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Connecting Kurdistan's people and businesses

Article - October 8, 2012
Transport and communication links are what connect people, take goods to their destinations and essentially allow business to operate. Without these links, the world as we know it could not function
JONSON SIYAOOSH, MINISTER OF TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATIONS

The Ministry of Transport and Communications in the Kurdistan region of Iraq has an important role to play in the development of the area. If infrastructure growth is to be successful, the transport links in the region have to be equally suitable to this expansion, to accommodate for any potential increase in inhabitants and commuters who might use the area. Hon. Mr. Jonson Siyaoosh, the Minister of Transport and Communications for the Kurdistan Regional Government, explains how the ministry plan to oversee this evolution.

What has helped change the general picture in Kurdistan over the last decade?

“Many things have changed here since 2003. In addition to the political climate change, the safety and economic transformations have helped the government to develop the country.”

Jonson Siyaoosh, Minister of Transport and Communications

Many things have changed here since 2003. In addition to the political climate change, the security and economic transformations have helped the government to develop the country. The biggest challenge that is impeding development is our relations with the central government and the political situation in the whole region. The new KRG cabinet’s relations with Turkey and other countries will help us continue with our development. We hope that these relations will lead to more growth in the region.

What specifically has changed with regards to Turkey?

There has been a change in our relations with Turkey for the better. We have business relations with them and we are looking to expand this for further development.

How can the Ministry of Transport & Communications help with the growth of the region, and more specifically what projects do you have ongoing to aid this development?

 To be honest with you, up until now, this ministry was not very well supported  by the government. Now we are starting to implement the mandate or the Law of the Ministry of Transport and Communications which was submitted a few months ago by the Kurdistan Parliament. The problems we had in the past should now be resolved. One issue was the airports, but now the airports will be managed by the Committee or authority of Civil Airports, which will work under our ministry   according to our new law. We are also reviewing our terms in the ministry with regard to the communications and transportation sectors, so we are trying to regulate our standards so they are in line with the rest of the world.

We have many projects, including building a tramway. As you know Erbil and Sulimany are crowded cities, and this will help decrease the traffic on the roads. We are looking for investors to implement this project on a BOT (Build Operate Transfer) basis. The most important project for us is the railway project. We want to start it and we are looking for investors. We need the council of ministers help for implementing this project and connecting the Kurdistan egion with European countries. We will also be connected with Baghdad to the south and the Iranian boarder to the east.

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