Er­bil con­tin­ues to mag­ne­tize in­vestors

Er­bil comes as the third city to at­tract in­vestors in Mid­dle East

The Kurdish Globe - - EDITORIAL - By Salih Wal­ad­bagi

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.

‘For­eign in­vest­ment

vol­ume’

Over

the

past

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.

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