The best kept economic secret!
What is the best kept economic secret which is no secret at all and can solve Kurdistan and indeed any country’s economic woes?
The common assumption is for a country to be economically prosperous is to have lots of natural resources. The more natural resources a country has the richer its seen to be. Is that the case though? Are all countries with a lot of natural resources economically prosperous? No, not necessarily. Look at a country like Venezuela, one of the top ten oil countries with oil reserves but still economically it's no better off than its neighbouring Columbia!
Have you figured it out by now! It's not the resources that count, but it’s the people, the labour force that really make a difference. Countries like China, U.A.E, and Korea, with virtually no or very little natural resources have managed to become the most economically thriving nations.
These nations invested heavily in its people, in producing a powerful labour force. Education is one of the main keys. The Asian Tiger countries, some of the most economically powerful countries, spend large portions of their national budget on education.
The whole work culture in economically prosperous countries is one of hard work and a commitment to excellence at one’s job. This culture produces economic development, not the natural resources. It is the make or break of a country’s economy.
I remember how the Kurdish work culture was when I came back to Kurdistan in 1999 to do business. The government didn’t have oil generated money to give to people, so it was a simple case of either get a job and work hard to make it or starve! This necessity produced a healthy work culture where work would get done. There was some pro- ductivity in the labour force. Contrast this with the state of the Kurdish labour force after 2003 and the plentiful of the government handouts and you will see a big regression.
Look at the state of the economy now and the labour force, people are now slowly realizing that government handouts are not forever. The realization is slowly dawning upon us that there is a desperate need to transform the work culture and shape up the Kurdish labour force.