Workshop on Iraqi Economic Zones Strategy


Paris, 25-26 November 2010


An ambitious action plan to develop investment zones (IZ) in Iraq was approved at a MENA-OECD workshop on November 25-26 2010. The workshop was attended by the Chairman of the Iraqi National Investment Commission and five of his key staff, as well as several international experts. Topics discussed included:

  • Economic zone (EZ) models ranging from traditional export-processing areas to special economic zones
  • The Iraqi legal framework for economic zones
  • The status of existing zones
  • Sector prioritisation
  • EZ policy frameworks and incentives
  • EZ management structures



Left to right: Mr. Alexander Böhmer, Head of the MENA-OECD Investment Programme; Dr. Sami Al-Araji, Chairman, National Investment Commission, Iraq; Mr. Carl Dawson, Iraq Project Coordinator  

The action plan approved by participants favors investment zones focused on the domestic market and on attracting companies through the provision of one-stop-shop licensing services, security and infrastructure, as opposed to free zones offering reduced customs duties and tax breaks. The plan includes:

  • An evaluation of existing economic and industrial zones to determine their role in an Investment Zones strategy
  • MENA-OECD Investment Programme assistance in drafting an Investment Zones implementation regulation for the Iraq Investment Law 2006
  • A follow-up meeting in March 2011 to review progress and increase momentum.


Agenda (English / Arabic)

Session 1 
The current status of economic zones strategy and infrastructure in Iraq - Dr. Sami Al-Araji, Chairman, National Investment Commission, Iraq

Session 2 
Designing economic zones for effective investment promotion in Iraq – Mr. Antonio Fanelli, Deputy-Head, Private Sector Development, OECD and Mr. Alexander Böhmer, Head of Unit, MENA-OECD Investment Programme

Contracting Out to Private Operators, Managing Incentives and Risks Ms. Bathylle Missika, Technical Advisor, Partnership for Democratic Governance, OECD

Session 3
Key strategic decisions and action plan for EZ development in Iraq Mr. Barry Condron, Director, Strategy Partners

Action Plan:

English / Arabic


Related Documents