Iraq Seeking $200bn in Foreign Direct Investment

Iraq offers $200 billion investment opportunities to foreign investors, making it one of the most lucrative investment destinations in the region, an Iraqi government adviser said on Thurday.

"To be or not to be is not the question here as huge investment opportunities do exist in Iraq and the government will ensure the security to all strategic investors," Ali al-Dabbagh, official spokesman of the government of Iraq said on the sidelines of Iraq Investment Conference in Manama.

"The issues of security and political stalemate are facts but, on the other hand ,the country does exist and so does the government. In my point of view the security situation is not as bad as shown on the TV and foreign investors should grab the existing opportunities," Al Dabbagh said.

Earlier, during a session of the conference, Al Dabbagh said that the massive $50bn housing project near Karbala is one of the prime examples of the government's commitment to ensuring the security for the ongoing strategic projects in housing, oil and gas and power sectors.

Organised by the Economist Group, over 130 delegates from the US, Europe and the GCC attended the one-day summit at the Ritz Carlton Hotel.

Al Dabbagh said there were huge opportunities for foreign investors as the country plans to privatise the power sector to meet the future demand of 28,000MW of power. "We are planning to open the tenders for the 5000MW power generation project soon as part of the government's effort to enhance the scope of the participation of the private investors i the power sector," he said.

"Iraq needs trillions of dollars for the infrastructure development, rehabilitation and to modernise all the vital projects seen as a crucial part of the national economy," Al Dabbagh said.

The Conference delegates discussed Iraq's business outlook and investment climate and how the Government is tackling the challenges including security, rampant corruption and political instability.

Other top Iraqi officials attended the forum include Fawzi Al Hariri, the Minister of Industry and Minerals; Ali Sindi, Minister of Planning, Kurdistan Regional Government; Farhad Alaaldin, Senior Advisor to the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government.

(Source: Bahrain Tribune)

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