US$ 7 billion spent on imports last year
Importers and Exporters Union issued more than 3 thousand import licenses in 2012
Mustafa Abdurrahman, Head of the Kurdistan Region Importers and Exporters Union, announced in a press conference in Sulaimaniya that the total value of imports into the region during the last year was US$ 6.96 billion.
The majority of the imports, according to Abdurrahman, have reached the region through ground border points, while some of them reached Kurdistan via Erbil and Sulaimaniya international airports.
“We have given 3,219 import licenses to traders during 2012, only 318 of which were via the two airports,” Abdurrahman told reporters.
In addition to the huge imports, there were some export activities during the year.
“Some items have been exported, especially crushed plastic, dates, animal skin, mohair, fruits and olives,” explained Abdurrahman in the press conference. “Total weight of the exports was 1,123,65 tons that was exported under 170 export licenses.”
Other activities of Abdurrahman’s union during the last year included par- ticipation in 31 trade fairs and 51 conference and workshops. Moreover, the union also assisted in obtaining 642 entry visas for the travel of traders and members of the union during 2012.
Commenting on the funds of Kurdish traders from Sulaimaniya in some Iranian traders and banks, the union head explained that in cooperation with the Iranian Consulate they returned part of these funds to their owners and they are still trying to get the rest of the funds on the other side of the border.