The prodigy of the Middle East

An investment hub brimming with opportunity, Kurdistan is fast becoming the prodigy of the Middle East.

From the ashes of the tumultuous previous regime has emerged modern Kurdistan like the mythological phoenix. To look back on this prosperous decade is to take stock of just how far the region has come in such a short space of time.

From a primitive, lifeless caterpillar a vibrant and colorful butterfly has blossomed. A modern, mature state fully engaged in international business and peaceful diplomacy.

There’s no looking back for Kurdistan 2013; too much has been achieved in both geopolitical relations and international investment to even contemplate a return to the dark days. 12% economic growth (2012) is just one indicator of its startling progress. The stigma of that past has all but been consigned to ancient history; Kurdistan has turned the page and the rest of the world is invited to do likewise.

This is a region brimming with business opportunities and plenty of unique leisure to be enjoyed. Where to begin?

Given its commitment to creating a bilingual English society, its hospitable and cultured people, its increasingly cosmopolitan capital city of Erbil, its conducive business conditions in a variety of thriving industries, and its spectacular mountain tourist resorts, Kurdistan is quickly becoming the envy of the Middle East, and a focal point for international attention.

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to describe His Excellency Mr. Nechirvan Barzani as a visionary. When he proposed that Kurdistan drill and export its own oil in 2008, scorn was heaped on him for having delusions of grandeur and vested interests.

Prime Minister Barzani dismissed such idle speculation and ‘‘continued the path’’, starting by attracting small investors. His ambitious vision for a self-determining Kurdistan is now very much a reality.

Through this hectic period of Kurdish expansion, Prime Minister Barzani also found time to play peacemaker. Kurdish-Turkish relations have witnessed a welcomed rapprochement in recent years, and if there’s one man who symbolizes this movement, it’s Nechirvan Barzani with his deft diplomacy.

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