Sami al-Araji … Fox of politics and economy, will he change the political and investment map in Iraq?!

Sami al-Araji … Fox of politics and economy, will he change the political and investment map in Iraq?!

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“Sami Raouf Taqi Mahdi Al Araji” can be described as a distinguished scientist, a veteran politician, a successful self-man, and a man of noble values. He has an experienced experience in all fields, especially business and politics, known for his originality and clarity, and his intelligence in taking advantages of opportunities , a self made man ,built himself with his own intelligence and abilities , making the process of ascendancy at one pace despite the fluctuation of political circumstances , he held several important positions , most recently after 2003 as undersecretary of the ministry of industry and Minerals , then head of the National Investment Authority (NIA), from (2009) until writing this article , and what distinguishes Araji is his distinguished international political and financial relations that serve the supreme interest of Iraq.
Araji has helped the National Investment Authority to develop a clear vision for the needs of the Iraqi people and economy, using its position to promote investment that can address the country’s critical requirements, attract private capital and modern technology and employ it in business management, which is essential at this stage. .
In order to facilitate investment in Iraq, Al-Araji is credited with achieving a lot of achievements, including the following:
1. Single window system:
Araji called the investment law to establish a single window department, which can be summarized as follows:
• One entity will take over all procedures related to investors seeking to bring their capital to Iraq.
• The National Investment Authority hopes to facilitate the legal and regulatory requirements facing investors.
• The National Investment Authority assists in collecting important information.
• Simplifying the administrative procedures facing foreign investors as they seek to enter the country, a necessary issue that is needed by foreign investors who are not accustomed to commercialization in Iraq.
• Currently, the One Window approach helps investors to obtain investment licenses and give them exemptions from taxes and customs.
2. Logistics Support:
Al-Araji called for the investment law to provide logistical support to investors by assigning the staff of the National Investment Authority to assist investors in filling out visa application form, booking hotels, organizing arrival from the airport and transfers from and to hotels. Detailed information about the market mechanism, details of the investment climate and economic effects, necessary translation services, and other necessary information, or so-called logistical support.
3. Support business process:
Al-Araji called for the investment law to support the business process, in the belief that the National Investment Authority will be able to help investors to identify the directives and instructions, including the preparation of a draft feasibility study required by the investor in order to submit an investment proposal and registration of the company in the Ministry of Commerce, to qualify it to work in Iraq.
4. The identification:
The identification , meaning the potential of the National Investment Authority to identify the potential investor with different public and private contacts, to learn more about investment opportunities in Iraq, and the National Investment Authority also helps to create a broad network of work with local partners.

The role of the NIA is not limited to organizing the administrative work of foreign investors. In addition, the NIA’s approach to the private sector, together with its role as a link between international business, has enabled it to form the necessary vision for achieving a solid business policy, and to make the necessary recommendations to improve the working environment in Iraq.

In the long term, this will have a crucial role for the NIA and it is likely that the building of recent successes will lead to improve the business climate in Iraq.
The investment in Iraq has enormous potential that will benefit both investors and the Iraqi people alike, and the responsibility of the National Investment Commission, is to be a link between investors and successful projects that relate to the needs of Iraq, and to ensure the safe environment for easy entry to the country.

5. Submit a document to attract foreign investment:
Araji worked on presenting a document to attract foreign investments into the country, to revive the economic situation in all its aspects, including details of the various investment opportunities that serve the citizen and his diverse and growing needs, and the investor and achieve the profit sought by him in terms of type, size and sector, and explain the specialty of each sector and its economic indicators, for all governorates of Iraq.

6. List of investment projects:
Araji presented a list of investment projects, classified for all economic sectors, giving investors the opportunity to establish, operate and develop the projects they wish, and increase economic and investment cooperation between Iraq and all countries of the world through attracting investment, reconstruction and construction, and to promote work in the productive fields od added value , and to benefit from experiences in the investment and management of economic zones.

7. Expansion of investment projects:
Araji called on international companies and institutions to expand their steps, establish strong cooperation relations in the vital sectors of the Iraqi economy and to strengthen the bonds of work, investment and reconstruction in Iraq, which is one of the important countries in which investment opportunities are available in various fields. Araji stressed that there is no sector there isn’t an urgent need for investment.

