Proposed industrial areas lack clarity
No final decision has been made regarding the creation of four industrial areas
Four proposed industrial areas in the region is no longer under the authority of Ministry of Trade and Industry of the Kurdistan Regional Government.
For the past two years, numerous reports have surfaced regarding the creation of four industrial areas to bring together all industrial projects in one place, and classify them according to their industry. The Ministry of Trade and Industry of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) says the implementation of the four proposed industrial areas is no longer under their authority, but rather it has been transferred to the governorates for implementation.
The governor of Erbil, Nawzad Hadi says, the project is still under the authority of Kurdistan Region’s Supreme Economic council but has not been finalized. The project was at the Trade and Industry Ministry till late last year, and a number of initial layouts had been prepared for the project and have been submitted to the Ministry of Planning for consideration in their the allocation of budget for their investment projects.
According to Swara Aziz, Director General of Planning at the Trade and Industry Ministry, the project for building four industrial project in each of Erbil, Duhok, Suleimaniya and Garmian has already been approved by the government and a budget of IQD 180 billion (approximately US$ 150 million) has been allocated for the project.
The project is to build four modern industrial areas on a plot of land of 750 hectares each. Aziz told the Globe that at the first phase, 250 hectares will be built in each location. Without explaining the reasons, Aziz said that the project was taken back from his ministry and assigned to the governorates late 2012.
As per the initial designs prepared by the Trade and Industry Minister, the industrial areas would contain the entire basic infrastructure services such as water and power supply, sewage system, firefighting systems as well as many other services.
In Duhok, Sulaimaniya and Garmian the location of the industrial areas have been determined and the lands have been allocated for the project, however, this still remains unresolved in Erbil. Governor Hadi told the Globe that the project is still at the council of ministers for approval and the Supreme Economic Council has not given the final approval on the project.
Hadi also added that they have visited Turkey to get an idea about the design of their industrial areas and use it in their designs. He also stated that those who already have industrial licenses can receive a plot of land for their projects, but the location for the industrial area has not been determined.
There are more than 2,700 industrial plants with a cumulative capital of US$ 3 billion and a total of 24,255 job opportunities created. Furthermore, there are many other projects awaiting allocation of land and implementation. Trade and Industry Ministry statistics show that there are 900 licensed projects waiting for lands, 150 of which have already purchased machinery.
The lack of an exclusive area for industrial projects in Erbil, the existing industrial projects are scattered in different places around the city and in some places food processing plants are situated next to a concrete block factory.
A view of a cement factory in Baziyan, southwest of Suleimaniya.