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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

UAE Investments in Kurdistan

interesting overall business summary........ $2.5bn UAE investments in Kurdistan : Tuesday, January 21 - 2014 @ 06:49 H.E. Hamad Buamim, President & CEO, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, stated that the recent opening of the third representative office in the Iraqi region of Kurdistan reaffirms the UAE business community’s desire to expand in the Kurdish market and showcases the Chamber’s ambitions to promote its members’ competitiveness in emerging markets of the world. Speaking during a panel discussion at Rotana Erbil organised by the Chamber’s representative office in association with Kurdistan’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, H.E. Buamim stressed that prior to the opening of an overseas office, the Chamber deeply analyses the market, thoroughly studies the investment potential and opportunities available for UAE investors and the Emirati companies’ capabilities in extracting good returns from their investments in these promising markets. Held on the sidelines of the official Chamber delegation’s visit for the opening of the representative office in the city of Erbil, the President & CEO of Dubai Chamber further stated that such open dialogues and bilateral meetings are crucial to the strengthening of business ties as they encouraged UAE investors and Kurdistan officials to discuss joint cooperation in various strategic economic sectors of the two countries. On her part, Nawroz Mohamed Amin, Vice Chairman of Kurdistan Investment Board, highlighted the privileges offered to foreign investors in Kurdistan including the allotment of land at competitive prices, tax exemption, and equal opportunities for local and foreign investors which she said are based on the free market economy and open door policy for neighbouring countries. She further stressed that Kurdistan has adopted a new policy to encourage investment in certain sectors which has resulted in a massive investment development leading to $33bn FDIs into the country stating that the UAE investments in the region stood at $2.5bn which she said is far below both sides’ capabilities and expectations as she called upon UAE investors to invest more in the region while promising them all the required facilities and support to start up and benefit in the region. In his keynote address, Fathi Al Mudris, Economic Advisor, Kurdistan Ministry of Trade and Industry, lauded Dubai Chamber’s role in enhancing bilateral relations as well as their cooperation efforts with the Ministry. He also expressed his desire in Dubai’s sharing of its expertise and business knowledge with his fast developing country. Al Mudris also pointed out the rate of growth in the region which he said is highest at 7% in comparison to other neighbouring countries stating that the per capita income was $7,000 which is expected to increase to $10,000 in the next four years. He informed that Kurdistan now has four industrial zones as he stressed on Dubai companies assisting in developing these zones. He informed about the number of national Kurdish companies which he said stood at 17,160 while there were 134 Emirati companies out of the 2,724 foreign companies operating in Kurdistan as the UAE ranked 7th top-most investor in Kurdistan. Saman A. Sadiq, Director General, Legal, Administrative and Financial Affairs, Kurdistan Investment Board, pointed at the existence of 48,946 acres of land and incentives offered to foreign investors including exemption from corporate taxes for 10 years and Customs duties’ exemption on raw material imports for five years. In his presentation on Industry Overview, Dr. Anwar Omar Qadir, General Director of Planning and Follow-up, Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources, focused on the abundance of agricultural land and investment opportunities in cereals, vegetables and fruits including wheat, olive farms and installing factories for tomato paste, canning and drying of vegetables. H.E. Mohammed Al Shehhi, Undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Economy, praised Dubai Chamber’s initiative of opening a representative office in Erbil stating that the volume of UAE investments in the Kurdistan region was not up to the mark but will soon lead to a stronger economic relationship due to the presence of the Chamber’s representative office there.

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