Monday, September 10, 2007


Talabani calls for free trade zone in Sulaimaniyah

(German Press Agency) - Iraq's President Jalal Talabani opened Wednesday a business fair in Sulaimaniyah in the Kurdistan Autonomous Region. Talabani said at the opening that the annual event played an important role in stimulating reconstruction projects in the northern Kurdish provinces. But he also said the fair was a symbol of Iraq's national unity.
The economy of the relatively stable Kurdistan Autonomous Region is booming, in stark contrast to other areas of Iraq where investors are scared away by deadly sectarian violence. Iraq's Kurds have ruled themselves under the protection of the United States since the end of the Gulf war in 1991.
Talabani, himself a Kurd, called for the establishment of a free trade zone in Sulaimaniyah. Over 276 Iraqi and international firms are taking part in the fair, offering a range of products and services from cars to telecommunications. Many firms come from Turkey and Iran, Iraq's big neighbours.

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