Minister: Iraq to give priority to Arab firms in reconstruction projects
Iraq's new interim government will give priority to Arab firms when awarding contracts for reconstruction work, Iraqi Housing and Construction Minister Omar al-Damluji said on Sunday.
Damluji arrived in Cairo from Lebanon for talks with Egyptian officials and company representatives about their possible participation in Iraq's reconstruction projects.
"We will give Egyptian and Arab firms priority to implement reconstruction contracts in Iraq as part of our desire to cooperate with any state in this field," he told reporters, according to Reuters.
He added Iraq's interim government will also place a priority on employing Iraqi workers to reduce unemployment, he added.
In Beirut, al-Damluji has urged Arab businesspersons to invest in Iraq for the purposes of "brotherhood, solidarity and profitability" at the last session of the three-day Arab Investment and Capital Markets Conference held in Beirut.
"We are in urgent need of foreign and Arab investment in all fields, especially housing," al-Damluji told participants at the last day of the three day Arab Investment and Capital Markets Conference.
According to The Daily Star, he recalled the audience that Iraq, having emerged from a long war, has long lines of unemployed people.
Damluji said Iraq needs help from the private sector to rebuild its infrastructure or the new Iraqi democracy "will not be viable." The newly appointed minister said the security risks of doing business in Iraq, where attacks have been targeting investors, were outweighed by the potential for very high returns on investments. (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)