Iran signs deal to build “industrial townships” in Iraq

Iran has agreed to design and build industrial townships in a number of provinces in Iraq.

The deal will help unlock investment from within the war-torn country, Iran’s industry minister, Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh, said during a visit to Baghdad on 14 February, reports Iran’s Fars news agency.

The minister said Iran would begin with several trial projects, for which it would also supply industrial equipment and investment.

Welcoming the news, his Iraqi counterpart, Mohammad Shiya al-Sudani, said the construction of industrial townships was among the country’s priorities.

"Given Iran’s experiences in construction of such townships, Iraq is willing to cooperate with Iran in this field," he said.

Building industrial townships to attract investment in manufacturing is a popular strategy in much of the developing world.

Iran has already built 750, and estimates that they contain 40,000 factories and plants.

India is also relying on such projects to industrialise while avoiding problems with setting up factories in existing urban centres.

They can also attract foreign investment. At the end of 2015, Japan announced plans to double its investment in India by setting up 11 industrial townships, each with around 30 Japanese factories, all of which are eligible for special economic zone tax incentives.  

Image: An aluminium factory set up in Iraq by Dubai-based window-maker Golden Tower Industries

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