Many new housing units, mini cities, hotels and malls could be seen in Kirkuk as the security improves, despite the fact that ISIS is still holding Hawija, some 55 km west of Kirkuk, mainly thanks to new security measures introduced by the local government in the province, and the Kurdish Peshmrga who have been stationed there since 2014. Photo: Rudaw Video.
KIRKUK, Kurdistan Region — Kirkuk’s masterplan for 2018 contains a total of 65 investment projects. A move which has motivated many local and foreigner business owners to come and invest their assets in the city to boost its infrastructure. They cite the city’s improving security conditions behind their motives.
Faris Rafiq, a businessman and property developer from Emirates has decided to invest $1.3 billion in three projects in Kirkuk.
Rafiq says he has made a great decision and will bring in more assets to invest in the city
“We are a group from the Emirates. After following up on the city’s security, it turned out that it is much more stable for us to invest in compared to years ago. Therefore, we invested our assets here to improve the city’s infrastructure,” said Rafiq.
Unlike a few years go, recently many new housing units, mini cities, hotels and malls could be seen in Kirkuk.
The emergence of these projects in Kirkuk comes after the Kirkuk administration dug trenches around the city.
“Initially, we were very afraid of bombings. We would start a project, a car bomb would destroy it,” said Mohammed Sami, a local investor. “But, since the Peshmerga came here we have no fear. We are working on six huge projects as security measures are paving the way for investment here.”
The number of investors and companies in Kirkuk is on the rise. In the past three months, 140 investment licenses are issued, of which 80 of them were to foreign investors.
Head of Kirkuk Investment Board Falah Bazaz explained that they “have issued more than 140 investments licenses in all fields.” The goal of investment is to provide job opportunity for unemployed people and be able to bring a new technology for Kirkuk.”
Seventy other companies are yet to receive investment permits.
However, due to their shortcomings, three companies are blacklisted and their licenses are revoked.