First Meeting of the Working Group on Investment Zones in Iraq
29-30 March 2011, Amman, Jordan
A draft Investment Zones Strategy for Iraq, and a draft Investment Zones Implementation Regulation for the Investment Law of 2006, were at the center of the first meeting of the Working Group on Investment Zones in Iraq. The proposed zones will focus on the domestic market and will seek to attract large and sophisticated projects through the provision of security, infrastructure, and streamlined administrative services.
Participants in the meeting included top officials of the Iraqi National Investment Commission (NIC), the Babil Provincial Investment Commission, the Iraqi ministries of planning and industry, the Office of the Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister for Infrastructure, the OECD, the Jordan Enterprise Development Corporation (JEDCO), the Jordan Development Zones Commission, Shannon Development (Ireland), and a Jordanian law firm.
The draft Investment Zones Strategy prepared by the NIC was commented on by the MENA-OECD Investment Programme, setting the scene for a lively debate on such questions as tax and customs incentives for investment zones users, the interconnection between on-site and off-site infrastructure, the delegation of powers to one-stop shops within zones, and the relationship between investment zones, free zones, and industrial zones. A round table discussion on intra-governmental cooperation led into a review of key provisions of the draft implementation regulation prepared by the MENA-OECD Investment Programme, focusing on institutional arrangements and licensing procedures.
Session 1 – The current state of economic zones in the MENA region and Iraq
- Key lessons from selected economic zones in the MENA region, Alexander Böhmer, Head of Unit MENA-OECD Investment Programme
- Main features and accomplishments of the Jordanian Development Zone Regime, Omar Hourani, Investments Commissioner, Development Zones Commission
Session 2 –An Investment Zones Strategy in Iraq
- Designing an investment zones strategy for Iraq, Carl Dawson, Iraq Project Coordinator, MENA-OECD Investment Programme, and Mazin Sabah Ahmad, Economist, National Investment Commission
- Shannon Development: sample case studies, Eugene Brennan, Director, Consultancy Services Group, Shannon Development, Ireland