Tag Archive | "Foreign Direct Investment"

Foreign Investors Flock to Iraq


By David Rosenberg, for The Media Line. Reproduced with permission by Iraq Business News.

It was just another day in Iraq on July 15.

In the city of Kerbaba; two car bombs killed a total of seven people and wounded 19. An American solider was killed in Baghdad while in another part of the capital an Iraqi policeman was injured by a sticky bomb placed under a vehicle. More bombs wounded soldiers in Samarra and in Mosul.

But July 15 also saw the grand re-opening Baghdad’s renowned Al-Rasheed Hotel after a $65 million renovation. Britain’s Harlow International undertook the construction work while Holland’s Kempinski Hotel group will manage it.

“The rebuilding of infrastructure, including palaces and airports, is evidence of the ability of Iraqis to achieve what they want,” Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Even as Iraq suffers an upsurge of violence – June alone saw 155 civilians killed in attacks, the most since January – foreign investors are flocking to the country. Dunia Frontier Consultants, a Washington DC-based consulting firm, estimates that foreigners were responsible for $45.6 billion in investments, service contracts and other business in Iraq in the first half of the year. That was double the amount the same time in 2010.

Where others see carnage, chaos and corruption, investors see a potentially oil-rich economy whose population of some 30 million is desperate for housing, roads, consumer products and services.

“What you have is a country that produces oil, which makes it very attractive for the hydrocarbon industry to invest there. It’s a country with a very large population,” Daniel Broby, chief investment officer at London’s Silk Invest, told The Media Line. “The middle class suffered a lot of problems but they are educated and there is a lot of home ownership, so banking and telecommunications industries are very attractive for foreign investment.”

Driven by high energy prices, Iraq’s economy will grow 12.5% this year, according to the International Monetary Fund. Iraq’s Oil Ministry said in June alone petroleum brought in $7.17 billion as exports averaged 2.273 million barrels a day at an average price of more than $105 a barrel.

With the government’s coffers swelling, Planning Minister Ali Al-Shukri told Reuters on Monday Iraq is looking to raise its 2012 investment budget by 50% to as much as 60 trillion Iraqi dinars ($51 billion).

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Investment in Iraq Set to Double This Year


Iraq attracted $45 billion in new investment so far this year, more than the total for the whole of last year, according to a report by Dunia Frontier Consultants reported by USA Today.

The spike in investment is down to improved confidence in Iraq’s stability, analysts say. Last year Iraq secured $42bn in investment.

Much of the investment is from companies within the Middle-East, but substantial investment from other parts of the world has been flowing in too. French companies account for 9.9 per cent of all investment in Iraq. The U.S. – despite leading the 2003 invasion – only accounts for 4.7 per cent.

U.S. business interest is growing though. Iraq’s commercial attaché office in Washington received 2,251 applications to do business in Iraq in the first half of this year, compared with 1,369 in the same period last year.

South Korea was the largest foreign investor this year, representing 24% of the foreign money flowing into Iraq, according to the report. China also plays a significant role, with a Chinese oil company this month opening the first major oil field in Iraq in 20 years.

Decades of war and sanctions have left Iraq’s economy and infrastructure in tatters. But, it is increasingly seen as an untapped market for foreign investors keen to get in on the action early and secure heavy profits despite the obvious risks.

The need for development in Iraq is great. It’s electrical grid in desperate need of modernization, there are major housing shortages and infrastructure such as transport needs major improvement. Foreign investment is seen as key by some in the alleviation of these problems, while others warn of companies coming into Iraq, making massive profits and doing little to improve the lot of ordinary Iraqis.

(Source: AKnews)

 

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Number of Foreign Companies in Kurdistan Up 55%


According to a report from AKNews, 1,602 foreign companies have branches in Iraqi Kurdistan.

The latest figures from the Kurdistan Company Registration Directorate show that 18 months ago there were 1027 foreign companies operating in the region, meaning there has been an increase of 55 per cent.

There are also 10,100 local companies working side by side or jointly with the foreign companies.

Dlzar Ismael, the director for the office, said the number is increasing day by day and more companies are in line to be licensed.

(Source: AKnews)

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23% of Investment in Kurdistan is from Foreign Countries


Foreign companies and governments account for about 23 percent of the investment in the Kurdish Region, according to a report from AKnews.

The Kurdistan Investment Board said that $3.9 billion [4.6 trillion Iraqi dinars] of investments came from up to 20 countries in the past 5 years.

With $17.4 billion [20.3 trillion Iraqi dinars] was spent in Kurdistan in total, foreign investment accounts for 22.4 percent.

