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National Investment Commission (NIC) Chair, Suha Dawood Najar 2

NIC plans to Revitalize Stalled Projects in Iraq

By John Lee.

Iraq's National Investment Commission (NIC) has announced that it has prepared a plan to revitalize stalled projects.

NIC Chairman, Suha Dawood Najar (pictured), said:

"NIC have prepared a plan to revitalize the investment process all over the country in all sectors through activating the lurking and halted projects and reshaping them financially and technically, noting that " there is some red tape that hinders the implementation of these projects, the matter that urged NIC to directly coordinate with the concerned departments and institutions to solve problems especially these connected to infrastructure and investment projects in health and industry sectors.

"The financial ceiling for the investment projects within which NIC was concerned is 250 Million $ and above according to investment law but we currently seek to adopt all projects regardless of its area or financial cost, assuring at the same time that we are about to find a clear and well defined mechanism through which we can equally involve the citizens and the private sector in NIC projects to ensure its funding.

"NIC started real steps to solve the problems that face lurking investment projects and visits have been made to a number of projects in several provinces (Basrah, Kerbala, Wasit) to participate in easing these problems."

The Chairman also referred to the importance of activating the role of the One Stop Shop to solve the red tape problem and assured that "the Commission seeks to take its role in adopting the economic policies for the investment process in the country and not to be exclusively devoted to granting investment licenses but also revitalizing the halted projects" stressing the significance of activating the investment law in a way that harmonize with the new vision and avoid loopholes in law that obstruct this goal."

(Source: NIC)

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National Investment Commission (NIC) Logo (resized)

Investment Opportunity: Free Zones

By John Lee.

Iraq's National Investment Commission (NIC), in coordination with the General Committee for Free Zones, has announced the following investment opportunities:

  • The expansional area in Khor Al- Zubair on the land lot No. (13/8 M 44 Hila and 1/3, 2/2, 1/3 M 20 Shaawan) with total area of (20,364,200 M²) that is overlooking khor Al- Zubair stream and adjacent to the sea port and the Fertilizers company with only 55 km paved distance from Safwan border point and full covered by the power grid services.
  • Qaem [al-Qaim] Free zone , on the land lot No. (133/7533 M 21 Deyom Al- maneai) with total area of (430,000 M²) , the land is adjacent to Qaem Border Point and near to Electricity and water sources and close to the center of Qaem District while only (25) km distant from Ukaz gas field.
  • Lands allocated for free zones in Qaem - Ukashat , on the land lot No. (133/7533 and 11/5 M 21 Deyom Al- maneai) with total area of (6,612,500 M²) , the land is adjacent to Qaem Border Point that is only 20 paved kilo meters distant from its strategic location which is close to the Phosphates factory in Ukashat near Ukaz Gas field.

Willing investors are invited to apply through sending their applications to the One Stop Shop dept. of NIC or by visiting the General Committee for Free Zones in Baghdad - Nidhal Street - White palace next to the Building of the General Committee for customs.

(Source: NIC)

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NIC identifies Main Issues Hindering Investment in Iraq

By John Lee.

Iraq's National Investment Commission (NIC) has identified five main issues hindering investment in Iraq:

  1. Not applying the One Stop Shop (OSS) law as it should be applied and denying the OSS representatives the required authorities to decision making;
  2. Difficulties in allocating lands and being subject to interpretation and wishes of various bodies;
  3. Problems with lack of funding and the banking system;
  4. Political quotas and interference in the provincial councils; and,
  5. The spread of administrative corruption.

The full statement from the NIC can be read below:

The National Investment Commission holds an elaborated meeting in the presence of the Secretary General of  the Ministers Council 

The National Investment Commission (NIC) held on Tuesday 27/11/2018 an expanded workshop devoted to discussing the investment map of Iraq for 2019 in the presence of the Secretary General of the Council of Ministers Dr. Mahdi Alallaq, the head of the Secretariat of the Coordinating Committee in the Provinces Mr. Turhan Al Mufti and Chairmen of a number of Provincial Investment Commissions in addition to representatives of a number of Ministries and concerned state institutions.

