Dutch Minister announces development plan in Kurdistan, Middle East
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A member of the Dutch cabinet announced an expansive plan to develop several aspects of the economy in the Kurdistan Region, Iraq, Lebanon, and Jordan, as she arrived in Erbil on Monday.
"There's a broad package," Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag told reporters at Erbil International Airport.
"There's a package of humanitarian assistance, protection, there's access to schooling, education. At the same time, also, a new set of instruments that will give access to private sector finance for companies and startups so that young entrepreneurs who want to start their business and build their knowledge base."
"This is from a viewpoint of our contribution to stability and stabilization, also in the wake of the successful battle against Daesh (IS)," she continued.
The purpose of her visit, she said, was to "have discussions at the highest level," but did not share with which officials she planned to meet.
Kaag said that the Netherlands planned to share its international expertise in agricultural practices and water management, "but also to assist the drive to broaden private sector investments because this creates jobs, it creates shared wealth."
"It's a part of a multi-year partnership that will be established and hopefully, on my next visit, I will see many of the success stories already out there."
Earlier in the year, the Dutch Consulate in Erbil was critical of the international flight ban in the Kurdistan Region imposed in September by Baghdad as a response to the region's independence referendum. In multiple statements urging the end of the ban, the consulate stated that it harmed stability and economic development in Kurdistan.