Real Estate in Iraq Attracts Overseas Property Investment

  • 14 years ago
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Overseas investment in Iraq could see a dramatic increase in 2011 as a Turkish state owned bank opens a branch in Northern Iraq and the government relaxes laws to encourage overseas property investors to the region.

Turkish state-run lender Vakıfbank is to open its first branch in Arbil, the capital of the Kurdish regional administration in northern Iraq. Vakıfbank plans to open the branch after seeing huge potential in Iraq.

Süleyman Kalkan, the financial institution’s director general explains. “The trade volume, which is more than $5 billion between the two countries, reveals the commercial potential of the region.”

The Iraqi government has passed legislation that permits overseas nations to own land for residential construction projects, while the actual planning process is to be simplified. Overseas property developers now have the opportunity to help rebuild Iraq which is in dire need of new homes. The opportunity is immense with a housing shortage in its millions. The country sees foreign investment as holding the key to alleviating the problem.

Sami al-Araji, National Investment Commission chairman, commented: “This is a huge achievement for everybody, the Parliament, the cabinet and the Iraqi people. This will remove many obstacles blocking the investment process in Iraq. Housing is a potentially huge growth industry.

Turkish companies are significant investors in hotels, real estate, industry and energy in Iraq’s semi-autonomous northern Kurdish region.

It appears that Turkish business recognises that gaining an early foot hold in a developing market may serve dividends in the long term.

Author Nicholas Marr overseas property portal for buying and selling international real estate

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