The Kur­dis­tan econ­omy for dum­mies

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS - By Swara Kadir

If you are think­ing about in­vest­ing in Kur­dis­tan, and you are a for­eign in­vestor with cap­i­tal, you have come to the right place! No this is not a corny ad­ver­tise­ment for For­eign Di­rect In­vest­ment, but a re­al­is­tic in­vi­ta­tion for any in­vestor seek­ing a profit per an­num, in ex­cess of 10%--in­deed, of­ten a far greater rate of re­turn. The next ques­tion has got to be which sec­tor is the best to in­vest in? Here the choices get re­ally in­ter­est­ing. It also de­pends on whether you are in for a quick profit, or are look­ing long-term and in­tend to in­vest your money for more than five years. Need­less to say, the min­i­mum en­try re­quire­ment is $1,000,000 USD plus, if you want to be taken se­ri­ously. Tourism is a bud­ding mar­ket. A lot of for­eign­ers are com­ing to Kur­dis­tan (de­spite the re­cent scare) for week­ender va­ca­tions, es­pe­cially Iraqi Arabs who live within driv­ing dis­tance and tourists from neigh­bor­ing coun­tries where the de­lights of booze and en­ter­tain­ment may be for­bid­den. Restau­rants, cafés, re­sorts and ho­tels of­fer­ing half-de­cent ser­vice can get ex­tremely full, es­pe­cially dur­ing the warm sea­sons. Next in line is real es­tate. Here you are look­ing at mak­ing any­where be­tween 50 and 200% profit on any prop­erty pur­chased. You can go for buy to rent, which will also be good for the pocket as there are large num­bers of for­eign­ers seek­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion, and this sort of ten­ant is usu­ally has­sle-free. The hottest prop­erty mar­ket right now is the cap­i­tal, Er­bil. Man­u­fac­tur­ing is also grow­ing at a con­sid­er­able pace. Multi-mil­lion dol­lar con­struc­tion ma­te­rial fac­to­ries are be­ing set up whose stocks are sold out fast. Kur­dis­tan’s unique earth con­trib­utes to high­qual­ity ce­ment that has no equal in the re­gion. Kuwaiti com­pa­nies pre­fer Kur­dish ce­ment to their own due to its high lime­stone con­tent. The steel in­dus­try is also catch­ing up fast. Con­struc­tion and con­sult­ing ser­vices fol­low close be­hind, with the re­newal and ex­pan­sion of the ba­sic na­tional in­fra­struc­ture well un­der­way. Due to a lack of lo­cal ex­per­tise, the gov­ern­ment is out­sourc­ing th­ese projects to for­eign con­struc­tion and engineering com­pa­nies who have the in­dus­trial know-how to get the job done fast and ef­fi­ciently. But what about the risks in­volved? When deal­ing with the gov­ern­ment or large com­pa­nies, there is usu­ally very lit­tle risk in­volved, pro­vided there are no ma­jor shifts and changes in the re­gion. Of course, this can­not be guar­an­teed as we are still talk­ing about the Mid­dle East. But the old say­ing still holds true: «Where there is no risk, there is no profit!»

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