UK firms get green light to bid for Iraqi contracts
US President George Bush is expected to grant UK-based firms the right to bid for multi-million dollar reconstruction contracts in Iraq during a state visit to Britain next week.
Rewarding his war-time ally UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, Bush will open the Iraqi market to British companies as a “good will gesture”, explained a senior US official in Times. UK firms were excluded from the previous round of bidding for the lucrative contracts.
Criticized for being dominated by politically connected US firms such as Halliburton and the Bechtel Group, the Iraq reconstruction effort is forecasted to create 10 new business opportunities worth as much as $15 billion in the next three months. Areas of development include oil, electricity, water and infrastructure.
The US House of Representatives approved an $87.5 billion supplemental spending bill for financing US military operations and reconstruction programs in Iraq and Afghanistan earlier this month. Some $18.65 billion from the total will fund various reconstruction contracts in the Arab state. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)