If the first quarter of the year is any indication, 2010 will be a good one for the Kurdistan Region. Three major companies already invested in the Region.
The year began with news of Land Rover’s deal to enter the Kurdistan market. The company signed an exclusive agreement with the Sardar Group of Iraq to sell the luxury SUVs.
GE followed, announcing they will supply approximately $200 million in power generation equipment and services for independent power projects. The effort is an answer to current and future power needs in the Region and is expected to increase electricity capacity by 1,750 megawatts.
And AirBerlin recently flew into the Region for the first time. Flights will initially alternate between the Erbil and Sulaimani airports, aiming for more frequent flights by summer.
Investment in the Kurdistan Region is a central reason for its continued stability and security, and the Kurdistan Regional Government is taking steps to facilitate business opportunities and to ease the process by which companies can be established—while simultaneously ensuring a level playing field and secure competitive environment.
Over the past three years, business investment in the Kurdistan Region totaled $12 billion, with most foreign investment—up to 70 percent—coming from Turkey. Looking ahead, KRG officials have been working to make sure more countries become involved.
Last week, Prime Minister Barham Salih concluded a visit to the United Arab Emirates, where he was invited to meet with senior UAE government officials and business leaders to discuss ways to strengthen economic and trade relations between the Kurdistan Region and UAE. Some deals are currently pending, as well is an upcoming trade conference.
I’m quite proud of all these achievements. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the Kurdistan Region is open for business. All are welcome.