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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Security in northern Iraq aids economic opportunities

29 May 2007
U.S. Army story by Maj. Juanita Chang
5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

IRBIL — International businessmen representing more than a dozen companies continued traveling through northern Iraq in search of economic opportunities Friday.

In northern Iraq economic promises have boosted confidence in the population, international businessmen and investment potential.

The group traveled the stable northern region of Iraq and met with local business leaders, members of chambers of commerce and key government officials as some arranged for return trips to begin projects.

“I was very impressed with the enthusiasm, zeal and passion of the Kurdish people and their government,” said Subhas Sircar, regional vice president of Marine Middle East, Mediterranean and South Asia Insurance Company Ltd.

A lot of work needs to be done in a short amount of time, but we look forward to supporting them in their endeavors and being partners in their progress, Sircar added.

Irbil is the capital of the Kurdish region, Iraq’s fourth largest city and was seen by investors as a secure and economic hotspot with a 400-store mall, world-class hotels, amusement parks and a zoo.

“Projects such as this are our response to the destructive activities of terrorists,” said Nechervan Barzani, prime minister of the Kurdish Regional Government. “Whatever they do, the terrorists cannot stop our progress.”

Along with the economic boom in the area, an international airport with high level security measures lands flights daily with direct routes to popular hubs such as Vienna, Stockholm, Amman, Dubai and Amsterdam.

According to the businessmen, a huge potential for investment dwells in Iraq’s northern region.

Some apartments in the area were selling at $130,000 per apartment.

The business executives also stopped in Dahuk and Salaymaniyah, Iraq, to be greeted by provincial governors and given a tour of their respective cities in hopes of luring investors to the area.

The Iraqis in this northern region have come together and worked as a unified group to achieve these common goals. Leaders of business and industry praised the KRG for setting the conditions for future prosperity.

Photo: A view from the tenth floor of the new Naz City Apartments in Irbil, located near the new state-of-the-art convention center and Irbil International Airport. A group of international investors traveled the stable northern region of Iraq and continued to meet with local business leaders, members of chambers of commerce and key government officials as some arranged for return trips to begin projects Friday. U.S. Army photo by Maj. Juanita Chang, 5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.

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