Articles - BIP Iraq 2006

First round of Training of Trainers for the Labor Ministry in Iraqi Kurdistan Region.

A training course was carried out July 16th -19th 2006 for the Directorate of Commercial Development – Erbil. B.I.P was represented with their manager for the project Dr. Hussain F. Tahir, Omar Karim and Sarmad Hussain. Officials from the Labor Ministry who are interested in developing their specialties have hopes of promoting the concept to become a national program.

There were 19 participants attending the course, nine of them were women. The goal was to impart knowledge from B.I.P to relevant and experienced people in connection with building a mechanism to develop the facilitation and implementation of small loans as a means of business development through the Small loans Dept. at the Labor Ministry.

Small family-enterprises are already taking benefit such a system. The value of this loan reaches $10,000. The loan must be paid back in four years. The cost of the loan is 3%. 26 such micro loans had been given so far. Currently the system is halted as it is being reorganized. In the region of Erbil alone, the small loans Dept. has received 1,800 applications. Applications have so far been made to General Directorate of Labor and Occasional Development. Then they have gone to General Directorate of Business Development Small Loans Dept. Before getting a loan the applicant has had to discuss his project before it was given to the Ministry and Planning Directorate, then to the assistant, and eventually to the Minister for final approval.

Sania congratulates Vian for course certificate.

Business Innovation Programs in Iraqi Kurdistan – Erbil

Our organisation in Kurdistan has undertaken a wide range of activities after its inauguration in cooperation with the Danish Organisation “Care for You” in Erbil. Our team is shown in the picture from left to right , Govand Shafik, Omar Karim, Sarmad Hussain, and project manager Dr. Hussain Falamarz Tahir.

BIP Erbil

The main purpose of the organisation is business training and dissemination of business information. The courses which are the same as those used in Norway, Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia Hersogovina, have been translated into the native language of Kurdish.

Our team are convinced that the programs presented for the people of this region are very helpful, as this has been confirmed by local official experts .

Two courses covering “How to start your own project” have been organised so far in Erbil and Sulaimania. 15 of the participants were people who had returned to the region from Norway.

Our office has also collected information about resources available in connection with granting loans and has now full information about the parties that support giving small loans and other types of financial support. In addition, meetings have been undertaken with people returned from Norway when our team visited the cities of Dohuk, Erbil, Sulaimania, Koya and Taq Taq.

B.I.P. offers its services to those returned from Norway and other European countries.

For more information:
Mobil: 00964 7504236882
Office: 00964 66 2561563

Investment in the Kurdistan Region of IRAQ

The term “investment” did not have a space in the former Iraqi commercial law, or in the special field of investment. But now the new investment law has been passed and recognizes it. In the Iraqi Kurdistan Region it is implemented as follows:

The High Council of Investment has been appointed and is presided over by the Prime Minister. It includes financial, economic, agricultural, municipality, planning, and industrial ministers. An Investment Committee has also been established in the Kurdistan Region which is taking over registration of needs, and is presided over by a minister.

The law of investment has granted local and foreign investors the right to own land for strategic projects, and to rent it for small and medium projects. Investors are also granted the right to buy real estate for their projects without any differentiation between whether local or foreign investors own the project 100%.

A decision has been made to exempt investors from taxes and duties for a ten year period. Imported equipment and machinery for their projects are also exempt from taxes and duties provided they do not pass the date of acceptance by two years.

The committee has the right to grant extra facilities and incentives for projects;
1- In the less cultivated areas in the region.
2- Where there exists participation between local and foreign investors.

The Kurdish government has insisted on developing the economic situation in Kurdistan by activating the law of investment. Everyone feels the high cost of living in Kurdistan, but this will not continue as the new investment situation will create competition. The scarcity of hotels, tourism, transportation and merchants has made the high cost of living seem inevitable, and the absence of these makes the road towards the free market very long.

The Kurdish government asserts that Kurdistan is heading towards a blossoming. Most of the high officials are saying it is going to become a new Dubai.

There are more than 400 foreign companies working in Kurdistan, 280 of them are Turkish companies. The number is growing and the government hopes that local resources will participate in the process of reconstruction when they are given the opportunity. Kurdistan is full of riches and is filled with qualified people. All they need are import programs and technologies that could be made available by development institutes and organizations.

Norwegian Business Innovation Programs has developed commercial programs that can contribute to developing business ideas. Broad ranging business activities can benefit from international programs to help assure the commercial infrastructure needed to create a commercial culture that matches the global economy.

Business Development Center in Erbil

In 2003, 2004 and 2005 Business Innovation Programs held 10 courses in business plan development for Iraqis living in Norway. Many of our Iraqi participants felt the need for Business Development Center to be established in Iraq in order to assist returning Iraqis from Norway and others. During 2005 we have also had a dialogue with authorities in Iraq who also welcome the idea of such a Center. The idea has now become a reality thanks to project aid granted Norwegian authorities. In this connection a Business Development Center will be established in the town of Erbil in Northern Iraq in the near future.

The objective behind this project is to establish a Business Development Center that can give returning Iraqis necessary follow up in their own country when they establish new businesses there.

The Business Development Center will be manned with Iraqi personell from Norway or Iraq. In the initial phase the Center shall:

  • Hold job creation courses
  • Through Internet, e-mail and information meetings in Norway distribute business related information to Iraqis in Norway. A dedicated information page will be developed on the web site
  • Assist persons that have returned from Norway.

The project will be carried out in cooperation with the Danish organisation Care4You that is already represented in Erbil. The Iraqi responsible for establishing the Business Development Center is Dr. Hussein F. Tahir.

For further information:

From a business plan development course held for staff at the Labour Department in Iraq.
The course was held in Baghdad in January 2006.

Ready for take off?

BIP is asked to expand it's program in Iraq to cover 18 regions.

Since the inception of its activities in Iraq in March 2005 BIP has repeatedly received praise for its initiative and methodology. Dr. Hussein Tahir was repatriated to Baghdad where he has been the driving force behind the introduction of BIP's concept and ideas to his fellow countrymen. The respondents have always characterized BIP's work as positive and inspiring. In fact, the BIP way of doing things has been called a much needed fresh approach, breaking away from the short term focus of trade as being the sole means to help rebuild the country. The work done by BIP includes training and transferring skills so that sustainable businesses can be started and grown. As well all types of entrepreneurs, key people from development authorities and those granting loans are also being given new insights by BIP. The concept has received so much praise for its sound ideas and enthusiasm that BIP has been requested to look into the possibility of expanding its activities outside of Baghdad and into 18 regions across the country.

(Center) Mr. Abbass Kadem Ashamari, Vice Minister for Youth & Sport, together with Dr. Hussein Tahir.