Just three years ago, with a series of massive construction projects, a booming economy driven by the region’s vast oil and gas reserves, and a strong business partner in former foe Turkey, the future looked bright for the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). Business was flourishing in the capital of this autonomous enclave, with Erbil viewed as a trade gate to the rest of Iraq. The city was also becoming a favorite destination for foreign investors, thanks to its friendly investment law.
This is not the case anymore. The region’s once booming economy has turned to bust. The rapid drop of oil prices with more than 50%; the occupation neighboring provinces by Islamic State (ISIS) militants; and the suspension of fiscal transfers from Baghdad to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) have resulted in a major government-budget crisis. Public sector salaries have gone unpaid for months now and governmental banks have no cash to fund depositors’ withdrawal or pay the contractors. Meanwhile billions of dollars in payments due to foreign oil companies have not been made.
To understand the level of KRI’s economic decline, these five charts below explains it:
Four of the five charts have been publish first on: http://www.marcopolis.net/ (Kurdistan Region of Iraq Report by Dr. Mark DeWeaver)