The Kurdistan Region of the Republic of Iraq (KRI) is a semi-autonomous region in northern Iraq. KRI shares its borders with Iran, Turkey and Syria. Since the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003, the KRI has gained more autonomy from the central government in Baghdad and has been active in reconstructing the country. The demographic developments in Kurdistan show a significant growth in the last decennia. The KRI government (the Kurdistan Regional Government – KRG) is based in Erbil. In total, 5.1 million (2012 estimate) people live in the KRI.
The KRG has made huge investment in energy, infrastructure, buildings, and tourism. Forty percent of the Iraqi oil stock is located in the Kurdistan region. Also, there is a great demand for small and medium enterprises in the region.
SPARK plays an important role by offering training and guidance, directly from the Kurdistan as well as from the Netherlands, to entrepreneurs who want to start a business in the region. It is a challenging terrain which suffers from a lack of information, bureaucracy, and transparency.
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