Sulaimani, Kurdistan Region. Rudaw screenshot.
SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region— Kurdish businessmen and capitalists are due to meet at an economic forum in Sulaimani in early August to discuss a new trade deal which is thought to link Kurdish marketplaces in neighboring countries and promote domestic entrepreneurship.
Head of Sulaimani chamber of commerce Sirwan Muhammad told Rudaw the conference will come up with a road map which is planned to lead a joint effort to revive the economy across Kurdish borders.
“Each part of Kurdistan is producing a material that could be of use in other parts,” said Sirwan Muhammad referring to Kurdish markets in Turkey, Iran, Syria and Iraq.
“We want especially to help Kurdistan region out of this crisis. The private sector has in the past been unable to rise to this task due to lack of coherent plan,” he added.
Muhammad said the conference aims at attracting Kurdish capital and investment in domestic production.
There has been an increase of free movements of people and goods across the borders since early 2000 between Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria with a dramatic rise of free trade on all sides of bordering regions which are almost predominantly populated by Kurds.
Over 75 percent of the domestic consumption in Kurdistan region is based on imported goods which the conference aims to address.
The Kurdish traders are confident that in particular the food production in Iranian and Turkeys Kurdistan will impact the consumption market in the Kurdistan region.
Skeptics however say that the project will depend on “the good will” of the regional countries who have the legal power to close the borders and stop the trading.
“Unfortunately Kurdish businessmen in these countries have to abide by their country’s trading rules that could harm such a pact,” said Muhammad Rauf who is university lecture in market economy in Sulaimani .