After the announcement of a complete victory over terrorism in Iraq, many countries have already indicated their interest in bolstering economic cooperation with Baghdad, Fallah al-Lami, the UN adviser on the Iraqi economy, told Sputnik.
Al-Lami recalled that in the past few months, “many delegations from government and private companies in Europe and the US have visited Iraq.”
In particular, he referred to a recent meeting between Iraqi Central Bank officials and representatives of Airbus and Total as well as a visit by UK Prime Minister Theresa May and a spate of American companies.
“All this points to the revival of Iraq. After announcing a final victory over terrorism, many have indicated that they want to invest in different areas of the Iraqi economy. Iraq is becoming a lucrative and attractive place for economic cooperation,” al-Lami pointed out.
He said that after the fall in oil prices, Baghdad is in dire need of foreign capital and that Chinese companies have already started investing in the Iraqi economy.
Iraq has welcomed Qatar’s eagerness to invest in its gas and infrastructure sectors as the country seeks to revive its war-hit economy.
A statement by the Iraqi Petroleum Ministry said Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi promised Qatari investors to “ensure all capabilities and requirements for the success in their work in Iraq”.
It said his statement came during a meeting with the Qatari energy minister, Mohammed al-Sada and Qata Petroleum CEO, Saad Sherida al-Kaabi on the sidelines of recent OPEC and OAPEC meetings in Vienna and Kuwait.
According to al-Lami, Iran has become the starting point for the entry of foreign companies into the regional market.
“Previously, Iraq borrowed from the International Monetary Fund. The country’s budget for 2018 stipulates that a strict cost estimate should help Iraqi authorities pay off part of its debt to the IMF.
Al-Lami emphasized that all this will help the Iraqi government restrict “predatory encroachments of foreign banks and companies so that cooperation could become mutually beneficial.”
In 1990, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution against Iraq, which specifically envisaged the use of force in accordance with Chapter VII of the UN Charter. All Iraqi accounts were frozen in line with the resolution.
In December 2016, the World Bank approved a new $1.485 billion aid package for Iraq, aimed at supporting the country’s economy, stimulating private sector growth and supporting job creation.