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Foreign Investment in Kurdistan at $5.5 billion; UAE Among Top investors

By Alexandra Di Stefano Pironti 22/1/2014
Governor of Erbil Nawzad Hadi and Abdul Rahman Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chamber inaugurate the Erbil office of Dubadi Chamber, January 2014. Photo: Business Wire
Governor of Erbil Nawzad Hadi and Abdul Rahman Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chamber inaugurate the Erbil office of Dubadi Chamber, January 2014. Photo: Business Wire

BARCELONA, Spain – Foreign direct investment (FDI) in the Kurdistan Region stands at $5.5 billion, and the United Arab Emirates is among the top investors, according to a senior Kurdish official.

The comments by Nawroz Mohamed Amin, vice chairwoman of the Kurdistan Investment Board, came at a panel discussion in Erbil of Kurdish officials and a visiting delegation from the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI), which reported the remarks in a statement.

“Kurdistan has adopted a new policy to encourage investment in certain sectors which has resulted in a massive investment development leading to USD 5.5 billion FDI,” the statement quoted Amin as saying.

It reported her saying that, “UAE investments in the region stood at US$2.5 billion which is far below both sides’ capabilities and expectations.”

Amin called on UAE investors to increase their investments in the region and highlighted the attractions offered to foreign investors in Kurdistan, including land allotment at competitive prices, tax exemption and equal opportunities for local and foreign investors.

She pointed out that these facilities “are based on the free market economy and open-door policy for neighboring countries.”

DCCI President and CEO Hamad Buamim was quoted as saying that the recent opening of a third representative office in the Iraqi region “reaffirms the UAE business community’s desire to expand in the Kurdish market.”

Meanwhile, Fathi Al-Mudris, economic advisor at the Kurdistan Ministry of Trade and Industry, said that the UAE is the seventh-largest investor in Iraqi Kurdistan.

He also called on Dubai companies to assist in developing Kurdistan’s four industrial zones, saying there are already 134 UAE companies in Kurdistan, the statement said.

There are reportedly 2,724 foreign companies and 17,160 Kurdish companies in total operating in the autonomous enclave, he disclosed.

Al-Mudris also said that per capita income in the Kurdistan Region was $7,000, and that it is expected to grow to $10,000 in the next four years.

A recent authoritative study compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit said the Kurdistan region offers a “stable base and gateway” to the rest of Iraq and encouraged UAE businesses to seize business opportunities in the energy, construction, real estate and tourism sectors.

Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, has earned the title of the “Dubai of Iraq” and has been named the tourist capital of the Arab World in 2014.


rockone | 22/1/2014
Iraqi Kurdistan has become so dumb that even the arabs who the westerns make fun of for being ignorant are now trying to master kurds, wtf are kurds doing
Bakir Lashkari
Bakir Lashkari | 22/1/2014
May I bring the negative scenario to draw your attention to one might be the future fear, although I am the positive thinker and very much optimistic about the current Kurdish and Kurdistan situation! What will happen imagine and if one day the Arabs, Turks and Faris attacking the Kurdish Natural Resources and to expel the Kurds out of the Region? Who will take the Kurdish Natural Resources, we do not know yet? Look at what is happening to Israel in the Region, although Israel is the State and it's protecting and depending it's people and borders day and night by all means! Have ou mentioned that the the German Foreign Minsiter warned the Kurds to get united, which means something for the current and future Kurdish situation! Some times you need to have a good conflict To escalate the crisis situation to the highest hot speed, even in the family situation, to Clarify a lot of frustrations and disagreements, so you make it clear who is who and Why are making such a noises! Now adays I am comparing the KRG like my own house with a beautiful garden, growing every type of lowers and living with family who can share the good and bad times together. At the samen time I consider that I am living with serveral neighboures around my house. What can we expect from some one who is deliberitly interferring my own house rules, my own garden flowers, involvement in my personal life and even worse interferring in my business activities and garden resources. Usually in the west when I want to buy or build a house and invest in my company, I can borrow the money and will it back to the back monthly or quartly. If I borrow the money from the bank to invest in my house or in my company, I do not need to come to my house or to my company to join me, to live with me or to manage with me! The current situation with the UAE seems to me that they will join you, they will tell what to do everyday, wphow to manage your company, how to spend the money! Do not we lose Kurdistan in this way to the other's who has the money which means can play it's power on you? Money means power, power means information, information means power, the Kurds are for both subjects rather desperate and very much sensetive to lose the power and it's own destiny! A certain balance of power and thinking about the future there is much needed for a geostrategical thinktanks, not those who are now around the Kurdish Leader Massoud Barzani, but some real Kurdish diaspora who know how International diplomacy is working!
Shamal Karim | 23/1/2014
Strange commnets indeed....if they can be ubderstood at all! the UAE over 90 of the population is foreign...and huge foreign investment pours into the country....Kurdistan has a lot to learn from the UAE...and the KRG is on the right path to encourage investment and continue the success story that is Kurdistan prosperity. Shamal Karim Abu Dhabi
Karim | 29/1/2014
Only 5% benefits from economic growth, its time for Government to rethink about where all the money is going.. What is the point of 17% from central government, again on few people benefits from it..
Ozheen Ma. | 8/3/2014
The KRG should stop doing business with Arabs.
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