Erbil continues to magnetize investors
Erbil comes as the third city to attract investors in Middle East
According to newly-published figures from Erbil’s Directorate General of Investment, more than $14 billion was invested in the Kurdish capital city of Erbil from 2006 to 2013. “Erbil comes as the third city in Middle East to draw the attention of investors across the world”, Najat Bapir explained in a press conference. He also added that the investment volume has reached $14 billion and 473 million and 733 thousand. Out of which, $4 billion and 243 million and 210 thousand is supposed to be invested in 2013.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has changed its policy towards attracting investors in the region by being generous with international companies. In the past years KRG has provided investing companies with a discounted piece of land consisting of 26 thousand and 421 hectares. An estimated 250 companies have taken advantage of this scheme.
Since 2006, more than $13 billion and 500 million has been invested in building new apartments and houses to resolve the issue of renters in Kurdistan. This amounts to 55% of all the investment volume across the region. However, many have criticized KRG by claiming that the housing projects are not in the interest of poor and middle class people. Despite this, KRG continues to allocate a large amount of money on an annual basis from its budget to resolve the high renting prices.
Following the housing sector which the foreign and domestic companies have been investing their capitals in, trade sector comes as second. According to the announced figures by the KRG, it is estimated that around $1 billion and 945 million has been invested in the trade sector, and industry comes as third.
several years, the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region has become a hotspot for investors across the world. The KRG Erbil’s Directorate of Investment has announced that Lebanon comes as the first foreign country which invested the highest possible capital in the region, and it is estimated to be around $990 million and 976 thousand which is more likely 6, 72 percent of the total investment in Erbil and 4 percent of all the investment volume across Kurdistan.
Turkey is the second foreign country which invested an amount of $398 million and 148 thousand in Erbil, and England is the third country that invested $250 million and 720 thousand. It constitutes as 1, 40 percent of the total investment in the city of Erbil. One of the newly registered foreign countries which entered into the region for the purpose of investment is Russia, and it may be aimed to invest enthusiastically in the field of oil and gas.
Furthermore, domestic companies have so far invested around 81 percent of the total investment in the Kurdistan Region. In keeping with the increasing number of foreign companies in Kurdistan, the number of job vacancies is dramatically rising. Job opportunities that all the investment companies has been so far provided for the Kurdistan Region is estimated to be around 160 thousand.
Some of these domestic and foreign companies have been negligent in submitting their projects on time, or in some instances neglecting the standardized measures, which are supposed to be taken into consideration prior to the initiation of any project. Consequently, the government has blacklisted these companies, and any proposal from such companies are rejected by KRG. According to announced figures from the directorate, there are 24 projects which have been blacklisted due to technical defects.
The investment volume is dramatically rising in the region. The volume of investment in 2012 is estimated to be around 28, 79 percent of the total investment, which has been implemented in three Kurdish provinces. In 2006, almost 27 investment projects sought per- mission from KRG to be implemented in Kurdistan. The number of projects that required permission came to 30 in 2009, and doubled in 2010, soaring to 68 projects.
According to some figures from Kurdistan’s Investigation and Information Board, around 250 projects have been so far implemented in the city of Erbil since 2006, while the number is lower in the second largest city of Sulaimaniyah and is estimated to be around 141, while Duhok province is estimated to have had around 126 projects.
An investment project under constrution in Erbil.