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Rudaw

Iraq

Iraq tells private sector it is ‘open for investors’

By Rudaw 13/2/2018
Haider al-Abadi overseeing the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Iraq and the Export-Import Bank of the United States extending a $3 billion line of credit in Kuwait on Tuesday. Photo: Iraqi PM office
Haider al-Abadi overseeing the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Iraq and the Export-Import Bank of the United States extending a $3 billion line of credit in Kuwait on Tuesday. Photo: Iraqi PM office
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The Iraqi government is “open for investors” at the second day of the Kuwait donor conference that focused on private investment opportunities, but looks like it will fall well short of its goal. 

Presenting more than 200 projects, ranging from oil refineries to housing and transportation, “Iraq is open for investors,” said Sami al-Araji, chairman of Iraq’s National Investment Commission.

Baghdad has taken a number of steps to make it easier for private investment and ensure transparency, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told the conference. He arrived in Kuwait on Tuesday. 

Iraq estimated it would need $88 billion to rebuild the country after ISIS, but may walk away with just $4 billion in pledges, the New York Times reported. 

“I am not expecting any contracts to be signed,” Araji told the Times. 

Abadi held several meetings on the sidelines of the conference. 

He met with the German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Gerd Muller, accompanied by heads of German corporations. 

Muller presented a proposal for strategic projects in Iraq, Abadi’s office stated after the meeting. 

“Some are related to the electricity sector, creating thousands of job opportunities, training Iraqi youth in specialist fields by the best German companies and establishing a centre for professional training,” his office detailed.

Abadi also met with the European Union’s foreign affairs chief, Federica Mogherini, who confirmed EU support for Iraq in the post-ISIS phase, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Japan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Masahisa Sato, and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. 

The United States is not pledging direct financial aid, but is encouraging private investment.

“Our policy posture has changed since previous administrations – remember we used to be in the whole nation-building. The United States Government is not doing that any longer,” State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters last week. 

The US did extend to Baghdad a $3 billion credit line to “set a stage for future cooperation,” Tillerson announced in Kuwait where he urged members of the global anti-ISIS coalition to remain committed to post-ISIS Iraq. 

“We must continue to clear unexploded remnants of war left behind by ISIS, enable hospitals to reopen, restore water and electricity services, and get boys and girls back in school,” he said. 

On the first day of the conference, NGO’s pledged more than $330 million. 

KRG officials seeking funding for some 80 projects are attending the conference that wraps up on Wednesday.

Comments

 
pre-Boomer Marine brat | 14/2/2018
Off Topic: Abadi needs to change tailors. The first rule in designing a man's suit is to not (in no way, absolutely never) show "belly".
Poor iraqui man | 14/2/2018
More possibility for iran to go around US sanctions. The poor iraqi people have to pay for corrupt politicians
united irraq | 14/2/2018
abadi desperat attempt too cover up for his own corruption billion dollars given to iran and hezbolla instead of feeding the poor iraqi people.
Guest | 15/2/2018
An investment is something an investor expects to make a return on relative to the riskiness of it's investment. Iraq is a highly risky environment as long as it refuses to represent all of its citizens and maintains a high probability of more civil unrest in the near future. The refusal of the Iraqi government to reign in militia groups who carry out revenge attacks, thievery, and destruction makes it highly risky. There is no judicial system where the rule of law can be applied fairly, or provide for a means to resolve disputes. All of these things and more, until they are significantly improved upon, create an environment where an investor either won't earn a return or may even lose their investment entirely. With the exception of Kurdistan, any investment in Iraq at this point is pure speculation. It has been this way in Iraq for the last 30 years and I doubt it will prove itself otherwise anytime in the near future.
Non kurd | 15/2/2018
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