KRG


KRG “starts paying its Debts of Contractors”

By John Lee.

The Kurdistan Regional Government has reportedly started repaying its debts, clearing half of what it owes to private banks and 10 percent of what it owes contractors.

According to Rudaw, the KRG will now service its remaining debts every month.

KRG finance minister Rebaz Hamlan (pictured) told the news agency that the regional government has dedicated $100 million from its oil revenues to pay contractors in the Kurdistan Region.

Full story here.

(Source: Rudaw)

Will new Iraqi Govt Resolve Baghdad-KRG Issues?

By Nahwi Saeed for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

President Barham Salih on Oct. 27 announced that he has developed a proposal for resolving the dispute over Kirkuk between Baghdad and Erbil.

Without going into detail, he said his plan focuses on the ethnic and religious components in determining its fate, ignoring the interests of outside players in discussions about the city’s future.

The recent agreement by Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites on the formation of a national government — with Salih as president, Adel Abdul Mahdi as prime minister and Mohammed Halbousi as parliament speaker — raised hopes among many Iraqis that the outstanding issues between Baghdad and Erbil might be resolved, but will the new leadership be able to deliver?

Click here to read the full story.

 

Traders Arrested for selling Counterfeit Iraqi Dinars

Security forces have reportedly confiscated many USD and Euro bills and 88 million Iraqi Dinars (IQD) in counterfeit banknotes in Erbil province since the start of 2018.

According to Kurdistan24, 100 suspects have been arrested for dealing and trading in counterfeit dinar.

Full story here.

(Source: Kurdistan24)

Traders Arrested for selling Counterfeit Iraqi Dinars

Security forces have reportedly confiscated many USD and Euro bills and 88 million Iraqi Dinars (IQD) in counterfeit banknotes in Erbil province since the start of 2018.

According to Kurdistan24, 100 suspects have been arrested for dealing and trading in counterfeit dinar.

Full story here.

(Source: Kurdistan24)

KRG Update on Oil Production and Ops

Tawke Licence:

The Kurdistan Regional Government notes the updates by DNO and Genel Energy on November 1st regarding production increases under the Tawke Production Sharing Contract (PSC).

The KRG is pleased with the efforts of the Tawke PSC Contractors in the Peshkabir area of the Tawke PSC Licence, where production has risen to over 50,000 barrels per day (bpd) within 18 months, exceeding expectations.

The recent boost in production at the Peshkabir area has more than compensated for the natural decline of the main Tawke field area, where production is now down to about 80,000 bpd, from 109,000 bpd in July 2017. Overall production under the Tawke PSC Licence reached 126,000 during October, compared to 114,000 bpd in July 2017. The current average is around 130,000 bpd (click here to view the chart).

Pipeline Upgrades:

The KRG has also recently completed an upgrade of its export pipeline by installing another pumping station at Shaikhan, which boosts capacity of the pipeline from 700,000 bpd to 1 million bpd. This extra capacity will accommodate future production growth from KRG producing fields, and can also be used by the federal government to export the currently stranded oil in Kirkuk and surrounding areas.

Oil Export:

The KRG currently exports over 400,000 bpd of crude oil. The KRG’s policy of maintaining consistent and timely payments to its producing oil companies has led to more investment in its oil fields, stabilising production levels and paving the way for further production increases during 2019.

These export achievements generate more revenues that will help to reduce the KRG’s overall debts and aid the economic revival and sustainability of the Kurdistan Region. The KRG’s policy of supporting its producers provides further evidence that Kurdistan’s PSCs are a win-win for investors and the citizens of the Kurdistan Region.

(Source: KRG)

Outgoing Abadi signs blow to Turkish Imports

By Fehim Tastekin for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

While Turkey was eagerly anticipating a new government in Baghdad to sort out many problems with Iraq, a last minute decision by the outgoing prime minister has added a fresh item to the list of ongoing disagreements between the two countries.

Haider al-Abadi unexpectedly signed a decree to set up three new checkpoints in government-controlled areas in northern Iraq that will effectively slash Turkey’s trade with it.

The trucks that enter the country normally pass through the sole border crossing that is controlled by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and will now also have to pass at least one of these additional checkpoints.

Click here to read the full story.