NIC Chairman emphasized in his speech that this workshop comes to complete the first meeting, which included representatives of investment activity in various ministries and departments to discuss the investment map for 2019 in response to the invitation of the Prime Minister Dr. Adel Abdul Mahdi to discuss the reality of investment situation in Iraq and develop effective solutions for issues facing investment projects in all governorates across the country. .

He also determined five main issues that participated in hindering investment in Iraq, three of them are related to investment law. The first, is not applying the One Stop Shop (OSS) law as it should be applied and denying the OSS representatives the required authorities to decision making. The second, is difficulties in allocating lands and being subject to interpretation and wishes of various bodies. Funding and banking systems represent the third issue for not supporting economic projects.

Two other big problems deviated the investment path and its law, Political quotas and interference in the provincial councils and the negative impact on investment work, as well as the spread of some administrative corruption.

NIC Chairman called for the importance of developing realistic and feasible plans for the next phase due to the possibility of world oil prices fluctuation, which forces those who practice economic activities in the country to work in accordance with the system of diversified and non-monolithic economy and bridging the widening gap between the parties involved in this activity on one hand and owners of capital, companies and businessmen on the other hand. This reflects a lack of accurate understanding to the spirit of the articles of the investment law.

Dr. Mahdi Al-Alallaq, Secretary-General of the Council of Ministers reviewed a number of issues that are challenging the investment process in Iraq, including the increasing unemployment rates and total dependence on the government sector instead of the private sector represented in large inflation in the number of workers in the form of contracts and daily wages in the various government departments. Fixing them in permanent jobs as governmental employees became a real entitlement to them but represents a major embarrassment to the budget.

All this is due to weak legislations that encourages working for the private sector such as social security and financial stability that enhance the workers feeling being equal to any governmental employee. Also, many relevant state departments are very conservatives regarding allocated lands for investment which in time created a huge obstacle to go on with investment projects.

He called to promote the investment opportunities already presented in Al Kuwait International Conference for Rebuilding Iraq last February and earned a big international interest.  He also assured the Council of Minsters’ support for those opportunities being the ideal solution for the Iraqi economy in this phase.

the head of the Secretariat of the Coordinating Commission for the Provinces, Mr. Turhan Al Mufti, asked the heads of the Provinces Investment Commissions to suggest the required mechanisms to deal with the investment departments in the ministries and other state institutions and thus contribute to bringing the views closer between the two parties, stressing that the third meeting will be between the concerned parties in investment in ministries and to accelerate adopting the necessary decisions to achieve the expected qualitative boom in the investment sector in Iraq in 2019

NIC Chairmen listened to a number of proposals and opinions from the heads of the provinces investment commissions, during which a number of things were covered, including the need to facilitate the bureaucratic procedures that the project goes through and the number of entities that inspect it and blackmailing investors and delays which makes many investors leave the country.  They also called for reducing external interventions in projects and reactivate the Department of Investors’ Protection.

(Source: NIC)

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Investment Opportunity: Customs Check-point in Diyala

State Commission for Customs, in coordination with the National Investment Commission (NIC), has announced an investment opportunity to establish a customs check point in Al Safra Zone / Al Uthaim in Diyala Province, and provide all necessary requirements and services (logistic and security).

Interested investors are entitled to present their wish to the customs commission headquarters/ legal department within 21 working days from the date of publishing this announcement accompanied with the following documents:-

  1. Feasiblity study matching the documents prepared by the State Commission of Customs, which are available in their legal department.
  2. Project primary engineering drawings.
  3. Investor’s documents and IDs.
  4. Financial efficiency with details regarding project funding.
  5. Duration and execution phases.
  6. Similar works.

The investment project enjoys the following advantages:-

  • Fees and taxes exemptions according to the amended Investment Law no. 13 for 2006.
  • The State Commission of Customs, the National Investment Commission and the local government are to provide facilitations to investors regarding needed licenses and approvals for the project through the One Stop Shop, in addition to facilitations during project execution and operating phases.
  • The foreign investor may transfer his capital, interests and workers’ wages according to the Central Bank of Iraq instructions after paying all debts.

