Iraq Plans to Expand Railway Network by Inviting Investments from Chinese Companies
Iraq is planning a huge expansion of its railway network and currently contacting leading Chinese companies that will carry out the task. During an interview were Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told the press that since he took office in September he have voiced confidence over the increasing crude oil exports into China and is hoping that Iraq will double its oil exports in the coming years. he also stressed the key role of railways in Iraq and is planning to expanding the network to 5,000 kilometers up from the current 2,000 kilometers.
After the upheaval in the recent years, Iraq is in need of infrastructure as the country beefs up its economic growth. Al-Abadi has confirmed that several Chinese companies have expressed interest in expanding the railway network. Also earlier he met with business leaders of 60 Chinese companies that are involved in sectors such as telecommunications, insurance and infrastructure. As these Chinese companies bring in their technology they can expand the network and be beneficial to people and their goods. Iraq is part of an important hub in the ancient trans-Eurasia Silk Road and Baghdad welcomed the planned China Belt and Road Initiative wherein Iraq can act as a bridge between Asia and Europe since they have the network for the Silk Road once their railway expansion is completed.
In a joint statement that was release showed both governments have agreed to upgrade its ties in a strategic partnership wherein China is a major importer of oil from Iraq showed its vision in helping Iraq expand their production. Trade between both countries has increased 50 times between 2003 and last year more Chinese firms are planning to invest in Iraq. Since Iraq relies on oil exports, the country wants to diversify its economy by bringing in investment therefor the government will be simplifying its bureaucracy and red tape when dealing with potential investors.