Over the past couple of years, Iceland has started to see a rising interest from foreign businesses wanting to invest in the country. These businesses have either acquired stakes in Icelandic enterprises or made strategic purchases in production and services related to their own international activities.
The growing number of investments is due to the fact that Iceland has systematically made its business environment increasingly attractive for foreign investors and organisations. The country’s investor-friendly environment supports high professional standards and makes it an ideal base for large and small companies.
H. Hilmarsson, Managing Director of the Invest in Iceland Agency, commented, «With renewable energy at very competitive prices, well-educated labor, low corporate taxes and efficient placement between Europe and the USA, Iceland meets many requirements which are most relevant for foreign investors».
Investments in Iceland need to meet certain requirements, such as being beneficial for the country’s economy and society, in terms of job creation, rural development, export and tax revenues. However, approved investment projects receive benefits in return, including derogations from taxes and charges.
Investment projects can also be eligible for exemption from customs and excise duties on importation or domestic purchase of construction materials, machinery, and equipment for the building and operation of the investment project.
In addition to these benefits, real estate in Iceland has seen a 10 percent increase in sales over the past year, and figures for the market in 2012 are expected to increase further. Larger more expensive property is being sold and there has also been greater demand for property in the downtown area of Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik.