconstruction projects to exchange experience and specialists. At the end of his speech, Mr. President thanked the Iraqi-American chamber of commerce for their influential participation with the KRG in opening the exhibition and the conference.
Sunday, August 21, 2005
Kurdistan DBX Trade Show
With great excitement and anticipation for what promises to be a ground-breaking event, the Iraqi American Chamber of Commerce and Industry is pleased to announce Kurdistan DBX Trade Show 2005, which is to take place in the city of Erbil in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, a historic event taking place from September 15th -18th, 2005, in close cooperation with the Kurdistan Regional Government, Iraqi Ministries of Trade, Housing and Construction, Oil, and Electricity. Kurdistan DBX Trade Show will provide opportunities for Iraqi companies to directly interface with foreign companies right here in Iraq. Location: City of Erbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq
Kurdistan DBX Trade Show website
Friday, July 22, 2005
Kurdish airline takes flight as northern Iraqi airport opens
Peyamner , ARBIL, Iraq, July 21 AFP, 20h09 , The first flight of a Kurdish-owned airline landed in the northern Iraqi city of Arbil on Thursday, linking one of the main cities in the heart of Kurdistan to Dubai. The sole airplane belonging to the nascent Kurdistan Airlines, a Boeing 737, landed at 10:30 am 0630 GMT carrying 46 Iraqi and Kurdish businessmen. The Arbil airport was officially inaugurated on April 15. Another airport equipped for passenger planes in the Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah opened for business on Wednesday. “The recently created Kurdistan Airlines is entirely owned by the autonomous Kurdish regional government” said Rachad Omar, the regions vice minister of transport and communications. “It has full support from the civil aviation directorate,” a branch of the Iraqi ministry of transportation, Omar told AFP. “It is an Iraqi owned company just like government owned Iraqi Airways” said Omar, adding that the company plans to hire more passenger airplanes for flights to Europe. Currently both Iraqi Airlines and a Lebanese airline, Flying Carpet, offer flights between Baghdad and Arbil. “It is a historic day because it is the first time there is a direct flight linking a foreign country to Arbil airport” said Haidar Faili, the autonomous Kurdish regions minister for transportation and communication. On Wednesday Iraqi President Jalal Talbani, who is also the head of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan PUK, inaugurated Sulaimaniyah airport, located some 200 kilometers 120 miles from Arbil. An Iraqi Airways plane landed at the airport bringing home an official Iraqi delegation from a visit to Jordan that included Planning Minister Barham Saleh.
Peyamner , ARBIL , Iraq
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
New prices for flight tickets in Irbil airport
Irbil International Airport officially started work on April 29th after it had received permission from the Iraqi civil authorities of deviation (ICCA). A source from the airport told the weekly Media that there are adjustments to the prices of flights. According to the source a two way flight between Irbil and Amman, which used to cost 900 dollars, is now 740 dollars, while one way flight by (Boeing plane ) costs 400 dollars. The source added: A one way flight by (Air serve) costs 280 dollars and now these planes are more in use between Irbil and Amman. For those who want to travel to Baghdad, it will cost them 110 dollars
Peyamner 07 May 2005
Thursday, May 12, 2005
Lebanese Institutions offer implementing Tourism Projects in Iraqi Kurdistan
Abdul hameed Zebari Erbil – (Aswat AL Iraq ) The President of the General Establishment of Tourism , yesterday confirmed that Lebanese Institutions specialized in Tourism, showed their readiness to implement tourism Projects in Iraqi Kurdistan Region including a tourism Institute and a five stars Hotel. Mr. Abdullah Yousif the President of the Establishment said that a high level Lebanese Tourism delegation will visit Kurdistan Region soon, understanding has been made between the both sides to build together an integral Tourism Project consisting a five stars hotel, restaurant , Cafeteria and several halls. He added ” The Lebanese institutions will establish an Institute for Tourism studies, development and training provided that Lebanese experts will carry out the training of Kurdish cadres in Kurdistan Region . The President of Tourism in Iraqi Kurdistan had visited recently several neighboring countries of Iraq such as Lebanon, Jordan , Turkey and UAE in order to encourage the Tourism institutions of those countries to undertake investment in Iraqi Kurdistan. Mr. Yousif pointed out to the meetings that took place with the Lebanese Tourism Minister, Business men, the head of the Hotels association in Lebanon , as well as meetings that took place in Turkey, Jordan and UAE, and the discussions that were carried out for their contribution in developing Tourism in Kurdistan. Regarding the (2005) plan of the Establishment that aims to develop the Tourism sector in Kurdistan, Mr. Yousif Said : ” After issuing the Law of Establishing the ( General Establishment of Tourism ) in Iraqi Kurdistan Region on (29/09/2004) which submits the required care for Tourism, we have prepared an integral plan in order to put Kurdistan Region on International Tourism programs. He added ” We have some urgent plans that we have started to achieve such as providing Tourism utilities , water and electricity For Touristic areas, we also have an annual plan and a several years plan , In addition we have contacted a number of foreign companies in order to prepare a comprehensive and programmed plan for developing Tourism in Iraqi Kurdistan. Kurdistan Region has the advantage of being rich in Touristic areas such as Bekhal waterfall, Guli Ali Beg waterfall, Jundian and shaqlawa in Erbil Governorate , as well as Sarsang , Swaratouka , Soulaf and Ashawa in Duhok Governorate. In Sulaimaniya Governorate, Sarchnar and Dokan, as well as many woods and natural Springs that are spread across Iraqi Kurdistan and visited by tourists in spring and Summer due to its moderate climate.
