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Sector overview

The development of the industrial sector has become a key focus for the Kurdistan Region. With an abundance of natural resources, particularly oil and gas, the region is well positioned to develop its petrochemical industry and other industries.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is working to promote the growth of the industrial sector, particularly through the creation of special economic zones to attract investment, recognizing its potential to drive economic growth and create jobs.

While still in its developing stages, the KRG aims to make the industrial sector well-established and a major component of the economy through the development of new industrial zones and new investments in petrochemicals, construction materials, textiles and other light and heavy manufacturing industries, and is seeking to attract both domestic and international investors to support this goal.

Given the favorable conditions, abundant natural resources and available workforce, the Kurdistan Region has enormous potential for growth in the industrial sector.

Operational industrial projects

Currently, the Kurdistan Region is a large market for construction materials manufacturers, such as Erbil Steel Company, which has been operating since 2007, Lafarge (Bazian) Cement Factory, and Mass Steel & Cement Factories.

The Kurdistan Region is also home to a wide range of other industrial projects, such as Awamedica for pharmaceutical products and  Al-Hayat (Pepsi) for beverages, which has been operating since 2009.  In addition to these projects, many others have opened in recent years, directly serving the needs of the local market in Kurdistan and exporting their products to other parts of Iraq.

Data and Figures

Oil Production

450,000 b/d (45 billion barrels of oil reserves)

Natural Gas Production

452 MMscf/d (200 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves)

Industrial Zones

4 Operational zones with 13 zones under development

Industrial Projects

Investment licenses given to 283 industrial projects with total capital of 23 billion USD (since 2006)

Labor Force

2.5 million (Over 58% of the population is between the ages of 15 and 60)

Reasons to invest in the Kurdistan Region’s Industrial Sector

There are several compelling reasons why the Kurdistan Region is an attractive location for industrial investment, such as:

➔ Abundant natural resources, including oil, gas, and other raw materials

➔ Skilled and competitive workforce across multiple industries

➔ Growing demand for industrial products in the region and globally

➔ Located strategically at the crossroads of major trade routes connecting Europe, Asia and the Middle East

➔ Investment opportunities in various industrial sectors such as petrochemicals, construction materials, textiles, pharmaceuticals and others.

Investment Opportunities in Industrial Sector

The following are lists of potential investment opportunities in the industrial (manufacturing) sector, including opportunities in industrial zones, petrochemicals, construction materials, textiles and and others. They are identified based on the region's resources to develop the projects and the market needs for their products, most of which are offered in all governorates of the Kurdistan Region.

Industrial Zones and SEZs

Currently, the KRG has 4 operational industrial zones and plans to establish 13 new special economic zones spread throughout the region to promote more investment opportunities in the manufacturing sector. It is seeking investors to develop and operate these zones.

The existence of these zones will reduce the need for imported goods, increase the export of products to develop the region and the country's economy, and eliminate dependence on oil and gas.

Petrochemical Industry

The Kurdistan Region has substantial oil and gas reserves, positioning it as a compelling destination for petrochemical investment. With the goal of becoming a leading supplier of petrochemical products derived from natural gas, particularly in the form of agricultural fertilizers, the KRG has identified a number of market-driven opportunities to pursue:

  • Ammonia, Urea, and Petrochemical Products Production Plant

  • Ethylene and Propylene Production Facility

  • Nylon and Polyester Fabric Manufacturing Plant

  • PVC Manufacturing Facility

  • Pigments, Waxes, Glue, and Silicon Production Plant

  • Engine Lubricant Manufacturing Facility

Construction Materials Industry

  • Steel Structure and Profile Factory

  • Aluminum Profile Factory

  • Marble and Granite Processing Factory

  • Brick Factory

  • Cement Factory

  • Prefabricated Building Factory

  • Iron Melting and Production Factory (beams, bars)

  • Aluminum Scrap Recycling and Remanufacturing Factory

Textile Industry

  • Leather Products Factory

  • Clothing Factory for Babies, Men, and Women

  • Pillow and Mattress Production Factory

  • Plain Cotton Fabric Production Factory

  • Wool Rug and Carpet String Production Factory

  • Military Uniform and Equipment Sewing Factory

  • Venetian Blind, Plastic Curtain, and Strip Curtain Production Factory

Miscellaneous Industries

In addition to the opportunities in the above industries, there are opportunities in other industries, many of which have high growth potential due to increased market demand:

  • Automotive Assembly Plant

  • Agricultural Equipment Assembly Plant

  • Battery Manufacturing Facility

  • Chemical Fertilizer Production Plant

  • Consumer Electronics Factory

  • Household Goods Manufacturing Facility

  • Cable and Wire Manufacturing Facility

  • Paper Products Manufacturing Plant

  • Cleaning Products Manufacturing Plant

  • Tire Manufacturing Plant

  • Plastic Pipe Manufacturing Facility

  • Furniture Manufacturing (Tables and Chairs)

  • Electrical Switch and Socket Manufacturing

  • Recycling Facility for Plastics, Paper, and Glass Waste