$5B loan for Iraq to boost construction sector

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published

The $5 billion credit Turkey pledged for Iraq's reconstruction could create at least twice as much business volume in projects, Turkish Contractors' Association Chairman Mithat Yenigün, who assessed the potential impact of the credit on the construction sector, said Friday.

Pointing out that the credit will also help contracting firms in Iraq to pay back accumulated receivables and also allow the completion of the existing projects, Yenigün said the total cost of 960 projects carried out in Iraq by Turkish contractors since the 1970s has reached about $25 billion.

After visiting Kuwait on Feb. 14 to attend an international conference on Iraq's restructuring and the ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition against Daesh, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu thrilled Iraq's construction sector with an announcement that Turkey would grant a $5 billion loan to the country.

Speaking to Turkish daily Dünya with regard to the aforementioned announcement, Yenigün said Iraq has always been an important market for Turkey's overseas contracting services and foreign trade thanks to geographical proximity and ongoing relations, and maintains the same significance today.

Yenigün underlined that no progress has been made on the receivables of Turkish companies worth $1.5 billion from their businesses in Iraq. "Even though progress has not been made regarding the payments of Turkish contractors in northern Iraq, some of our firms operating in the south of the country with state institutions as employers were able to collect some of their receivables," he said, adding that some Turkish companies have recently undertaken large-scale power plant projects in the Basra region.

The possible reconstruction projects that Turkish contractors could undertake in Iraq include pipelines, water treatment, superstructure projects such as housing, military facilities, social-cultural facilities, administrative buildings, health facilities as well as various industrial plant projects such as power lines, power plants, storage facilities, industrial plants and petrochemical plants. Other opportunities include various water projects, like irrigation and dams, and

various transportation projects, such as airport and road-bridge-tunnels.

Within the framework of Iraq's reconstruction, $88 billion has been discussed for the first stages of infrastructure and superstructure projects. In this context, some countries have made credit commitments, while others foresee export credits and direct investments.

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