Time for a Radical Rethink. Full report on the MERI Economic Forum 2016

The MERI Economic Forum 2016 is the first of its kind to be held in Iraq or the Kurdistan Region. Iraq and the KRI, at the time of the forum in April 2016, were in the midst of a severe financial and economic crisis and searching for ways to move away from the rentier-state economic model to restructure and grow the economy.

Policy- and decision-makers were convened at the Saad Abdullah Conference Hall in Erbil from the KRG and the Central Government with international experts, foreign diplomats, and academics to discuss and debate models that have been successful in other countries and opportunities for the KRI, as well as to critique policies related to budget, public administration, management of natural resources, regulation of the financial sector, and sources and spending of government revenues.

The debates had policy-makers face expert critiques and resulted in concrete recommendations for the KRG and the Central Government in Iraq. The attached report on the MERI Economic Forum 2016 includes summaries for each panel, as well as a recommendation section at the end. You can find a video of each panel discussion on the MERI Forum webpage.

Download the Summary Report in English.

The views expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily represent views of MERI.

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About MERI:  The Middle East Research Institute is Iraq’s leading policy-research institute and think tank. It is an independent, entirely grant-funded not-for-profit organisation, based in Erbil, Kurdistan Region.  Its mission is to contribute to the process of nation-building, state-building and democratisation via engagement, research, analysis and policy debates.

MERI’s main objectives include promoting and developing human rights, good governance, the rule of law and social and economic prosperity. MERI conduct high impact, high quality research (including purpose-based field work) and has published extensively in areas of: human rights, government reform, international politics, national security, ISIS, refugees, IDPs, minority rights (Christians, Yezidis, Turkmen, Shabaks, Sabi mandeans), Baghdad-Erbil relations, Hashd Al-Shabi, Peshmarga, violence against women, civil society. MERI engages policy- and decision-makers, the civil society and general public via publication, focused group discussions and conferences (MERI Forum).

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