Attaakhi, Issue no. ( 4470 ), Thursday 12/5/2005
Thursday, May 12, 2005
Tourism institutions of Lebanon perform Tourism projects in Kurdistan region
The President of the General Establishment of Tourism, announced in an interview; that the tourism institutions of Lebanon are ready to perform tourism projects in Iraqi Kurdistan Region, one of those is a complete tourism project consisting a five stars Hotel, a restaurant, cafeteria and many halls, in addition Lebanon tourism institutions will open a Training Institute which will be directed by Kurdish cadres.
Khabat, 1791, 12/05/2005.
Saturday, April 30, 2005
The British Ambassador to Iraq visits Erbil Citadel
Edward Chaplin ,the British Ambassador to Iraq, and his delegation visited Erbil Citadel , the Museum and the General Directorate of Antiquities , accompanied by Minister of Culture , Sami Shorsh and the Regional Minister , Falah Mustafa . The British Ambassador said ,”The people of Kurdistan are possessors of an ancient Heritage and I feel proud to be standing here in the most ancient city of the world . He added “My country wishes to establish cultural and scientific relations with the Regional Government of Kurdistan and therefore we emphasize the subject of opening our Embassy sub-office in Erbil in order to boost the relations between the British Government and the Government and people of Kurdistan ” He further added, “Concerning the education field we will have cooperation with the Regional Government of Kurdistan and we will submit scientific assistance to the universities of Kurdistan, and provide studying in British universities for Kurdistan students.
Khabat / issue no .1779
Friday, April 29, 2005
The British Government allows its citizens to travel to Kurdistan Region
The British Government officially looks differently to KURDISTAN REGION concerning travelling regulations and instructions, different than the other parts of Iraq, a senior spokesman of the British Foreign Ministry said: ” Due to the newly issued regulations, travelling to cities Erbil, Duhok and Sulaimaniya is safe, and security prevails in the this region, providing, the Emergency Law applied in the other parts of Iraq and prolonged for another addittional month, does not include Kurdistan”.
Khabat, April 29, 2005- Issue No. 1778, by Chiman Salih
Saturday, April 16, 2005
AL- Khazn Discusses Tourism Cooperation with Kurdistan
Yesterday. Mr. Waddi al- Khazn, Minister of Tourism, discussed Tourism cooperation media, with Mr Abdulla Yousif Commissioner Minister and the President of General Establishment of Tourism in Iraqi Kurdistan Region, accompanied by businessman Jack Saraf. After meeting , Mr. Yousf Said “We came to Lebanon in scope of Friendship relations based between Kurdistan region and Lebanon , and we are endeavoring to activate the investment activities specially after the stability we witnessed in Kurdistan , where numerous opportunities and abilities exist , as a center of tourism not only in Iraq but also in the entire region”. He added :”We are ready to offer all kinds of facilities for Lebanese investors in the field of Tourism, specially training tourism cadres and exchanging experiences in different levels and improving service cadres. AL- Khazn Considered that : The meeting discussed Comprehensive subjects and large cooperation fields, he said “We are also going to prepare a detailed schedule concerning this cooperation, by coordinating with the industrialist Jack Saraf., according to that we will make a distinctive start off for accomplishing mutual interests. He added “As we have known fields of Tourism works and investments exist in the region where off, this assists for achieving bilateral cooperation.
AL-Saffir, April 16-2005 -10071 Hasan Abdulla.
Thursday, April 14, 2005
Within a short time JWAN CENTER CITY will beautify the sky of Sulaimania
On RIAYA hill of Sulaimania city the largest commercial and tourism project will be built , called JWAN CENTER CITY. This Center consists of a hotel with 26 storeys , 76 meters high and has 270 rooms . The last floor consists a circulating restaurant with a capacity of 120 persons . It also consists other 4 restaurants in the ground floor with a capacity of 1000 persons , in addition to Sauna ,swimming pools , sports clubs . The hotel will have two modern halls , one of the halls will be allocated for conferences and meetings allowing 350 persons to achieve their tasks , with complete requirements such as translation , internet and video recording , the other hall will have a capacity of 10000 persons and will consist various activities . In an interview ,of Kurdistani Nwe , with Mr.Farouk Mala Mustafa the administrative manager , he said ,Jwan city is one of the greatest commercial projects and due to its locations high altitude and its extent, it can be seen from all Sulaimania suburban . He further added ,concerning the management of the hotel we have discussed the subject with Sheraton , Hilton , Marriott and Intercontinental hoteliers . It is planned that this project will be completed within two years and will be implemented by expert international companies .