Outgoing Abadi signs blow to Turkish Imports

By Fehim Tastekin for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

While Turkey was eagerly anticipating a new government in Baghdad to sort out many problems with Iraq, a last minute decision by the outgoing prime minister has added a fresh item to the list of ongoing disagreements between the two countries.

Haider al-Abadi unexpectedly signed a decree to set up three new checkpoints in government-controlled areas in northern Iraq that will effectively slash Turkey’s trade with it.

The trucks that enter the country normally pass through the sole border crossing that is controlled by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and will now also have to pass at least one of these additional checkpoints.

Click here to read the full story.

New Helpline for GBV Survivors

Survivors of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) can now dial “119” to receive support, counselling, and referrals to community-based services and resources in the region.

On 26 September, UNFPA and the General Directorate for Combatting Violence Against Women (GDCVAW) in KRI launched the first helpline for gender-based violence survivors.

The Helpline is a 24-hour call centre established to provide confidential support and guidance to survivors of GBV. Callers will be connected with trained social workers as well as legal and psycho-social support counsellors, both female and male.

UNFPA also organised two trainings for GDCVAW social workers and phone operators on the helpline procedures and guidelines for answering, probing, supporting, and following up on calls received at the call centre.

“The Helpline initiative will enable GDCVAW trained operators to provide counselling, advice, and support to GBV survivors and vulnerable individuals in the Kurdistan region of Iraq”, said Mr Kareem Sinjari, Minister of Interior in KRI.

Mr Ramanathan Balakrishnan, UNFPA Representative to Iraq, emphasized the importance of this project:

“While remedial services require strengthening to ensure the best possible care for GBV survivors, the helpline is definitely a positive step forward in that direction. We are confident that the helpline 119 is a solid tool that will help the Government in its efforts to combat gender-based violence and support survivors.”

The project, supported by the Regional Development and Protection Programme (RDPP), is expected to reach more than 3,600 survivors in the first year of its operations.

(Source: UN)

Ground-breaking Ceremony for Erbil Ring Road

Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani attended the ground-breaking ceremony of the 150-meter ring road project of the city of Erbil.

In a speech during the ceremony, Prime Minister Barzani said:

“The 150-metre road project is one of many projects which were prepared for implementation by the Kurdistan Regional Government. If it had not been for hardships faced since 2014, the KRG would have completed many similar projects in all major communities of the Kurdistan Region.”

Below is the text of Prime Minister Barzani’s speech:

Good morning,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

As we participate in this ground-breaking ceremony to open the Erbil City 150-meter ring road, I am delighted to meet with you again. This project is good not only for Erbil, it will facilitate road transport throughout the Kurdistan Region by reducing congestion on routes within and through the Erbil City area.

As the capital city in the center of the Kurdistan Region, Erbil is situated on many routes that connect international border entry points with the rest of Iraq, and also connects neighbouring countries with each other. Important trade routes pass between Syria, Turkey, and Iran through the Kurdistan Region.

This project will generate more fast-flowing traffic and exceed the success of the Erbil 120-metre road. As a tangible solution, the Erbil City 120-metre road has been very effective in reducing traffic congestion.

The first stage of the implementation of this 150-meter road project, includes the part which will run from Koya road to Bahirka road, 14 kilometres long and estimated to cost 131 million US dollars.

The Hemin Group will finance and implement this project with deferred payment. It will be a high-speed road with a service road alongside it. There will be three bridges and three underpasses with related high-standard equipment.

The Hemin Group will also be implementing a dual carriageway14 kilometres long between Erbil City and Gopal.
Yesterday also we participated in the ground-breaking ceremony of a project that connects Erbil and Duhok with a dual-carriageway.

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

The 150-metre road project is one of many projects which were prepared for implementation by the Kurdistan Regional Government. If it had not been for hardships faced since 2014, the KRG would have completed many similar projects in all major communities of the Kurdistan Region.

Adversaries of the Kurdistan Region were unable to accept the progress being enjoyed by the people of the Region, did not, and do not, want to see a well-built and lively region filled with peace and security. They did their best to obstruct the Kurdistan Region’s wheel of success.

Cutting the Kurdistan Region’s budget and ISIS threatening the Region with terrorism did not randomly occur. They were considered and planned. The war against ISIS brought nearly two million displaced persons. But the most damaging factor that adversely affected the people of the Kurdistan Region was the fall in global oil prices.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

If it were not for the perseverance and courage of the Peshmerga, security personnel, understanding and support of the people of our Region, including our government employees, no government anywhere in the world would have withstood such crises during the past five years! What government has withstood war in the midst of such severe political and financial challenges, and all the domestic issues that have been crippling the Kurdistan Region and its government?