In case of any inquiry, please contact the State Commission of Customs on

(Source: National Investment Commission)

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Initiative to Improve Business Registration

On Thursday August 22, the Ministry of Trade (‘Ministry’) in cooperation with the Federation of Chambers of Commerce (‘Federation’) launched Iraq’s first “One Stop Shop” for company registration. The Ministry of Trade was represented at the event by Deputy Minister Waleed Habeeb Al-Mosawy; the Federation was represented by Secretary General Abdulhuessein Almubaraka.

The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) supports the Ministry and the Federation through ‘ISRAR’ (“Iraqi Solutions for Regulatory and Administrative Reform”), a component of the USAID-Tarabot Administrative Reform Project.

In his remarks, the USAID Mission Director, Mr. Thomas H. Staal, congratulated the Government of Iraq, noting that the One Stop Shop is a model for further reform to ease the cost, time and difficulty of doing business in Iraq. “We are very pleased to be part of this important launch today. USAID has been working hard with its Iraqi partners to improve the business environment. This launch is part of this effort,” Mr. Staal stated.

The new One Stop Shop will allow businesspersons to reserve a company name at the same location where they file for company registration. Before the One Stop Shop, this action required three separate visits to different offices. In addition, an online database was recently launched ( that allows businesspersons to verify immediately if a trade name is already in use.

Iraqi businesses will save money and time with the new One Stop Shop and other reforms supported through ISRAR and USAID’s Tarabot project. This in turn will help accelerate the generation of new jobs and economic opportunities for people throughout Iraq.

USAID-Tarabot works with the Government of Iraq as outlined in the Strategic Framework Agreement to help it strengthen public management institutions and improve delivery of services to its citizens.

(Source: Embassy of the United States)

Posted in 'Your Country' - United States, Iraq Industry & Trade News 2 Comments

Oryx Engineering Solution Centre Officially Opens

Oryx Engineering Solutions (OES) is pleased to announce the official inauguration of the 1st of its kind fully integrated end-to-end engineering solutions service center, based in the heart of Ras Laffan in State of Qatar.

The Centre was officially inaugurated, on behalf of H.E. Dr. Mohammed Bin Saleh Al-Sada, the Minister of Energy & Industry and Chairman of Qatar Petroleum by Mr. Abdulaziz Jassim Al-Muftah, the Director of Ras Laffan Industrial City which is a department of Qatar Petroleum. The inauguration was attended by more than 200 senior government officials and decision makers from International Oil & Gas companies and Qatari energy companies.

The fully privately owned facility which covers an area of 14,000m2 is now able to support the rapidly changing, evolving and demanding needs of the Middle East and Africa’s energy sectors including oil and gas, power and water, petrochemical, industrial and marine.

To further validate Oryx Engineering Solution`s compelling and unique value proposition, three Joint Venture partnerships were also announced during the ceremony:

ABB Oryx Motors & Generators Service LLC (ABB Oryx M&G), a joint venture between Oryx and ABB, the leading power and automation technology group. ABB Oryx M&G will provide a full suite of motor and generator services to customers with operations in the oil, gas, water and energy sectors in Qatar and the surrounding Gulf and sub-Sahara African regions.

AESSEAL Oryx LLC: The fourth largest manufacturer of mechanical seals in the world AESSEAL has joined forces with Oryx to repair, refurbish, serve, supply and support all the engineering needs of mechanical and dry gas seals.

Transcar Projects Qatar LLC: The globally renowned project and logistics solution provider Transcar Projects which has played an instrumental role in the core logistics delivery component of the Pearl GTL project, has entered a joint venture partnership with Oryx to offer door-to-door services beyond logistics and project freight forwarding across MEA. The partnership allows Oryx to offer its clients a full 360° service from managing some of the most daunting transportation requirements for heavy oil and gas components and equipment and equally.

This new progressively customized facility – which has a built up area close to 10,500m2 of workshops, offices and training facilities – is fully equipped with all the advanced machinery needed to service a wide range of sophisticated engineering services.