Kurdistani Nwe, Thu. 14/04/2005, No. 3645
Thursday, August 12, 2004
Bid to revamp tourism industry in Iraqi Kurdistan
Gali Ali Bag
The authorities in the Kurdish region in northern Iraq are trying to restore the region’s tourist facilities devastated by wars and crippling U.N. trade sanctions. The Kurdish mountainous region was once a magnificent attraction for hundreds of thousands of wealthy Iraqis in the central and southern parts of the country.
For the link to the complete story click below:
July 19, 2004
Iraq Press, Arbil
Thursday, August 12, 2004
The tourism potential of Iraqi Kurdistan is discussed on American Public Radio
Iraq’s interim prime minister signed a tough new law today. It allows him to declare emergency rule, impose curfews and freeze assets of suspected insurgents. As if to underscore Iraq’s security problems, a gunfight erupted today in central Baghdad. Iraq has become synonymous with danger and violence. Which makes the emergence of one new industry all the more surprising.
For the link to the complete story click here: http://marketplace.publicradio.org/shows/2004/07/07_mpp.html
Aired: June 29, 2004
Reporter: Adam Davidson
Thursday, August 12, 2004
Investment opportunities in Iraqi Kurdistan are discussed on American Public Radio
Iraq’s new government is facing challenges making the country safe. Travel far enough north, though, and the focus shifts. The investment opportunities in Iraqi Kurdistan are discussed.
For the link to the complete story “Can Iraq be Safe?” click below: http://marketplace.publicradio.org/features/ middleeast/rebuilding.html
Aired: June 29, 2004
Reporter: Adam Davidson
Sunday, December 07, 2003
The landing at the grandly titled Erbil International Airport
The landing of Boeing 727at EIA marked the first time an international commercial flight has ever touched down here, and the symbolism of freedom from decade of oppression ran deep. 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.
Friday, May 02, 2003
Iraqis rediscover favourite beauty spot in Kurdish North
Thousands of Iraqis, mainly from the Arab centre and south of the country are rediscovering what used to be their country’s favourite vacation area in the hills of northern Iraq where a cooler climate provides a welcome relief from the intense heat and flat desert.
The tourism revival this summer has allowed many Iraqi Kurds and Arabs to get to know each other again after a decade of separation. Saad Ali a Baghdad businessman enjoying a soft drink with his family at a cafe inside the Anishki cave (about 30 miles south of the Turkish border) said: “I can‘t believe I‘m here. People are treating me so well,” he added. “We‘re one people. Systems, regimes were creating differences between Arabs and Kurds. But we‘re one people, one nation.”
Baghdad travel agents who formerly specialised in tours to the north quickly dusted off their itineraries after the war and sent busloads of visitors to the area considered to be one of the long-established tourist attractions in the Kurdish region.
Kamiran Barwary, the general manager of the Jiyan Hotel in Dohuk, the main Kurdish town north of Mosul, reports a 70 percent increase in guests from the rest of Iraq since the war ended. “People were afraid of coming here. Now their reason for being afraid has gone,” he said.
“As Kurdish people, we like to have many guests among us,” said Syar Mustafa, a customs worker sitting at an open-air cafe in Dohuk looking onto a rugged mountainside.
Streets are tidier than elsewhere in Iraq. There are no U.S. military patrols. Most drivers even obey traffic lights. “There‘s no kidnapping in this city, no killing, no cocaine, none of that – only car accidents,” Mustafa said.
Tuesday, September 25, 2001
British couple on bicycle tour to Kurdistan
Keith & Pam
It is unusual to find people cycling in the countryside of Iraqi Kurdistan at any time, but to find a British couple cycling here is extraordinary.
Keith and Pam Brookfield decided to set out and see the world and meet people about seven years ago and since then have cycled through about 31 countries over the course of several excursions.
The couple say they had a lovely surprise after entering Kurdistan from Turkey. They have met some marvellous people.
With no specific plans and limited funds, they have been made very welcome at every stop along their route. So far, they have visited Zakho, Duhok, around Atroosh, Aqra, Harir, Shaqlawa, and Erbil. People have opened their homes for them, but they have also stayed at hotels, police stations, churches, and even offices.
They have enjoyed the spectacular views along their scenic ride and commented that eco-tourists would love this area. They believe that hiking and climbing could become very popular with tourists.
After visiting local historical and cultural sites and attending an Erbil football match, the couple has headed off again on their touring