Kurdistan Regional Government
TUE, 21 NOV 2017 16:49 Erbil, GMT +3

PM's speech at 5-star hotel groundbreaking ceremony

FRI, 11 MAY 2007 16:01 | KRG Cabinet

Erbil, 11 May 2007

Speech by KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani

Dear guests, good afternoon. Welcome to you all. It is a pleasure to welcome you here today.

I especially welcome Mr Michael Sorgenfrey, General Manager of Kempinski Hotels and his delegation.

And also, special welcome to Mr Paul Brinkley from the US Department of Defense with his business delegation. Thank you for being here.

I also welcome the Elegan Group and their delegation, investors from Turkey. A warm welcome to you.

Your attendance here today is a very strong message of support for our serious efforts to rebuild our country. Projects such as this are our response to the destructive activities of terrorists. Whatever they do, the terrorists cannot stop our progress.

The people of Kurdistan and of all Iraq have a strong determination to attain security and stability. I wish to express my sincere condolences to the families and relatives of the victims of the terrorist attack this past Wednesday, and to wish a speedy recovery for the wounded.

Here I would like to assure our people that the KRG is determined to build a civil society in which the rule of law and the principles of democracy and respect for human rights become our standards in everyday life.

After many years of oppression and isolation, the Kurdistan Region with all its diverse peoples is eager to join the modern world, and to live in peace and prosperity.

We believe we have made a good start in contributing to a better, new Iraq for all Iraqis, regardless of ethnicity, religion or sect.

Our first responsibility is to provide security and safety to each individual. We must also have political, financial, economic, food and social security.

Fortunately, we have the wealth that flows beneath our feet. Oil and gas will contribute to our financial security. We believe that decentralisation of oil and gas management in accordance with a federal system will generate higher benefits to be equitably shared by all Iraqis. We cannot, and must not, ever forget the extraordinary abuse we have suffered from excessive centralisation of political and economic power.

We are committed to a unified, federal, pluralistic, and democratic Iraq. We have struggled and supported the drafting and approval of the constitution that promotes and protects the peaceful interests of all Iraqis in every corner of the country. We are committed to abide by the constitution, on which our cooperation and collaboration is firmly based.

Apart from our oil and gas wealth, we also have wealth on our fertile land and in our streams and rivers that will contribute to our food security. We also have good productive land and good water resources. Our land has been a breadbasket for Iraq. Agriculture began some 8,000 years ago in Kurdistan.

After decades of decline through neglect and destruction by the former regime, we are now beginning to realize our agricultural potential. Our main market will be the rest of Iraq, just as we are a market for fresh foods from the rest of the country. The Kurdistan Region will contribute to the food security of the country.

But our real wealth is our people and their diversity, with their education and skills, their vigilance and their hard work in building a strong and stable country.

Earlier this week we completed the first year of a unified KRG. We have progressed in working together to serve our people, and we are determined to proceed with this cooperative attitude and policy.

We must develop our capacities further in order to accelerate our growth and deepen and expand our economic development. Our people are demanding better government. They deserve a better governance system and we have a duty to deliver good governance through improved management capabilities.

Very importantly, our ministries and departments must move from a project orientation to a policy orientation. These policies must be sensitive to our culture and to our environment.

These policies must be designed with the participation of our people, and meet with their approval. These policies are fundamental in guiding us into the future and to justify our efforts and spending. They are important for promoting transparency and accountability, and for treating corruption. We have just begun to proceed with developing our reconstruction policies.

We are optimistic about our future. It is indeed promising. But it is a future dependent on the support of all our friends and neighbours. We support our neighbours in their peaceful pursuits. We believe our mutual peaceful interests can result in mutual advantages and mutual prosperity for all our peoples. We all have much to gain from mutual respect and cooperation. I hereby reiterate the KRG policy that we are for peaceful and engaging relations with all our neighbours. Turkey is one of our most important neighbours and we would like to have good neighbourly relations based on mutual respect and mutual interest.

Kurdistan is open for promoting investment and participation of the private sector. This is already being well demonstrated by the broad involvement and extensive investments of our neighbours who provide a wide range of goods and services, including professional construction services.

We are now moving to a new level in our growth and economic development in meeting our people's needs and aspirations. Today we break ground for a facility by one of the world's leading companies in the hospitality industry. Kempinski Hotels will construct a hotel that will meet the highest international standards. This hotel will serve our growth and development.

This hotel is anticipated to create hundreds of new, important jobs for our people. We are a hospitable people.

This project is the most serious foreign investment project in the Kurdistan Region. This hotel is a partnership between the private and public sectors. Elegan Group is the investor, Kempinski will manage the hotel, and the KRG is playing a major role with the provision of land and support services to make this project a reality. This project demonstrates and proves that the KRG supports this kind of investment. We look forward to a long, productive relationship with Kempinski Hotels. Their success will be our success.

The leadership of the Kurdistan Region is committed to its positive role in making this a reality. We want to build an Iraq that is at peace with itself and its neighbours.

It is becoming well known that the Kurdistan Region is a commercial gateway to the rest of Iraq. Our Region offers great investment potential. The gateway is open to our friends and neighbours. Kempinski Hotels is opening the gate even wider.

On behalf of the Kurdistan Regional Government, I warmly welcome the owners, the Elegan Group, and investors in this Kempinski Hotel who have taken this outstanding initiative. We consider their efforts as committed participation in contributing to the future of the Kurdistan Region and to the rest of Iraq.

I would also like to thank Mr Hassan Tayib for his dedication and hard work in making this project a reality. I thank Mr Saba also for his positive role in this project.

Finally, I thank all of you for attending. I commend all those who have initiated the implementation of this project and I wish you all success.

Thank you.

See also press release: PM Barzani inaugurates foundations of five-star hotel complex