The OESC’s location within Ras Laffan Industrial City will do much to reduce the number of valuable service contracts currently leaving Qatar by making it possible for the needs of the many companies working in the country’s expanding energy and water sectors to be met by locally-based services provided by Oryx Engineering Services and its strong Joint Venture partners.

Speaking at the ceremony. The Director of Ras Laffan Industrial City, Abdulaziz Jassim Al-Muftah, said” Ras Laffan Industrial City is pleased to see a Qatari private sector company making such significant investment and commitment to the Industrial services sector of Qatar, to support the various industries based in Ras Laffan and Qatar. We welcome them to the Ras Laffan Industrial City Family.

Speaking at the ceremony, Oryx’ Chairman and Managing Director, Abdulla Ahmed Mannai, said: “This journey has taken 7 years, I am delighted to see that the facility and the lineup of our experts and team has been received so positively by all of the industry experts who joined us at the ceremony. OES is the one stop solution for almost all engineering needs of RLIC, Qatar and greater MEA”

“We are extremely pleased with the strong and solid lineup of partnerships we have developed with ABB, AESSEAL and Transcar and equally so with the fact that we have created an environment that is all geared for productivity and excellence.”

Speaking for ABB Gus Abboud, Region Division Manager, ABB Discrete Automation and Motion, Middle East and Africa, ABB, mentioned “Oryx is a local company with an enviable reputation – throughout the Gulf region – for the quality of our services and the way we do business. We are a customer-focused organization, committed to delivering world-class services that major on value creation. We also have a strong commitment to sustainability and to the best interests of the wider Qatari community.”

“We are determined that, through the quality of our services and the convenience of our location, we will be able to contribute in supporting the development of business in the State of Qatar. The faster turnaround times we will offer will be attractive to companies operating in and near the Ras Laffan Industrial City, and our proximity to the region’s many off-shore operations will reduce the risks associated with transportation. Motors and generators are at the heart of everyday life and without them, many businesses would grind to a halt, therefore servicing this vital equipment is key to keeping the wheels of industry turning and keeping the lights on.”

Dean Rossiter, the Managing Director for Transcar highlighted the fact that “given the growing and rapidly expanding domestic and regional needs for agile and reliable logistics and project management services, we were in search for a local partner that brings global expertise for service to the region, the most important differentiator at Oryx is the mind-set and the precision, attention to the detail that is instrumental in our industry. We have found in Oryx a truly reliable partner and indeed a great complimentary value proposition for our vision of a joint presence within the energy industry.”’

AESSEAL the 4th largest manufacturer of mechanical seals in the world has also entered into a joint venture partnership with Oryx. David Elliot the Regional Director of AESSEAL in Qatar added: “I have been to almost all of our partner, engineering services centers in Australia and South Africa and around the world, I can admit that hardly any facility in many of these countries can match the line–up of human and technological capital that has been amalgamated under one roof at Oryx.”

Abdulla Mannai the Founder and Managing Director of Oryx Engineering Solutions concluded that “the journey has only begun and we are pleased to serve our customers and clients, doing so with passion, determination, foresight for the sector and being mindful that the well-being of our staff and team members within the facility is of paramount importance to the quality of our work. The journey for Qatar, Oryx Engineering Solutions and the opportunities in the energy sector in MEA has just begun.”

The full scope of the joint venture includes the repair, servicing, commissioning, installation and maintenance of all brands of electrical motors and generators, including those manufactured and distributed by ABB, all mechanical seals, project forwarding and logistics services for major transportation needs in the energy sector. The work will be carried out either at the new Oryx Engineering Solutions dedicated facility at the heart of Ras Laffan Industrial City or remotely on site at the customers’ operational locations. The on-site field services will cover the commissioning and installation of motors and generators and mechanical seals together with preventive maintenance backed by ABB’s Life Expectancy Analysis Program (LEAP) and AESSEAL. The off-site services offered will include preventative maintenance and the repair, refurbishment and upgrading of all brands of motors and generators.

The overall service provided by ABB Oryx M&G and AESSEAL Oryx will extend to the sale and delivery of spare parts and maintenance kits for the 10,000-plus ABB electrical motors and generators that have been installed by companies operating within the State of Qatar and other countries in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa.

