$46bn-worth of projects to boost Kurdistan’s economy

Other healthy signs indicating Kurdistan’s steady march to progress has been the growing inflow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)

Even though the Kurdistan Region of Iraq has long been considered as a business friendly environment for foreign companies and a gateway for doing business elsewhere in the country, recent developments have seen an upsurge in business activity making it one of the fastest growing economies.

The region’s projects market is said to reflect the growing demand for all types of goods and services, according to MEED. There are approximately $46 bn worth of projects currently planned or under way in the energy, construction, tourism and basic infra

structure sectors that make the Kurdistan Region one of the most dynamic projects markets in the world.
scheduled to take place between June 8 and 10 at The Rotana, Erbil, is expected to provide a comprehensive overview of the projects market by sector and outline where the main opportunities lie for investors, financiers, contractors, and suppliers.

“We are delighted to work with the Kurdistan Regional Government and major private sector investors on this ground breaking conference set to reveal opportunities across key sectors including: Oil & gas, utilities, real estate, industry, hospitality and tourism, agriculture and finance,” said Edmund O’ Sullivan, Chairman, MEED Events. “Being the only event catering to all major areas of the region’s economy and attracting all the region’s leading stakeholders, this is a must attend event for any organisation looking to expand existing business in the Kurdistan Region or enter this booming market to explore new business opportunities.”

Other healthy signs indicating Kurdistan’s steady march to progress has been the growing inflow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Kurdistan is open for business and the National Investment Law of 2006 has attracted more than $20bn to the region already with the government actively encouraging further investment most notably in the water, agriculture, industry, tourism and power sectors. As of June 2013 there are said to be more than 2,300 foreign companies registered in addition to the 15,000 local companies.

“The welcoming business environment, coupled with the rapid growth and enormous opportunities for investment across the economy – including in the oil & gas and utilities sectors – are driving the sense of optimism in the Kurdistan region and boosting the enthusiasm of investors,” said Leo Koot, President, TAQA Iraq.

The cornerstone of the region’s economy is the untapped natural resources proving highly attractive for oil companies. The region is moving rapidly from exploration to production, and with political stability and security unrivalled elsewhere in Iraq, there are numerous openings throughout the hydrocarbons value chain.

Erbil has also been called “the next Dubai”, thanks to the huge construction boom currently under way. Its ‘build-it-and-they-will-come’ attitude is now maturing as the Kurdistan region develops, with the Prime Minister releasing details on a plan to improve the quality of future property developments including the implementation of building regulations and an active building control department, according to MEED.

Tourism is likely to receive a major boost as Tourism Erbil has been named the Arab Tourism Capital 2014 by the Arab Council of Tourism. “Hotels are springing up in the city and further afield, and Kurdistan is taking advantage of its safe reputation to develop attractions and leisure projects that will attract more visitors,” added O’ Sullivan.

MEED’s Kurdistan Projects conference 2014 is supported by the Kurdistan Regional Government and Department of Foreign Relations, UKTI, Taqa as Strategic Event Partner, as well as U.S.-Kurdistan Business Council (USKBC) and Kurdish Europe Dutch Business Community (KDBC).

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