According to a report from Reuters, Iraqi Kurdistan’s investment body says the region has attracted more than 12 billion US dollars from local and foreign investors in non-oil sectors over the last three-and-a-half years, mainly in housing.
Of this $12 billion, $3.1 billion was from foreign sources, and this would been higher had a $6 billion deal with the UEA not fallen though.
Said Kamaran Mufti, director general of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s Board of Investment: “Those who come early will get more benefits.”
The relatively stable, and largely autonomous, northern region is trying to lure investors into real estate, banking and industry.
Kuwait and Lebanon were the biggest foreign investors, according to the board’s figures, with the capital Erbil the most popular location.
These figures do not include the oil sector, where firms such as Norway’s DNO, Turkey’s Genel Enerji and Jersey-based Heritage have signed contracts.
About 1,200 foreign companies, just over half of which are from Turkey, are working in Kurdistan, mostly in banking, construction, cement, and agriculture.
“We want to tell investors that we need them … it doesn’t make a difference if they are local or foreign investors,” Mufti said.