The biggest foreign investments were in housing which accounts for $7.e billion [8.47 trillion Iraqi dinars].

The biggest foreign investor is Kuwait with $1.55 billion [1.8 trillion Iraqi dinars], followed by Turkey with $702 million [818.11 billion Iraqi dinars], and Egypt with $350 million [407.89 billion Iraqi dinars].

(Source: AKnews)

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Another Way Iraq Business News Can Help You


Despite the well-known challenges facing the country, Iraq’s business is on a steep upward trend. Foreign investment, for example, increased by almost 50% last year, and there are no indications that money will not continue to flow into the country.

In the past week alone, we’ve reported on a Korean company signing a deal for 25 power plants, one of the biggest oil services companies forecasting increased activity in the country, and a prediction that Iraqi Kurdistan will expand faster than Dubai.

It’s important that your business is not left behind.

To help you promote your business in Iraq, IBN has devised two new sponsorship packages. For a £100 one-off charge your can either write your own article with a text link to your web site, or sponsor an existing article again with a text link to your site. These text links are one of the most effective ways to advertise, and they have the added advantage that the article and your link remain on the IBN site permanently for as long as the site exists.

You can find more details by clicking here.

And remember that whatever sector of the economy your business operates in, Upper Quartile and AAIB are here to help you. For more information please contact Gavin Jones or Adrian Shaw.

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FDI Report – Iraq Nearly Triples FDI Projects


Iraq Business News‘ media partners at fDi Intelligence, by the Financial Times, have issued their new “Global Outlook Report 2011″.

The report finds that foreign direct investment projects into Iraq  increased by 175% in 2010, albeit from a very low base.

Iraq attracted 7% of FDI into the Middle East region in 2010, up from 2% in 2009, bringing it from 10th leading destination country in the Middle East in 2009 to fourth position last year.

Baghdad was the seventh leading city in the Middle East, with its FDI increasing 300%.

You can download the entire report by clicking here (registration required).

… and you can also click here to check out our new reports service.

(Source: fDiIntelligence)

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Erbil Ranked 5th for Foreign Direct Investment


An international investment magazine has ranked Erbil in fifth position among top Middle East cities with potential for foreign direct investment. This places Erbil ahead of Muscat and Riyadh.

FDI Magazine, a subsidiary of the Financial Times, in this month’s edition, ran a feature on Middle East cities of the future, ranking cities by economic potential, infrastructure, business friendliness and FDI promotion strategy.

In the listing for cities with the most potential for FDI, the magazine gave Amman top place followed by Dubai, Manama, and Ras Al Khaimah and then Erbil. Rhiyad was ranked 9th and Muscat 6th.

Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, the KRG High Representative to the UK, said, “FDI Magazine’s recognition of Erbil as a Middle East city of the future with potential for foreign direct investment confirms what many who have been doing business in Kurdistan already know – that Kurdistan and its capital are ripe for investment and ready to do business.”

The Kurdistan Region is increasingly seen as the commercial gateway to Iraq and is attracting trade and investment from around the world, particularly from neighbouring countries. The region’s trade with Turkey comes to about $7.5 billion dollars a year, followed by Lebanon, Iran and the Gulf states.

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New Iraqi Court to Protect Foreign Investors


Iraq inaugurated a new court on Wednesday to resolve disputes between foreign investors and Iraqi companies, according to a report from Khaleej Times.

In a ceremony attended by senior judges, prosecutors and judicial officials, Iraq’s most senior judge pronounced the new court open, and announced plans to establish similar courts in Mosul and Basra.

The court is the first of its kind in Iraq, and has been created as part of efforts to encourage investment in the country.

“Establishing this court strengthens the judiciary and makes it more specialised, and it also encourages investment into Iraq,” said Medhat al-Mahmud [Medhat al-Mahmoud], the head of the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC).

The court will deal exclusively with legal disputes between foreign investors and Iraqi entities, whether they be the government or private-sector firms, according to SJC spokesman Abdul-Sattar Bayraqdar.

“The purpose of this is to encourage foreign investors that there are laws in Iraq that will protect their interests,” he told AFP.

The World Bank ranks Iraq 166th out of 183 countries in its “Doing Business 2011” survey of the ease of doing business around the world, the worst ranking of any country in the Middle East.

In particular, Iraq ranked 120th globally in terms of “protecting investors” and 141st in “enforcing contracts”. The World Bank scored it 4.3 out of 10 on its “strength of investor protection index”.

The survey notes that court proceedings to enforce contracts in Iraq require 51 procedures taking an average of 520 days. By contrast, Singapore, which topped the global ranking, requires 13 procedures which take 150 days.

(Source: Khaleej Times)

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