On the last day of the Erbil international construction trade fair, a joint venture was signed between a Turkish and a UAE company to invest in the housing and construction sector in Iraq.
Project Iraq 2010, which was the 32nd international fair opened in Erbil since 2005 and the 6th this year, finished on Thursday.
The Turkish company Akkon (Steel Frame Construction) signed a deal with the United Arab Emirate (UAE)’s East Building (Construction) amounting to $250 million to invest in Iraq, building housing units in the public and private sectors.
“We will be carrying out huge construction projects in Iraq,” said Taner Mermut, general manager of Akkon, “and $50 million of the total will be invested in the Kurdistan Region”.
Akkon has been active in Kurdistan since 2005 when they first started in Sulaimaniyah city. The signing of the agreement took place under the supervision of the KRG’s Ministry of Construction and Housing.
The East Building company is specialized in designing lightweight house frames; the Turkish company is specialized in implementing those designs.
Turkey and the UAE were among those countries that participated extensively in the fair in Erbil. Forty-five Turkish companies and 23 UAE companies were exhibiting their goods.
“We have implemented lightweight house projects in Abu Dhabi before, and Iraq is similar to Abu Dhabi in terms of climate” the general manager of East Building, Laith Mohammed Ali, said.
“Lightweight houses are cheaper, cleaner, easier and faster to build,” Ali continued.
The UAE Company already has an office in Erbil and is looking forward to opening more offices in central and southern Iraq.
Zana Mustafa Uzeiri, Director Generral of Planning at the KRG Ministry of Construction and Housing told AKnews that the coming of such technology into Kurdistan will compete with the cement industry.
“It will be very useful as it will be competing with the cement industry, it is cheaper” he said.