Irbil is attractive to foreign investors says UK firm

IRBIL, Iraq – Significant economic growth of 12% per annum in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), reported by its regional investment commission, is creating major trading opportunities for international businesses, according to a leading British specialist in glazing security, Advanced Glass Technology (AGT).

Having established a permanent presence in the Kurdistan capital, Irbil, AGT has experienced increased demand from multi-national corporations for its protective window films, anchoring systems and ballistic-proof doors and walling. Due to the number of rapidly developing infrastructure projects in Irbil, it has become the London-based company’s biggest overseas market in just six months.

As the KRI continues to grow faster than the rest of Iraq, itself expanding at 9% according to the International Monetary Fund, billions of dollars of inward investment are expected to flow into Irbil alone this year, in support of new construction. As such, a fundamental part of new building planning is the safety and protection of corporate employees.

Martin Westney, Managing Director, Advanced Glass Technology, explained:

“Irbil is a forward-looking city keen to open up new economic opportunities. Although a relatively stable region, corporate social responsibility has no boundaries so global businesses investing here are very conscious of the need to protect their staff. There continues to be a rapid pace in construction of new offices and residential areas and as a result, our expertise in risk mitigation and injury prevention is increasingly being called upon by major multi-national operations as a means of providing peace of mind.”

As well as burgeoning growth in the construction sector, increasing security and wealth in KRI has generated renewed interest in vehicle ownership. This has led AGT to look at the possibility of launching a retail venture for its award-winning Glass-shield security film, in partnership with automotive distributors.

“Iraq has been deprived of cars for so many years,” continued Martin Westney of AGT.

“The number relative to population size is still very low, estimated to be around 5%, so clearly many of the world’s leading carmakers predict major sales in the years ahead. The challenge is that all cars are bought with cash and there’s no insurance, so there first needs to be a marked improvement in Iraq’s financial systems in order to generate sustainable growth in this sector.”