UNDP is supporting private sector development in Iraq as engine of economic growth and resilienceMar 13, 2017
Erbil-The Erbil Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ECCI) hosted a Business Forum titled “The role of the private sector in the growth and development of the local economy”. The Forum was supported by UNDP’s Iraq Crisis Response and Resilience Programme (ICRRP), with generous funding from the Government of Germany.
Discussions were facilitated amongst private sector actors, civil society organizations, academics and aid organizations on how to support private sector growth and enhance its role in local economic development in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). Several priority areas were identified, including an enabling environment and strong regulatory framework, focus on niche markets as well as support to small and medium-sized enterprises.
Participants offered their unique experiences operating in the KRI to contribute towards developing a roadmap for the role of the private sector in development and diversification of the economy in the KRI. The roadmap is expected to inform the private sector, international organizations, as well as policy and governmental support.
UNDP Deputy Country Director for Iraq, Mr. Sultan Hajiyev, said: “We consider the private sector to be a strategic stakeholder as it is typically the engine of economic growth and job creation in developed and developing countries. In a crisis context, the private sector can have a particularly important role by creating innovative approaches to rapid recovery and resilience. UNDP is strongly committed to supporting the ECCI and national stakeholders to create a more prosperous and diverse private sector that will benefit internally displaced people, Syrian refugees, and host families in the KRI.”
ECCI President, Dr. Dara Al Khayat, stated: “Since 2014, the private sector in the KRI has been weakened by insecurity, oil price shocks, and mass displacement caused by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) conflict. Many foreign private sector actors ceased operations in the KRI, with many people losing their jobs. We need to revitalize economic activities and provide job opportunities especially to women, who are key for family stability, and to the youth, who are the future of Iraq.”
In addition to organizing this Forum, ICRRP aims to develop the entrepreneurship skills and opportunities of business owners through providing business grants as well as mentorship of small or new business owners by established companies.
UNDP’s ICRRP provides fast-track support to vulnerable families in newly liberated cities and villages where social tensions threaten community cohesion. ICRRP is currently active in eleven newly liberated communities in Diyala, Salah al Din and Ninewah Governorates and is expected to expand to nearly 30 locations in the months ahead. ICRRP is designed as a resilience and recovery programme to help families withstand the multi-dimensional shocks associated with post-liberation and large-scale returns. ICRRP has helped more than 18,000 refugees, internally displaced people, and host families in Iraq rebuild their livelihoods.
Paola Piccione, Communications and Implementation Specialist for ICRRP (m) +964 751 170 4045