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Rising Demand:
Iraq is one of the world's leading emerging markets with a largely untapped market and a rapidly increasing population. Having one of the highest oil reserves in the world, GDP is set to grow, while oil revenues are set to provide the necessary funding for development infrastructure and other sectors of the economy, creating massive demand for a variety of products and services, in particular within the real-estate development and investment market.

The rebuilding and creation of key infrastructure has warranted the presence of number of foreign investments in various sectors in the Kurdistan Region, which has engendered construction opportunities.

Erbil, capital of the Kurdistan Region since 2003, has seen increasing level of changes and developments. The region is a secure area, with incredible development potential and amazing mountain terrain.

The Kurdistan Regional Government has implemented a new investment law to facilitate foreign investment, making it increasingly desirable to worldwide investors.

Arguably, the primary reason for Erbil’s success is the KRG’s (Kurdistan Regional Government) 2006 Investment Law. This law provides for: equal treatment of foreign and local investors, the ability for investors to own the whole capital of their projects and to repatriate profits in full.

Furthermore, projects that meet certain criteria will receive the benefit of free or cheap land.

The most enticing stipulations are likely those that give investors a 10-year tax break and not obligate the foreign companies to have a local partner or have local shareholders. This is complemented by a 2009 Iraqi law, which allows foreigners to own lands in Iraq.

During the first half of 2012, the Kurdistan Region drew in 3.4 billion USD worth of foreign investment, compared to 3 billion USD in 2011. Since its touted Investment Law was passed in 2006, the region has attracted “21 billion USD in foreign and local private sector investment”, $12.5 Billion USD of which has gone to Erbil. The primary foreign investors in Kurdistan Region are Turkey and Iran, followed by the US, Lebanon, UK, UAE, Jordan, Kuwait, Italy and Germany, contributing to the total of 17% of all investments.

The opportunities for construction companies in the Kurdistan Region are large and continuing to grow. They will present themselves in a number of ways, courtesy of the various concurrent projects. Cement plants are being constructed or redone across Iraq to facilitate the growing need for “construction solutions”.

The Kurdistan Region is a Booming Market for Real Estate Investors

  • Around 150,000 housing units have been built by investors over the past six years in the Kurdistan Region.

  • Since 2006, 20 billion USD has been invested in Kurdistan Region; 11.1 billion USD of which was assigned to the housing sector.

  • Kurdistan Regional Government has initiated a campaign to build 7,000 low-cost homes that will be available free of interest.