Sulaymaniyah Hosts IIEF 2024

Economy 10:33 AM - 2024-01-25
 International Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum 2024 Deputy Prime Minister's media office

International Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum 2024

Kurdistan Region economy

Sulaymaniyah hosted the first International Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum 2024, the first such event in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq. The forum hosted 300 special guests, including entrepreneurs and investors. 

Consuls, government representatives, academics, domestic and international investors, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and university professors all attended the forum. Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani delivered a speech in which he stated: "I am delighted that this conference is being held in Sulaymaniyah, as Sulaymaniyah has consistently been at the forefront, and we have convened intending to encourage innovation." 

Previously, Bakhshin Taha Fatih, Director of the Smart Suli Hackathon Project, told PUKMEDIA: "The objective of the International Forum on Innovation and Entrepreneurship is to demonstrate challenges and innovative resolutions by harnessing the unique ideas put forth by youngsters. In addition to the project's benefits for the general public, the inventor benefits because his idea is realized, and implemented, and he retains ownership of the finished product."

We overcome obstacles with smart solutions

DPM Qubad Talabani stated, "I am delighted to meet with scholars, college professors, politicians, and investors in this setting." We will overcome the challenges together by combining our skills and knowledge. We must identify and overcome the barriers to market entry and employment opportunities by implementing smart solutions. We will leave the forum with definitive decisions and outcomes." 

Qubad Talabani added, "We are not here to discuss a single problem or to hear complaints, but to address and resolve the economic and developmental issues that the Kurdistan Region and Iraq are currently facing."

We are not as powerful as our opponents, but we can be more intelligent

"While it is clear that the Kurdistan Region is currently facing several security, economic, and political challenges, I am confident that we will overcome these obstacles. While we are not as powerful as our opponents, we can be more intelligent," the Deputy Prime Minister stated. 

At the end of his speech, Talabani thanked the guests and expressed his gratitude, saying: "I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for the support that you have given to the entrepreneurial community in Iraq and the Kurdistan region, and I hope that you have seen over the last several years how your contribution has helped grow an ecosystem here that is providing hope in what seems at times like a hopeless situation."

"I hope that this conference will encourage you to support them further and to increase your assistance to them, and we can assure you that as the government, we will do everything we can to make sure your support makes it to the right place and is not in vain, and you see the product and these guys succeed," he added.

Kurdistan Region is actively striving for advancement

During a panel at the forum, Dr. Mantas Adomėnas, Senior Research Fellow at the Baltic Institute of Advanced Technology and former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, shared Lithuania's experience with Kurdistan in making the system digital. He emphasized the importance of making sacrifices and efforts to achieve this goal and having allies worldwide. 

Jort Posthumus, the Deputy Consul General of the Netherlands, delivered a presentation on the business infrastructure in the Kurdistan Region and said: "The Kurdistan Region is actively working toward advancement, with a focus on improving the quality of individual lives. The international community must engage in monitoring and assisting while also improving our relations in the upcoming years. It is a shame if we cannot take advantage of our connections, and we highly value this particular relationship."

Dr. Ulrich Nussbaum, former German State Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, stated: "Creating and fostering a conducive environment for successful entrepreneurship is a complex process that requires collaboration among multiple stakeholders. Entrepreneurs must be adaptable to new strategies, and every country must foster a favorable business environment to attract international investors."

Qubad Talabani: Anyone can start a company in hours for 63,000 dinars

Following the forum, several decisions were made to support business owners, entrepreneurs, and innovators. According to Talabani, entrepreneurs can obtain a company license and become business owners in as little as 24 hours. 

During his closing remarks, Talabani stated: "This project, which we have been working on for a while, aims to identify problems and find intelligent solutions in a free environment." 

He added: "Entrepreneurs can now obtain a company license within 24 hours. Furthermore, we have implemented a reduced fee of only 63 thousand Iraqi dinars for obtaining a company license to reduce the usual bureaucratic hurdles and complications that business owners face. Nonetheless, we will allow the owners to choose the name of their company. As part of this forum, we have decided to take several steps to benefit businesses and entrepreneurs. The primary focus will be on simplifying and reducing fees and taxes."

In his closing remarks, the DPM emphasized that this forum serves a dual purpose: not only to engage in discussions and listen to the issues at hand, but also to actively address and find solutions to them, with a focus on assisting entrepreneurs and innovators.



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