With the second largest economy in the Region after Erbil, Slemani is a crucial hub for much of the Kurdistan Region’s business community, and is home to some of the Region’s largest companies. The SCC works with the local business community to promote business and ensure that the investment environment in the city remains healthy and sound.
In his interview with IIG, Serwan Mahmood emphasized the development of Slemani’s industrial sector.
Encouraged by the 2006 Investment Law, businesses and factories are taking full advantage of the Slemani Industrial Zone. The city has already developed a niche in the production of construction materials. Mass Group’s Slemani cement factory produces 20,000 tons of cement per day, the Faruk Group/Lafarge joint venture in cement production produces similar numbers, and three additional cement plants with similar capacity are under development. Seven recently established factories produce all of the Region’s bricks, and allow for the export of supplies to southern and central Iraq. In addition, five steel plants are scheduled to open in the Slemani Industrial Zone, which will be among the largest in the MENA region. According to Mahmood, there will eventually be as many as 100 factories operating in Slemani’s Industrial Zone.
In addition to heavy industry, Serwan Mahmood emphasized the importance of the development of local water resources. As such, he hopes to improve local watershed management, noting, “We have two large dams in place, but our water resources are being wasted.” The SCC has also encouraged development in terms of the water industry, with particular emphasis placed on a water bottling facility. Mahmood also stressed the importance of improving Slemani’s recycling capability and overall urban planning.