By John Lee.
The Governor of Basra, Majid Al-Nasrawi [Alnasrawi] (pictured), has called on Filipino companies to invest in the province.
During a meeting with the country's Chargé d’Affaires, Elmer Cato, he stressed that Basra and the rest of southern Iraq remain safe for investors.
Citing the example of the Manila-based International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI), which is investing $130 million [152 billion Iraqi dinars] to expand the country’s main port in Umm Qasr, he said “ICTSI has made a good impression for the Philippines because of its huge investment and its professional way of doing business.”
He said Basra has budget to spend for the construction of roads and bridges, power generation, housing, and the rehabilitation of rivers.
He said the Basra Provincial Council has a budget of $5.7 billion to develop infrastructure and other facilities. The World Bank has also recently agreed to provide $350 million to fund the construction of a new road network to Umm Qasr port.
Al-Nasrawi also disclosed his plans to further develop Basra’s health sector so that his constituents would no longer have to go abroad for medical treatment. He cited the recent construction of a modern hospital, which, he said, would require specialists and other health workers from other countries.
Al-Nasrawi, who is a medical doctor, said he would welcome Filipino doctors and nurses in Basra because they are among the best. He also said that he is aware that the Philippines has world-class medical facilities and that he would like to send some of his constituents to Manila for treatment.