Turkish construction firms will look for opportunities to expand their presence in the Iraqi market at the Re-Construct Iraq International Exhibition for Construction and Power Industries to be held in the northern Iraqi province of Irbil on June 26-29. With the support of the Trade Ministry, 100 Turkish construction companies will attend the Irbil International Fair.
Iraq has seen the fastest population growth in the Middle East, with the country's population now exceeding 38 million. The Iraqi construction sector also recorded a steady growth in the last five years with an annual rate of 9 percent and has become the second-fastest growing market in the Middle East. The expansion of the construction market in the last five years has also been positively reflected in Turkey's exports to its southern neighbor. The export of construction materials to Iraq annually averaged $1.92 billion in the last five years, making Iraq the top destination for exports in this group of items.
Infrastructure investments in Iraq mainly focus on water supply projects, wastewater treatment, electricity plants, hospitals, school construction, housing developments, highways, bridges and port construction. These projects, planned as part of the Iraq's reconstruction, are estimated to cost $88 billion.
The market for construction materials, equipment and equipment components will continue to sustain its dynamic structure in accordance with the reconstruction of Iraq and the rise in the number of projects for renovation and construction.
Turkish contractors undertook projects worth $1.03 billion in Iraq and the total value of the projects built by Turkish firms so far has exceeded $25 billion. The number of Turkish companies interested in the Iraqi market continues to rise given the country's geographical and logistical advantages. In addition to Turkish companies, firms from Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, Italy and Qatar will be attending the exhibition, which will be the largest convention in the region.
Irbil's exhibition center is connected to other important cities such as Mosul, Kirkuk, Sulaymaniyah, Duhok, Zakho and Saladin. The buyers and businesspeople from all Iraqi provinces flocking to the Irbil fair will have the opportunity to meet exporters of construction materials, equipment, electricity and energy systems, as well as heating and cooling systems.
Last year, at a conference held in Kuwait, Turkey pledged $5 billion for the reconstruction of Iraq and became the top contributor. The coordination process was recently launched, according to a statement by Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu in February.