...and it looks like it is going to get it.
Iraq has lofty investment targets for the next five years. Sami al-Araji, chairman of Iraq's National Investment Commission, told Reuters:
"We'd like to go ahead and shoot for $600 billion. We hope of course we can realize it, but we will be very happy if we realize a good percentage of it. That's if we pass the 50% in a solid way."
This does not seem too far-fetched. New deals are reported in a steady stream by Iraq Business News, from budgets of $75m to complete hundreds of small deals to a $50bn deal to build one million housing units for millions of people.
It doesn't stop there. "If we go for the two million housing units, by itself, that will give us a good chunk of that mark," Araji continued in his interview. "As of today, 132 companies have applied. We are concentrating on 35."
Just this week, Baghdad Province completed deals with Russian and Ukrainian companies worth $20bn for projects in various sectors: bridges, education, energy, health, roads, sewers, tourism, water and youth.
A statement from the Office of the Mayor of Baghdad, Salah Abdul-Razzaq, said that the projects include "building nine hospitals accommodating 200 beds and 400 schools with laboratories, cafeterias and gymnasiums. There are other projects in the fields of housing and tourism through building a hotel at Baghdad International Airport and 50,000 housing units."
"Other projects include transport field through building an expressway adjacent to Tigris river 250 km long...which contributes to transport 10,000 passengers an hour, in addition to building five bridges in different areas of the capital and other projects in the field of youth including building 14 swimming pools, 20 entertainment and sports clubs, 12 women's clubs, football and basketball fields and 28 houses for culture and arts; and a power station with capacity of 1,300 mw will be built as well."
(Sources: Reuters, Nina, Office of the Mayor of Baghdad)