The Kurdistan Region’s Board of Investment has decided to establish three new investment directorates in three different areas to increase and supervise investment opportunities, head of investment told Kurdistan 24.
In early May, Mohammad Shukri, Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) head of investment board, announced over a thousand investment projects in various sectors across the region aimed at diversifying the KRG’s source of revenue and reducing reliance on proceeds from hydrocarbon sales, which has left the autonomous region financially vulnerable to volatile oil prices.
“The plan contains 11 industrial zones, each of which consists of 3,000 to 3,500 small-to-medium-size factories,” estimated at producing around 200,000 job opportunities, Shukri added.
The three new investment directorates were decided to be established in Halabja province, Soran district, and Zakho, Shukri told Kurdistan 24.
“We believe there have to be directorates to supervise these projects [investment plan projects] to reduce the routine,” Shukri explained the aim of opening the new directorates.
The investment plan includes infrastructure projects such as “building highways, small-to-medium size dams, and railways,” Shukri said. “A draft bill for developing mineral resources has been submitted to the Council of Ministers.”
The new plan also aims to reduce “a great percentage of” imported goods from neighboring countries to boost local production, Shukri noted.
In a ministerial meeting held in early May, KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani emphasized the need to invest more in the sectors of agriculture, industry, and tourism.
The KRG’s renewed concentration on investment comes as the Kurdistan Region faces a dire economic outlook due to the coronavirus pandemic that has crippled governments worldwide, caused a substantial decline in oil prices, and a renewed budget dispute with the Iraqi government.