Iraq Seeks Investment to Upgrade Transport Network

Iraq's transport minister, Hadi al-Ameri [al-Amari] (pictured), has appealed to foreign firms to help restore his country's dilapidated infrastructure by rebuilding airports and constructing a European-style rail network, according to a report from AFP.

Addressing nearly 50 companies in Baghdad's heavily-fortified Green Zone, he said that as Iraq's oil income rises in the coming years there will be increasing numbers of projects to upgrade the country's potholed roads and small airports.

"Iraq could be the most attractive place in the world for investment in the transport sector ... There are billions of dollars worth of opportunities for investment."

Ameri said he expected revenues from oil would top $200 billion, double current projections, when production rises to around 4 million barrels per day in the coming years.

He said the government wanted to renovate existing airports and sea ports, as well as building new ones, and that it also wanted to establish 2,000 kilometres (1,250 miles) of rail track with "European characteristics".

The recently-approved 2012 budget allocates around $1 billion for transport and communications.

Just last week the National Investment Commission again called for international companies to tender for the construction of a monorail system in Karbala.

(Source: AFP)

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