The UAE has signed an agreement with Iraq to promote and protect mutual investments, as the Emirates seeks to strengthen economic co-operation with a number of different countries.
The accord, signed by the UAE Ministry of Finance and Iraq's National Investment Commission, will boost foreign investment in both countries by providing a suitable investment environment and secure a balance between rights and obligations between investors and the host country, the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
“This helps enhance the UAE’s competitiveness and investment attractiveness on the global competitiveness map,” said Younis Al Khoori, undersecretary at the Ministry of Finance.
The UAE and Iraq have been strengthening trade ties, with a flurry of deals signed by companies in recent months.
Earlier this month, UAE energy company Masdar signed a deal with Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity and National Investment Commission to build power stations in five locations across Iraq.
Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi Ports Group signed a preliminary agreement last month with the General Company for Ports of Iraq (GCPI), to explore potential investment opportunities and strengthen co-operation in transportation and maritime sectors.
The UAE-Iraq accord protects both countries' investments from all non-commercial risks, including nationalisation, confiscation, judicial seizures and freezing, according to the statement.
Signing such agreements reaffirms UAE’s keenness to “protect Emirati investments abroad” and provide the “appropriate environment to attract foreign investments in accordance with a legal and legislative system that is in line with best international practices”, Mr Al Khoori said.
It also covers “transfer of profits and revenues in convertible currency and provides investors a just and immediate compensation for their investments in case of their appropriation for the public interest”, the ministry said.
The UAE has signed 103 bilateral agreements to protect and encourage investment with different countries around the world, the ministry said.
Iraq, the second-largest oil producer in the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, has taken tentative steps to restructure its economy away from fossil-fuel dependency as the world prepares to reach net-zero emissions by 2050.
The World Bank estimates Iraq’s economy will grow 1.9 per cent this year, and expand 6.3 per cent over the next two years, on the back of rebounding oil prices and rising Opec+ production quotas. Non-oil gross domestic product is forecast to recover in 2021, growing by 5.5 per cent.