Iraq has allocated $100m [117 billion Iraqi dinars] for the purchase of nine ships, said a source at the state-run Maritime Transport Company.
According to Azzaman, the source said the ships will be mainly used for the import of foodstuffs to the country.
The ships will have a capacity of 15,000 to 20,000 tons each, and there will also be a passenger ship, he added.
He said the company will hold a news conference to which international ship-building firms will be invited. The contracts and terms for the construction and purchase will be announced during the conference.
Iraq is building its cargo ship fleet from scratch. The source said it was time the country had its maritime fleet for the import and transport of goods.