ERBIL — A massive commercial and tourist project funded by a foreign company in the capital of Kurdistan Region is expected to create over 8,000 job opportunities in the near future.
The project, named “Happy City”, is a foreign direct investment funded by a Chinese company which is in the last steps of finalizing the administrative procedures now.
Speaking to BasNews on Thursday, August 11, Director of Erbil Board of Investment, Saman Arab, said a representative from the Chinese company signed an agreement with the Ministry of Municipality and Tourism earlier this week to receive a 5,000 square kilometres land for the project.
“The project budget is estimated at $5 billion which will be executed in different phases,” Arab added, noting that the agreement obliges the implementing parties to use local workforces throughout the entire phases of the project.
The official believes that the investment will contribute to the domestic tourism and trade industry and it could boost additional foreign investments in the future as it highlights the favorable stability in this part of the Middle East.
The 9th cabinet of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has put a great focus on attracting foreign investments and providing a better environment for local investors as well.
The current KRG administration has promised in its 4-year agenda to “provide job opportunities in the private sector, and broaden investment in sectors including industry, agriculture, and tourism.” It also pledged to “reform the labor laws to prioritise the provision of job opportunities for local workers instead of foreigners.”
“We will work to diversify Kurdistan’s economy, reducing our reliance on oil and gas. We will develop the agricultural, industrial, and tourism sectors to attract foreign investment,” reads the agenda which also encourages investment in all fields, by providing fair opportunities for both national and international investors, for which it is working to edit and modify KRG's investment laws.
BasNews has learned that the land dedicated to the project is located on the main highway connecting Erbil to Duhok. It includes dozens of world-class hotels, restaurants, amusement parks, artificial lakes, residential complexes, trade centers, shopping malls, hospitals and schools.
It is believed to be the largest foreign direct investment project ever in the Kurdistan Region.