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Turkish Bid to Build Schools in Basra

The head of the One Stop Shop Department in Basra Investmetnt Commission (BIC), Eng. Jalal Al- Noori, announced that the Turkish company Visalr has submitted an investment project to build private schools in Basra.

He said the education sector is a top priority for the BIC, and that Basra has suitable lands allocated for such projects. He pointed out that BIC is ready to support the project and provide facilities, adding that the BIC has coordinated with the relative bodies to get the required approvals and grant the project an investment licence.

The manager of the company, Rasheed Kajman, said during the meeting that his company has investment projects in Kurdistan since 1994 and has relevant projects in Kirkuk, Duhok and Baghdad.

He added that the project, which is called Ishq Al- Basra, includes the construction of schools for about 600 students.

(Source: Basra Investmetnt Commission)

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New Housing Opportunity in Baghdad

In conjunction with the Shiite Endowments Authority, the National Investment Commission (NIC) has announced an investment opportunity to construct a housing complex in Baghdad on the lot numbered 16/207 M4 - Kerada (total area of 60 donums).

Investment license applications can be found on the One Stop Shop page of the NIC's website.

Applications should be submitted directly to the NIC or by email to

(Source: National Investment Commission)

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Weekly Security Update for 21st October 2010

National Overview
The total number of officially reported hostile incidents nationally decreased slightly from 123 to 116. Baghdad again accounted for the largest proportion of incidents with hostile activity being characterised by assassinations of Iraqi Security Forces and Government of Iraq personnel rather than indiscriminate attacks. There was a notable decline in attacks from Shia insurgents, with the south east not recording any officially reported hostile incidents. The indirect fire attacks against Baghdad’s International Zone stopped this week after consistent bombardment throughout September and several attacks in early October. The lack of activity is assessed to be related to the ongoing political negotiations that have seen the Sadrists gain strength, thus subduing Shia tensions. This may not last as Shiites become anxious at delays in the consolidation of Shiite rule in government.

Hostile incidents in the north, north central and western regions also focused primarily on Government of Iraq associated targets and Iraqi Security Forces. The type of activity now being experienced in the northern region supports claims that criminality rather than insurgency is on the increase. Activity levels in the western region remained consistent.

Reports surfaced that the Sunni Sons of Iraq forces’ members are re-joining Al Qaeda in Iraq as a result of the lack of support provided to them by the government, for instance by failing to incorporate them within government ministries and not creating employment opportunities. These reports have yet to be confirmed and it is more likely that members of the Sons of Iraq are leaving their posts in search of more well-paid and secure employment having faced intensified attacks at hands of Al Qaeda.

Political Overview
Last week saw more potentially clever maneuvering from the members of the State of Law Alliance as they promoted the possibility of Iraqiyyah’s Iyad Allawi becoming the speaker of parliament. This move has been cited as an attempt to sideline Allawi from the premiership whilst reinforcing the sectarian quota system, thus strengthening the concept of Shiite rule in Iraq. By giving the parliamentary speaker role to Allawi, Maliki would be designating him as the representative of the Sunnis, thus distorting the secular image of Iraqiyyah in the eyes of the electorate. This in turn will endorse the sectarian quota system that would see the Shiites under Maliki put forward as the rightful rulers of Iraq by occupying the premiership for the foreseeable future. The Kurds will be allocated the presidency following their cooption into the Shiite Coalition and thus the quota system would be complete.

While the two main options for government, a Maliki led coalition and Allawi led coalition, pay lip service to the idea of a government that includes all the different factions, the negotiations over the top roles indicate that they are highly competitive. Should one of these coalitions succeed the opposition would likely be excluded from the significant roles in government. Both are bidding for Kurdish support, though Allawi will find it hard to win over the Kurds without damaging his support base as Kurdish aspirations clash with those of northern Arab residents who do not wish to see Kirkuk integrated within the Kurdish Regional Government area. However it is unlikely that the Iraqi National Alliance would fully support Kurdish aspirations either, despite pandering to them during negotiations.