8. The Investment Map of Iraq (2018):
As for the investment map of Iraq in 2018, Al-Araji stressed Iraq’s true desire to receive companies and work with them to overcome any obstacles and accomplish the task of reconstructing and building Iraq by hosting Iraqi, Arab and foreign capitals to contribute to the transfer of technology and knowledge to the joints of the Iraqi economy which is transformed from the central economy to a market economy, where there is a competition , equal opportunity, and the encouragement of the private sector. The authority has received many official delegations, businessmen and international companies, and the establishment of forums and various meetings, and signed various greements that facilitate the entry of investors to Iraq, and guarantee them many privileges and guarantees they need, in order to invest the natural and human resources available in the country.

– The National Investment Authority and its branches in the Iraqi provinces provide services to facilitate the process of granting investment license, through the application form of license , and the allocation of land and access to tax exemptions, and facilitate the entry and exit of investors and employees, and work to update the investment map which offer the investment opportunities distributed , Geographically on provinces and qualitatively according to the productive and service sectors annually.

9. Investor’s Guide:
Investor’s Guide, which provides the necessary information to facilitate the entry procedures of investors to the Republic of Iraq and enjoy the advantages and facilities of the investment law and explain the investment environment and procedures for registration of companies and began work within Iraq.

10. Legal amendments to facilitate investment in Iraq:
Amend the Investment Law No. (13) For the year 2006 to ensure ownership of land for national, Arab and foreign investors for residential projects under Law No. (2) For the year 2010 and amending the system no. (7) Regulating rent rates of land invested in different sectors.

11. Procedure of Achievements:
In the context of the achievements, Araji signed agreements with Italy and placed them on the list of priority countries in the new plan for reforming the Iraqi economy and strengthening the role of the private sector for the years (2018-2023) to serve the Iraqi economy and its commitment to Iraq is stable and support it in its war against terrorism due to Iraq’s historical relationship with Italy, and stressed its support for Iraq, its efforts to repair the Mosul Dam and its great contribution to the protection and restoration of Iraqi monuments, considering it from a civilized and cultural perspective within the framework of the Mediterranean and looking forward to seeing the new plan in the field of economic reform , and that if they found that the plan useful, to urge Italian companies to invest in Iraq, after addressing the issue of the price of calculating the Iraqi budget.

12. Basmaya residential project:
And the Bismaya residential project, which is one of the most important housing projects in Iraq and the region which has seen a remarkable development. Thousands of housing units and dozens of utility facilities have been built to add to what has been achieved in previous years and to open a new horizons for more developments in this huge residential project.
The work was taking place at an accelerated pace, after the successes of the project during the past years, and the great stride made by building this city, which will be a leading contribution to civilization in Iraq, after years of lagging behind in this vital sector, as a result of the circumstances experienced by the country, which Prevented from keeping up with the world in this vital and important sector.

Araji in brief:
Sami al-Araji, is well known, but only to mention that just to remind that “Sami Raouf Taqi Mahdi Araji” was born in the city of Kadhimiya in Baghdad in 1945, and his diligence in school, was accepted on a mission to the United States to study engineering, and gained a Bachelor’s Degree in mechanical Engineering , He completed his master’s degree, followed by his PhD (1973), studied nuclear physics, returned to Iraq in 1975. He held important positions to serve his country Iraq with all sincerity and confidence. The state’s confidence led him to excel in several tasks as he has worked in the Ministry of Industry and Minerals, including infrastructure reconstruction projects After the Second Gulf War.
Today, Sami al-Araji’s name emerged in a survey of public opinion in the Facebook page of the Iraqi economists , on “Who is the best candidate for prime minister in the next stage?”, With promising results for the Iraqi citizen’s awareness and respect for all Iraqi academics who hold doctorate, and Sincere businessmen and politicians to the country in which their names were put forwarded in the survey, but the name of Araji was clear and known for his achievements and loyal work to the country, despite the ordeal and tribulations and pressures, and the bloody and difficult days that passed through the country, where Araji received 57% of the votes, the comments were full of comfort , pride of the achievements of al-Araji, and his pride in his homeland, and some of these responses on the results of this referendum:


Economic Studies Unit
Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies