Iraq projects market third-largest after KSA and UAE

Studies show Iraqi hydrocarbons market to promote investment into the country

Iraqi Kurdistan is viewed as a major investment hub for foreign firms

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With projects worth $519bn planned or underway in the country, Iraq has emerged as the fastest growing projects market in the region.

According to local agency MEED’s Gulf Projects Index as of January 2014, only Saudi Arabia ($1.05 trillion) and the UAE ($713.15 billion) have larger projects markets.

28% of Iraq’s projects are in the oil sector, with the country planning to revitalize its hydrocarbons market through oil projects worth $145 billion.

Iraqi Kurdistan, the semi-autonomous region in the country’s north, is viewed as a market with massive potential by investors, with capital Erbil becoming a lucrative spot for foreign firms seeking to enter Iraq.

Regions in the country’s south are undergoing rebuilding and rehabilitation programmes following war and sanctions, and new legislations are expected in the country soon. Some of these pertain new hydrocarbons and infrastructure laws that are expected to boost investment in nascent Iraqi markets.

Earlier this month, construction giant Arabtec Holding had announced its decision to enter the Iraqi market. “We see great potential for Arabtec in Iraq,” Arabtec managing director and CEO Hasan Abdullah Ismaik had stated. “Our physical presence there will enable us to capitalize on the significant new business opportunities that are available particularly in oil and gas and infrastructure.

“Launching our business in Iraq follows our recent expansion into the Balkan States, and achieves yet another significant step in our growth strategy.”

Iraq’s oil sector is benefitting from renewed investments, with international oil companies committing to long-term construction projects in the country. According to MEED, Iraq earned a record $94 billion from oil exports in 2012, accounting for more than 90% of the government revenue.

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