Emiratis are seventh largest investors in Kurdistan with 134 companies operating in the semi-autonomous region, according to Hamad Bu Amim, President and CEO of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry,
Speaking during a panel discussion at Rotana Erbil, organised by the Chamber’s representative office in association with Kurdistan’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, Bu Amim said that prior to the opening of any overseas office, the Chamber analyses the market, thoroughly studies the investment potential and opportunities available for the UAE investors and the Emirati companies’ ability to get good returns from their investments in these promising markets.
According to Nawroz Mohammad Ameen, Vice Chairman of Kurdistan Investment Board, the region has adopted a new policy to encourage investment in certain sectors, which has resulted in $33 billion (Dh121 billion) in foreign direct investment into the country. The UAE’s investments in the region stand at $2.5 billion, which she said is far below both sides’ capabilities and expectations. She called on UAE investors to invest more in the region while promising them all the required facilities and support in the region.Fathi Al Mudris, an economic advisor in the Kurdistan Ministry of Trade and Industry, lauded Dubai Chamber’s role in enhancing bilateral relations as well as their cooperation efforts with the Ministry. He also expressed his desire to share Dubai’s expertise and business knowledge with his fast developing region.
Al Mudris also pointed out the rate of growth in the region which he said is highest at seven per cent in comparison to other neighbouring countries, adding that the per capita income was $7,000. That is expected to increase to $10,000 in the next four years.
He said that Kurdistan now has four industrial zones, with 17,160 Kurdish companies and 2,724 foreign companies operating in region.
Saman A. Sadiq, Director General, Legal, Administrative and Financial Affairs, Kurdistan Investment Board, said the region is offering incentives to foreign investors, including exemption from corporate taxes for 10 years and customs duties’ exemption on raw material imports for five years.
In his presentation on “Industry Overview”, Dr Anwar Omar Qadir, General Director of Planning and Follow-up, Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, focused on the abundance of agricultural land and investment opportunities in cereals, vegetables and fruits including wheat, olive farms and factories for food production.