US companies are put off from investing in Kurdistan by security fears, even though the Iraqi region is relatively safe and stable.
Iranian businesses are more aware of the lower risks in this part of the country and are desperate to invest and take advantage of its heavy investment and rapid growth, despite tax and other restrictive conditions imposed by the Iranian regime on its domestic businesses.
Reza Cheraghifar, export manager for large Iranian fiber optics manufacturer SGCC, told Aknews: “In ten years Kurdistan will expand its economy more than Dubai. Everyone is looking to get involved in that, particularly Iranian companies who share so much cultural heritage with Kurds.
“The speed of the growth means that they want to buy so much, it’s a real opportunity.
“The reason Kurdistan is doing so well, compared with Iran, is that it has a good relationship with all of its neighbors. People in charge here know how to separate business and politics.”
Habib Talavat, managing director of Urmia Petrochemical, said of Kurdistan: “It’s a very attractive place. There is a very young population who are keen to work and the labor price is much lower than in some other places in the region,”
With its relaxed laws allowing easy investment from foreign companies, Kurdistan may have to watch out that foreign countries do not set up and take their profits away with them. Cheraghifar said of the region: “They need to get investment for their own companies or have joint projects.”