The American option for the Iraq government formation advocates the “government of everyone” model, by seeking a four-way agreement between Iraqiyyah, State of Law, the Iraqi National Alliance and the Kurds, enhanced by constitutional reform. This model is untenable as not only will the wrangling factions find it hard to facilitate such an agreement but any constitutional change such as the American prescribed limitations on the powers of the Prime Minister would incredibly difficult to ratify, given the reluctance of candidates to give up their powers and the poor Iraqi political track record of keeping to a timeline.

Maliki remains the front runner in the final negotiations to form the next government and he will likely win over some less keen members of the Iraqi National Alliance whilst securing support from the two kingmakers, the Kurds and more recently the Sadrists, whose demands are making many in Iraq nervous.

The number of officially reported incidents in Baghdad was 62, remaining consistent with the previous review period.

Insurgent activity continued at the same frenetic pace seen since Ramadan. Operations have focused almost entirely on Iraqi Security Forces and Government of Iraq civil servants. On 14 October four people were killed and seven wounded when a roadside improvised explosive device detonated against the convoy of al-Iraqiyyah List member Abdulkarim Mahoud in southern Baghdad. Attacks against politicians were not limited to one particular party; on 16 October two members of the al-Ahar (Liberals) political bloc, part of the Shia National Alliance, were injured in a under vehicle improvised explosive attack.

Attacks against those associated with the government and national security forces will continue and may increase in the near future as Sunni discontent is likely to grow as the government formation process seemingly excludes them. Targeting of United States Forces in the city continued, though at a lower frequency. There were two explosively formed projectile attacks against United States Forces convoys in the north of the city on 14 and 15 October. Although combat operations have ended, the United States Forces still have to move around the city on a daily basis to resupply installations, making them vulnerable to attack.

There were no indirect fire attacks against the International Zone this week which might be explained by a cache find of a large number of rockets uncovered in Sadr City. However, the lack of indirect fire attacks is more likely to be related to high level political negotiations than the number of rockets available.

The number of officially recorded incidents in south east region decreased to zero this week. Basra security force operations continued throughout the province mainly targeting criminal groupings involved in drugs and theft. During the operational sweeps a number of rockets, weapons and ammunition were recovered. The frequent discovery of weapons caches in conjunction with the arrest of criminal elements indicates that the supply and smuggling of weaponry is not indigenous to extremist / insurgent groupings.

Posted in Weekly Security Update 1 Comment

Welcome to the 'Your Country' Pages

Welcome to this latest initiative from Iraq Business News.

The ‘Your Country’ pages carry useful information specific to businesses from participating countries. The first to be launched is the United Kingdom, and we plan to add other countries over the coming weeks and months.

If you would like to see your country represented please contact your relevant government department and NGOs by forwarding this page. All they have to do is contact us:

Stakeholders: If you want to start a Your Country page please contact :

If you have material you want to post on the site free of charge please send it to:

Sponsors: We have an opportunity for any organization wishing to sponsor the ‘Your Country’ page. For more information please see below.

What does it look like?

You will find information on trade missions, seminars, legal news, workshops and training opportunities, all supplied by Government agencies, NGOs, training organizations, trade associations, etc. – a ‘one stop shop’ for essential updates and information from ‘Your Country’.

Have a look at our ‘Your Country’ – UK page to see what we can do for ‘Your Country’.

Your comments, suggestions and ideas for improving this service are welcome.

Sponsor ‘Your Country’


‘Your Country’ page will reach business people looking for help and guidance on doing business in Iraq.

By sponsoring ‘Your Country’ page you will be supporting the export effort and the development of Iraq. A great way of establishing your brand with actively committed exporters  in an exclusive environment.

  • Your logo and the word ‘This page sponsored by’ appears exclusively top right of the ‘Your Country’ page.
  • It appears for 6 months
  • It costs £500 ($US 815)

If your country does not yet have a page why not contact the relevant department in your government or any NGO involved in Iraq? Just ask them to contact me:

If you want more information on sponsorship I will be happy to help.

Antony Wakeham.


Tel: +44 (0)113 289 2164

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