Now, strengthened by the support of the Kurdistan people and by the determination, loyalty, and selflessness of the Peshmerga, and the sacrifice and endurance of all the hardships the government employees have gone through during past few years, the bad days are almost over. As part of our long-term mission, we as the Kurdistan Regional Government will continue to act on our original main responsibility, which is to provide public services. To further develop our country, we continue to implement development projects that we planned.

Despite all shortcomings, constructive criticism, and even destructive criticism that have been and will be directed at the KRG due to political competition, the KRG has always been providing the best possible services.
If any citizen from the Kurdistan Region or any foreign observer looks back at the past 15 years, she or he will realize the truth that in spite of all challenges, the KRG has made remarkable progress in all sectors.
It is correct that the expectations of the KRG and the people of Kurdistan were higher than what has been achieved. We cannot overlook, however, the fact that over 15 years of the KRG’s leadership the Kurdistan Region has achieved a total makeover in almost all aspects.

Hundreds of completed projects vouch for the efforts of the KRG having contributed to the infrastructure of the country, such as roads and bridges, water and sewer systems, hospitals and schools, spatial development of cities and towns, and reviving livelihoods of many thousands of citizens of Kurdistan in many hundreds of communities, attracting foreign investment and opening of many malls, hotels, restaurants and cafes, building small and large factories, and dozens of other projects.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In ceremonies like this the intention is not to brag about achievements but to reaffirm that the first and foremost responsibility of the KRG is to serve its people, confirm such responsibility is taken seriously at every opportunity, and that the KRG seeks to realize the goals of stability, progress, and a high standard of living for all citizens.

As we participate in this groundbreaking ceremony, we reiterate the objective of the KRG that along with every step toward a stable economy, the government will take similar steps to implement plans to develop all sectors in all parts of the Kurdistan Region.

As we approach a general election, the people of the Kurdistan Region will cast their ballots. I urge all citizens of the Kurdistan Region to participate in the election process in a civilized way and elect their representatives to the Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament and the Kurdistan Regional Government for the next four years. This process is very important for the present and future of the Kurdistan Region. Let us all vote to serve, build, and develop Kurdistan.

We look forward to the next phase to serve the people, promote stability, and build a durable economy with a better living standard for our people. We are sure that the worst days are over, and tomorrow will be better than today.

In the end, I would like to especially applaud Mr. Khalid Khoshnaw, the head of the Hemin Group and his colleagues for all the good work they have produced in various parts of the Kurdistan Region on long-term relaxed loans. This reflects his unshakable trust in the KRG.

He is the ultimate example of a loyal patriot and citizen. I wish to see more people like him and I wish him all success. We truly need people like him in the Kurdistan Region who always look to serve their nation to make progress in every field and build their country.

By that, they will forever leave their positive footprint on the future of Kurdistan.

I look forward to meet you all again in another location of the Kurdistan Region and at another project.

Thank you.

(Source: KRG)

Barzani opens Zakho Tunnel, promises more Infrastructure Projects

Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani opened Zakho Tunnel in a ceremony attended by cabinet ministers, members of Parliament, the Republic of Turkey’s Consul General to the Kurdistan Region, and a number of KRG officials.

In a speech during the ceremony, Prime Minister Barzani said:

“Opening of this tunnel on this important international highway that links the Kurdistan Region and Iraq with Turkey is providing a major strategic service. The tunnel is a major development for local citizens and trade between Turkey, the Kurdistan Region, and Iraq.”

The Zakho Tunnel is 3600 meters long costing the Kurdistan Regional Government 143 million dollars. The KRG Ministry of Construction & Housing, Duhok Directorate of Roads and Bridges, and the Limak and Man Group construction companies were involved in completing the project.

Prime Minister Barzani said:

“Completion of this project is a major step in the Kurdistan Region that shows we are on the right track moving towards a better future for our citizens. This shows the will and capacity of the KRG to advance and serve the people. This is the mandate of steadfast people of the Region for the KRG to stand tall and not fall.”

Despite the difficult economic situation in the past four years, the KRG exerted great efforts to effectively complete some of the planned strategic projects.

(Source: KRG)