By Umud Shokri for The Middle East Institute. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.
Iran-Iraq competition in regional maritime and overland transit corridors
In recent years, Iraq has become one of the leading destinations for Chinese investments in the Middle East and a crucial link in Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
To capitalize on its geostrategic location and central position within the Chinese BRI, Iraq is seeking to develop a sprawling new 54-square-kilometer port project in the far southern town of al-Faw, known as al-Faw Grand Port, which will reduce the country's reliance on Arab Gulf ports and overland transit from Iran and Turkey for its imports.
The project also underscores Iraq's growing economic rivalry with neighboring Iran, as both countries seek to carve out a similar niche in handling regional transit traffic.
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