Health sector employees to get residential units
Suleimaniya Investment official states this year they will focus on agriculture, tourism and industry
This year a number of projects will be implemented for building residential units for different types of employees in Suleimaniya, the first phase starting with the health sector employees. Aziz Saeed Rashid, Executive Manager at the Suleimaniya Investment Directorate told the Kurdish Globe that they will not focus on housing this year.
This year a number of projects will be implemented for building residential units for different types of employees in Suleimaniya, the first phase starting with the health sector employees.
Aziz Saeed Rashid, Executive Manager at the Suleimaniya Investment Directorate told the Kurdish Globe in an interview that they will not focus on housing this year.
Q: What is the 2013 plan of Suleimaniya Investment Directorate?
A: There are 11 investment sectors, and what we do not work on specifically is the housing sector. According to a decree, licensing of residential projects has been put on hold. Our 2013 plan focuses on three major sectors, which are tourism, agriculture and industry. Trade sector is not a focus this year. However, there may be exceptions for innovative projects that are beneficial and create a lot of job opportunities. Furthermore, according to a new regulation of the Directorate General of Investment, we will control the licensing process and only license based on demand in each sector. For this purpose we have requested the planning ministry to send us the demands and shortages in each city and town, so that we propose projects accordingly.
Q: Do you allocate lands for projects in each sector?
A: Lands for all our projects are allocated by the municipality ministry, i.e. we do not allocate lands for projects, except for some specific projects or which we already have plots of land, such as the Dokan Tourist Project, which is now in the process of assigning the investor for; or a plot of land for an industrial zone in Arbat, which is under processing.
Q: Majority of the districts and sub-districts has been deprived from investment projects. Is there any specific attention to this, especially within the three sectors of focus?
A: Investment Law offers more facilities for projects in districts and sub-districts, but till now investors choose location of projects by their own. That is why till now not enough projects have been implemented in those areas. We have tried to convince investors to do so especially for agriculture, livestock and food processing projects in places like Hawraman, Sharbazher and Sharazoor.
Q: According to the list of licensed projects, few foreign investors invest in Suleimaniya. What is the reason?
A: Many efforts have been made to attract more foreign investors to Suleimaniya. However, most of the licenses have been given to local investors, some less to joint ventures and very few to pure foreign investors. Investment Law has more incentives for foreign investors compared to local investors. For instance, local investors are exempt from taxes for 10 years, while foreign investors are exempt for 15 years. Moreover, local investors can import goods and material free of cus- tom charges for 5 years, while foreign investors can benefit from this for 10 years. Currently some foreign investors have come to Suleimaniya, especially for building five star hotels, but this is not satisfactory and we are trying to attract more foreign investors.
Q: Lack of coordination between your directorate and municipalities have sometimes resulted in cancelation of investment licenses or escalations, such as the Piano Mall project. Why do you still lack this coordination?
A: We have weekly meeting about such issues and efforts have been made to solve them. We have also asked the municipalities that the lands being allocated to investment projects should be free from any problems.
Q: What is the update about the plan of building residential units for different professional classes? Will this start this year?
A: Yes, this is under process and it is planned that in the first phase residential units be built for health sector employees. All the designs and plans are ready and in the coming days it will be put to tender for implementation. The land is also ready for the project. Criteria for choosing bidders include minimum price, deposit and longest financing option. These projects cannot benefit from the housing fund. As a first stage some 2,000 units will be built.
Suleimaniya skyline with many investment projects including the magnificent Shari Jwan Hotel.