Financial crisis shuts down 6,000 projects in Kurdistan Region

Financial crisis shuts down 6,000 projects in Kurdistan Region
5 years ago

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SULAIMANI – A slowed and deteriorating economic climate in the Kurdistan Region has shut down thousands of development projects, according to a senior official.

Speaking in an interview published on the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) website, Safeen Dizayee said the current financial crisis has halted 6,000 projects.

“This crisis has led to a slowdown in the movement of markets in the region," Dizayee said.

According to him, the crisis has been especially difficult for developers who have had their contracts terminated by the KRG.

One solution that Kurdish officials have devised is selling oil independently, as Erbil has been locked in a budget dispute over oil-revenue sharing with the central government since early 2014.

"Exporting oil directly to international markets will be a priority for the [KRG] [to solve] the deficit in the budget,” Dizayee added.

The KRG increased independent oil sales in June, significantly drawing back transfers to the Iraqi State Organization for Marketing Oil (SOMO) at Ceyhan Port in Turkey.

Independent sales in May alone brought in $750 million in revenue for the region, which in addition to suffering from a cash crisis, is hosting over 1.5 million refugees and displaced Iraqis, as well as fighting a war against Islamic State (IS) militants that is entering its second year.

KRG officials have now threatened to sell Kirkuk’s oil independently if the central government does not transfer the resource-rich province’s budget.