Maf steel factory in Duhok has been producing pipes since 2009. Photo: Rudaw TV
DUHOK, Kurdistan Region – The Kurdistan government will increase tariffs on the import of steel products as of next week in order to give a boost to local manufacturers.
The Kurdistan Region is currently imposing a $13 tax for one ton of steel, but this will increase to $98 when the new tax code takes effect next Monday.
A factory in Duhok that started producing metal pipes in 2009 has welcomed the decision.
“The expenses here are too much and that makes our products more expensive than foreign products. As a result, we cannot compete. So the decision taken by the Regional Government, that will tax the imported pipes, will help the [local] product and allows us to compete,” Naif Ali, chair of Maf steel factory, told Rudaw.
Not everyone is happy with the move, however.
Some tradesmen, both local and foreign, who import steel products into the Kurdistan Region, told Rudaw they object to the new measure as they believe local factories cannot meet demands. They worry the end result will be higher prices for an essential commodity.
Saraj Aslan, a Turkish-Kurdish tradesman in Duhok, said they are importing their products from at least five countries through their main headquarters in Gaziantep. He told Rudaw that prices for steel should be in line with world prices.