Kurdistan’s Road to Independence: Building a New Economic Structure

By Tara Shwan

As the people of the Kurdistan Region prepare to head to the polls on September 25, 2017, in a historical referendum on Kurdistan's independence, we compare the economies of Iraq with other nations and ask, “What economic structure would a sovereign Kurdistan take?"

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Kurdistan’s Independence Referendum from an Economic Point of View

By Tara Shwan

This is not a political opinion, but an economic point of view. Some people in the Kurdistan Region oppose the proposed referendum for independence just because it's adopted by a certain party, while others argue that this isn't the right time for a serious step like that as the Region is suffering from severe economic crisis.

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Good Governance of Natural Resources for Economic Growth

By Paiman Ramazan Ahmad

Kaufmann et al (1999) defined "governance as the traditions and institutions that determine how authority is exercised in a country." Based on available literature including thoughts of neo-institutional scholars including, Douglass North and MancurOlsan, a positive relationship between the quality of institutions, governance structures, and economic growth is found.

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The AKEI for Research, Development and Consulting delivers on its objectives via the following:

Research and Consulting Services

  • Areas of economic research include: constraints to growth, comparative studies, tax reform, industry privatization, and tariffs. The Institute leverages its international network to place research fellows and consultants to perform these services.
  • Collecting and analyzing economic data that will lead to increase business opportunities and improve the economic system and develop a sustainable infrastructure for the Region. Analysis of critical economic challenges and opportunities facing the region.
  • Disseminating data and relevant information on Kurdistan, Iraq and the wider region via printed, electronic, and audio-visual publication of research reports, journals, blogs, pamphlets, books, policy watch briefings, and seminar proceedings.
  • Monitor regional and international Economic news broadcast of events and developments that impact the region in general and on Iraq and Kurdistan in particular.
  • Offering independent research studies, expert consultation, leadership training, and crisis management services to governmental and non-governmental organizations.

Events and conferences

AKEI engages government, public and private sector institutions and civil society in open and/or confidential debates, seminars, workshops and conferences on economic issues. Such events include:

  1. Annual AKEI Kurdistan Economic Forum

  2. The Inaugural AKEI Economic Forum will be the first of its kind in Erbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The Forum is designed to address the Region's severe financial and economic crisis by engaging government, academics, and industry leaders to debate and recommend economic policy reforms. Over the course of three days the Economic Forum will address the need for both public and private sector reforms. Potential themes to be debated include:

    • Public Administration Reform and Budget Alignment
    • Management of Energy, Subsidies and Revenues
    • Rule of Law and Combating Corruption
    • Making Kurdistan Competitive in Manufacturing and Agriculture
    • Building Trust in the Financial Sector and Increasing Access to Credit

  3. US-Kurdistan Trade Delegation

  4. AKEI works on enhancing and coordinating trade and business relationship between the private sectors and businesses in Kurdistan Region with U.S. Business and trade entities through arranging trade delegations bringing US companies to the KR to understand business opportunities and build the relationships necessary to invest and expand into the Kurdistan Region. AS well as hosting companies from Kurdistan Region on trade delegations to the U.S.

  5. Annual AKEI Kurdistan Agriculture Forum

  6. This Annual Forum brings economists, agricultural experts, and policy makers together to debate the critical issues surrounding the agricultural industry.

  7. Community, Civil Society, and Cultural Development Programs

  8. AKEI implements community-level economic development programs in cooperation with our regional network of NGOs. AKEI complements our academic research with community projects that empower the people of Kurdistan to play an active and productive role in the development of their own economy and livelihoods. Women, minorities, the disabled, and IDPs are all integral members of the Kurdish economy and AKEI aims to promote their advancement. Services may include: workforce assessments, skills training, education, and mentoring.