DAI Project Supports Key Investment Forum in Northern Iraq

November 22, 2019

DAI is supporting the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to bring together international and diaspora investors with local businesses to showcase the investment potential of northern Iraq at the Ninewa Investment Forum on December 3-5 in Erbil, Iraq.

The event, sponsored by the DAI-led and USAID-funded Iraq Governance and Performance Accountability project (IGPA)/Takamul, is part of an initiative to revitalize the region’s economy.

Ninewa province is home to Mosul, Iraq’s third largest city, and has historically been a hub of agricultural production and commerce. The ISIS occupation led to the destruction of infrastructure and businesses, as well as causing massive internal displacement, especially among Ninewa’s Christian, Yazidi, and Turkman communities. Bringing private investment to the region is critical to driving economic growth, creating jobs, and supporting the return of displaced populations.

Screen Shot 2019-11-22 at 9.29.48 AM.pngA tahini factory in northern Iraq, one of the more than 20 businesses that will meet with potential investors at the Ninewa Investment Forum. Photo courtesy: IGPA/Takamul.

The Ninewa Investment Forum will showcase more than 20 established companies and entrepreneurs seeking funds to expand their operations or launch new businesses. Featured enterprises come from rural and urban areas and include agricultural, food processing, manufacturing, pharmaceutical, tech, and hospitality businesses, representing $130 million in investment opportunities. Business owners range from family-owned tahini factories needing new equipment to expand distribution to a real estate developer seeking funding for a residential project in Mosul. Over the past months, IGPA/Takamul has helped business owners to develop investment plans and prepare to pitch their new ventures.

International investors from the United States, United Kingdom, and United Arab Emirates will participate in the Forum, as well as regional investment firms and banks from the Middle East, and representatives from the Chaldean Christian diaspora seeking to re-invest in their homeland. Business owners will have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with investors to discuss collaborations and sign letters of intent.

International and Iraqi business associations will take part in the event as well, including the U.S. Chambers of Commerce: “In our opinion there is no stronger force for healing and rehabilitation than local economic development, putting young men and women to work, and getting communities back on their feet,” said Steve Lutes, Vice President for Middle East Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“The Forum represents a unique collaboration between the U.S. and Iraqi private and public sectors,” said DAI’s Peter Dimitroff, IGPA/Takamul Chief of Party, “and our efforts can both attract investment for the businesses and sectors featured at our event, and serve to signal to the regional and international community that northern Iraq is open for business—this is key to supporting Iraq on its path to self-reliance.”

Following the Forum, IGPA/Takamul will continue working with businesses and investors to close deals, and also expand its support to reach more business owners in Ninewa, providing individualized training to help them access investment and financing, increase productivity, and create sustainable employment opportunities in the region.

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