Industrial budget is significantly higher in 2013
Trade and industry sectors have developed rapidly in the past eight years
Dler Mahmoud, member of the finance committee at the Kurdistan Parliament states that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has allocated 600 billion IQD (approximately half a million dollars) in the draft budget law of 2013 for improving the Trade and Industry sector of the region.
According to MP Mahmoud, part of this budget will be used for implementing nine new projects this year, while another part of the budget will be used in completing eleven con- current long-term projects that were started in previous years. MP Mahmoud explained that the government will receive “180 Million IQD of loan repayment from borrowers”. MP Mahmoud argues that the industrial budget is reasonable, and it would be unfair to deem it as too low. He said, “If parliament members complain about the budget sector or another, we need to ask ourselves from where the money is generated. Some political groups simply refuse to acknowledge that this Region’s budget is limited”.
The KRG does not create its own revenue but receives it from Baghdad. According to the explanatory report of the government for the budget draft, the number of factories have increased by more than 25% from 2004 until 2012. The report explains that in 2004 there were only 1069 factories while by the end of 2012 this number has reached 2749. Furthermore, the report indicates an even larger increase in the Trade and Industry sector’s budget. In 2004, the Trade and Industry's budget was only 688 million IQD (approximately US$ 570,000), while in 2012 it was a total of 2.3 billion IQD (approximately US$ 1.9 million), i.e. more than 3 times as the 2004 budget.
MP Mahmoud explained that he supports KRG’s Trade and Industry policy, and argued that the government organizes trade through monitoring. “The government has significantly supported the business activities in the region’s market”, MP Mahmoud told the Kurdish Globe. He went on to explain that, “The private sector has been given facilities such as government support and tax exemptions, which will help them with business”.
In 2004, there were only 1,871 local companies and 258 foreign companies in the region, but in 2012 the number of companies registered in Kurdistan reached 12,348 locals, and 2,028 foreign companies, which shows around 6.5 times and 8 times increase in the local, as well as foreign companies respectively. The increase of companies has led to a huge increase in the trade volume between Kurdistan Region and the rest of the world. In 2004, the total trade volume was US$ 4.2 billion while this number has reached US$ 14.9 billion in 2012, more than 3.5 times higher.