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

ERBIL, Kurdistan – 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. But recent developments have seen an upsurge in business activity making it one of the fastest growing economies on earth.

The region’s projects market reflects the growing demand for all types of goods and services. There are approximately $46 billion-worth of projects currently planned or under way in the energy, construction, tourism and basic infrastructure sectors that make the Kurdistan Region one of the most dynamic projects markets in the world.

MEED’s Kurdistan Projects conference scheduled to take place on June 8-10 at The Rotana, Erbil, will 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 and gas, power, real estate, industry, hospitality and tourism, water and agriculture and banking 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 organization 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 $20 billion 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 now in excess of 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 and gas and power and water 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.

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,” O’ Sullivan further said.

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 US-Kurdistan Business Council (USKBC) and Kurdish Europe Dutch Business Community (KDBC). Drake and Scull has signed up as the event’s Conference Sponsor and Parsons is on board as the Networking Program Sponsor. With massive interest in Kurdistan’s further development growing, organizers are encouraging early registration at

Kurdistan Projects 2014 is a ground breaking event detailing exclusive project opportunities across the Kurdistan Region, taking place in the heart of Erbil. This year’s edition includes new key themes addressing the pressing issues facing businesses in Kurdistan Region including clarity on legal frameworks, financing, insurance, building standards and construction requirements, improving workforce capability and logistics.

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