The Snapshot: Trade

Foreign trade has developed rapidly since 2006 and has been playing a crucial role in Kurdistan’s economy.


The KRG aims to create a platform as a business enabler. The Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) represents a strong platform for entering the Iraqi market, which contains 39 million consumers. The region needs a secure and business-friendly destination like KRI to facilitate trade with Iraq. The KRI allows businesses to benefit from the transit of goods moving through Kurdistan to other parts of Iraq and helps regional trade. Considering its visionary leadership, robust security, and investment-friendly regulations, Kurdistan has the potential to become the heart of Iraq’s manufacturing and trade hub.

The Route

Ibrahim Khalil crossing, between Turkey and the KRI, serves as the main crossing in Kurdistan’s foreign trade activities. Erbil International Airport and Slemani International Airport also contribute to enhancing the role of Kurdistan’s foreign trade in the economy.

Free Trade Zones

The KRG has plans to establish free trade zones to play a pivotal role in increasing commercial exchange between Kurdistan and the region. The preliminary approval has been received to establish the zones.

Industrial Zones

Building industrial zones is also on the KRG’s agenda. The budget has been approved and an area of around 1million sqm has been allocated for construction of industrial zones.

Top Trade Partners:

Turkey, Iran, UAE, Lebanon, Jordan

Currently, Turkey is Kurdistan Region of Iraq’s largest trading partner with around $5.6 billion in bilateral trade in 2019. Over 60,000 trucks crossed from Turkey into the KRI monthly. In 2009, only 485 Turkish companies were registered in the KRI. As of January 2020, 1,421 Turkish companies are operating in the KRI.


Total number of registered companies reached 27,290 in 2019 from 17,348 in 2013 in the KRI. In terms of foreign companies, 3,252 foreign companies have been registered in the KRI.

You might also like

Thank you! Your subscription has been confirmed. You'll hear from us soon.
Join our newsletter
to get latest updates.