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Deputy Prime Minister Talabani addresses Kurdistan Economic Forum

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (GOV.KRD) - Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani on Tuesday delivered remarks at the Kurdistan Economic Forum, discussing the Kurdistan Region’s economic challenges and opportunities.

During the virtual roundtable discussion, Deputy Prime Minister Talabani highlighted the importance of taking coordinated global action to overcome economic challenges caused in part by the global pandemic. He also noted the Kurdistan Regional Government remains committed to implementing its reform agenda to strengthen and diversify the Kurdistan Region’s economic infrastructure as it lessens its reliance on oil exports. He underscored that these steps will continue to unlock the Kurdistan Region’s potential as a regional hub for trade and commerce.

The Deputy Prime Minister also reaffirmed the government’s ongoing support to the private sector, notably in adapting to an evolving workforce and growing opportunities in the agricultural sector. He added that the Kurdistan Regional Government aims for the Kurdistan Region to achieve food security by becoming self-sufficient, as well as capable of satisfying broader regional needs, such as wheat production for Iraq. He also announced that a local sugar-producing factory will begin construction in the near future.

Recognising the importance of ongoing reforms, the Deputy Prime Minister explained how the biometric system will allow for the streamlining and restructuring of the public sector, which will create greater accountability toward the citizens of the Kurdistan Region, adding that the system has so far identified 16,500 cases of misappropriated salaries.

The Deputy Prime Minister also provided an update on efforts to digitise public services, which will help reduce bureaucratic barriers and address irregularities, as well as announced that new regulations are underway to facilitate the registration process for private businesses in the Kurdistan Region.

Before the end of the discussion, the Deputy Prime Minister emphasised that securing a fair and constitutional resolution to outstanding problems with the federal government of Iraq remains a top priority and critical for the stability of the country. He reiterated that the Kurdistan Regional Government is prepared to negotiate a comprehensive power and revenue-sharing agreement on borders and oil and gas exports, having already agreed to an audit of its revenues from the past six years.