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15 July 2024

UAE invited to invest in the future of Iraq

By VM Sathish

An Iraqi minister will visit Dubai to woo investors and companies willing to support 40 state-owned companies whose operations have been severely hit by the war.


The firms ranging from petrochemical, cement, textile, engineering and construction material sectors to car manufacturers, have assets worth billions of dollars. Fawzi Hariri, Iraq’s Minister of Industry and Minerals, will outline investment opportunities at a summit in the emirate in April.


“The summit comes after Hariri decided to open up Iraq’s state-owned industries to the global market,” said a spokesman for Iraq Development Corporation. “This will provide international companies with an opportunity to be joint-venture partners as it begins its journey from planned economy to regional economic powerhouse.


“The ministry is looking for investors to rehabilitate and upgrade state-owned companies producing cement, ceramics, paper, vehicles, iron and steel, petrochemicals and fertilisers.”


The summit will be attended by 70 senior Iraqi Government officials and the United States’ Under-Secretary of Defence responsible for economic reforms in Iraq.


One of the companies that will be showcased will be Sinjar cement plant in Mosul,  which was severely damaged by bombs. “The plant consists of two production lines, with a daily capacity of 6,400 tonnes,” said the spokesman. “It is working at a reduced capacity and needs comprehensive rebuilding by an experienced cement company. It has sufficient sources of raw materials such as limestone and gypsum.”


Another venture that needs support is a urea fertiliser plant in Abu Al Khasib, Basra, which has a capacity of 420,000 tonnes per year. A glass factory in Al Anbar, which has been out of operation for five years, also requires investment, as does a paper plant in Missan.