With more than 800,000 inhabitants, Erbil in the north of Iraq is both the capital and largest city of the Kurdistan autonomous region with a total population of 4 million. The Kurdish region possesses rich natural resources, such as fertile land, water, oil, gas, and important minerals. The 2011 IMF annual report forecasts a growth of 12% for the Kurdish economy. The volume of investment in Kurdistan is currently running at US$ 16 billion. The region’s relative security is attractive to businessmen wishing to use it as a base for operations into Iraq. Despite border controls at the transit points between Kurdistan and the remainder of Iraq, the Kurdish region provides a favourable starting point for business in central and southern Iraq. The Erbil International Fair, which was held for the 11th time in 2011, has taken place each year in Erbil since 2005. This trade show services a variety of industries and testifies to the growing importance of Kurdistan as a strategic business and trade centre in the region.