A total of 645 projects with a combined value of $37bn have been approved in Iraqi Kurdistan since the Kurdistan Board of Investment was founded in 2006, director general of the board’s general directorate of investment in Erbil Nawroz Amin told the MEED Kurdistan Projects conference this morning.
Amin said that 36 per cent of the projects were in the residential real estate sector, 32 per cent in the industrial sector and 16 per cent in tourism. Erbil accounted for $21bn of approved projects. Sulaimaniyah has $11bn and Dohuk $5bn. Foreign investment accounts for 16 per cent of the total, Amin said.
Amin said that investors were opting for sectors offering quick returns and that strategically-important sectors have been neglected.
“The Kurdistan Regional Government declared the agricultural sector as a strategic one, but investors did not respond,” she said. Amin also said that the lack of sources of finance had disrupted many investment projects.
“The lack of co-ordination and comprehensive co-operation between all sectors of government over supporting investment measures complicated the process of providing the land and the granting of licences within the period specified in the investment law,” Amin said.
The MEED Kurdistan conference is organised in collaboration with the Kurdistan Regional Government, the KDBC and the UKTI. Taqa is strategic event partner. Conference sponsors are Drake & Scull, Falcon Group and Hill International. Jotun is exhibiting and Parsons is networking event sponsor.