Foreign money pours into Iraqi Kurdistan



Sign the petition for Iraq's three-region solution August 15, 2008 Foreign money pours into Iraqi Kurdistan


ERBIL, Iraq -- A regional law offering incentives to foreign investors in Iraqi Kurdistan has brought in nearly $16 billion in pledged projects, Kurdish officials said Friday.

A 2006 law offers foreign investors a 10-year tax break and relief from tariffs in exchange for developing in the region. The law also includes special benefits on the acquisition of property.

The deal includes provisions that allows revenue, including that generated from national firms, to be transferred to foreign bank accounts.

Kurdish commerce officials said since the passage of the provision, more than $6 billion worth of foreign projects have launched in the region, the Iraqi daily newspaper Azzaman said.

Commerce chair Kameran al-Mufti said the 2006 incentive package and the relative stability in the region have been "very tempting" to foreign parties.

He cautioned, however, that regional banking laws and government bureaucracy may handicap future investments.

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