MEED conference told that capital spending remains top budget priority for KRG

Spending on development projects will continue to secure a significant share of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG’s) annual budget and the government is open to public-private partnership (PPP) proposals to help finance its $30.5bn capital investment programme for 2013-20, the MEED Kurdistan Projects conference in Erbil was told this morning.

Senior advisor to the Ministry of Planning Jamal Ameen said that $3.7bn was allocated in the KRG budget for 2013 to capital projects. This was about 30 per cent of the total. He said that the KRG is committed to maintaining high levels of project spending for the foreseeable future.

“The Kurdistan region was denied investment for many decades,” Ameen said. “We are in the process of nation-building.”

Ameen said that KRG capital spending in 2007 was about $2bn and has risen steadily since then.

He said that 22 per cent of the KRG’s 2013-20 capital spending plan is for water projects and 17 per cent for electricity projects.

Ameen said that the KRG’s financial resources are insufficient to pay for the entire programme.

“We are exploring different methods of financing and one of the methods is PPP,” Ameen said. “We are open to whatever other methods that can be activated.”

The conference was told that seven dam project PPPs should be finalised by the end of 2014.

MEED’s Kurdistan Projects 2014 Conference was 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 exhibitor and Parson is networking event sponsor.