The economy of the Kurdistan Region- essential information


Since the liberation of Iraq from Saddam Hussein dictatorship, abolishing the international sanctions on Iraq and the sanctions on the Iraqi government to Kurdistan, the local economy is experiencing dynamic growth. Abundant natural resources and skilled workforce make the Iraqi Kurdistan has the potential to become a regional economic power.


The impressive economic development of the Kurdistan Region is confirmed by the statistics:


  • GDP Kurdistan Region for the year 2011 amounted to 23.6 billion $. This means that since 2006, GDP has tripled in Kurdistan.
  • GDP per capita in the Kurdistan Region in 2011 amounted to 4 452 $. Since 2003, increased by 1,400% and is now more than $ 1,000 higher than in Iraq.
  • Economic growth in 2013 was 8%.
  • National budget: it is 17% of Iraqi budget which amounted to 118,5 bln $ in 2013
  • Unemployment (2012): 7%
  • Inflation (2012): 5,6%


The components of GDP Kurdistan Region in 2011:

  • Services- 30,1%
  • Public services- 20,6%
  • Agriculture- 17,5%
  • Trade and transport- 13,5%
  • Mining and production- 9,4%
  • Construction industry- 7,6%
  • Banking and insurances- 1,3%


Oli and gas reserves:

Huge stocks of fossil fuels situate Kurdistan at the global forefront and guarantee rapid economic development:


  • Proved oil reserves: 45 billion barrels (2009) – 9th place in the world
  • Proved natural gas reserves: 3 trillion cubic meter (2009)- 11th place in the world
  • Until the end of 2013, the total investment in the Kurdish energy sector amounted 15 to 20 billion U.S. dollars.
  • In Kurdistan are already present world’s biggest players of the oil sector: Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Gazprom, Marathon Oil, MOL, OMV, Repsol, Total, Talisman Energy


The development of entrepreneurship


  • Favorable legislation, stabilization and economic boom make from year to year rapidly growing number of foreign companies operating in Kurdistan. According to the current estimation in Iraqi Kurdistan operate 2300 foreign companies and 15 thousands domestic companies.
  • The dominant position among foreign investors is Turkey. Currently in Kurdistan Region is over 35 thousands workers from Turkey and operates more than 1,100 Turkish companies. Active traders are also from Iran, the U.S., and the UK.
  • It is estimated that since 2006, the sum of all investment in Kurdistan amounted to about 21 billion U.S. dollars.
  • The development of economic contacts supported the fact that the Kurdistan Region has two international airports: in Erbil and Sulaimaniyah, which have direct links with the countries of Europe and the Middle East operated by renowned international airlines like Emirates, Lufthansa or Turkish Airlines.
  • Erbil International Airport in 2012 recorded a 53% increase in passengers. At the Emerging Markets Airport Show in Dubai was awarded the Best Emerging Market Airport. In 2015 is scheduled to open the third international Kurdish airport- in Duhok.


Examples of important investments in the Kurdistan Region


    • Empire World in Erbil huge business, hotel and residential complex with a total area of 750 thousand m2. It will consist of 88 high-rise buildings and 300 luxury villas. Already begun construction is going to be completed in 2017
    • Naza Tower in Erbil 66 storey skyscraper with apartments, offices, restaurants and an underground car park. Naza Tower, which is scheduled to be completed in 2015, will be 275 meters high and thus will become the tallest building in the whole of Iraq. google twitter

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