Iraqi authorities have established a special fund to encourage economic projects in the sanctions-hit country, newspapers reported Tuesday.
The fund will have an initial capital of 50 billion dinars (25 million dollars) and 50 million euros "to finance activities in the private, mixed and cooperative sectors in the framework of reactivating the economy."
The fund will grant loans to businessmen on their presentation of a feasibility study of projects they wish to launch, papers said.
Priority of the loans will be given to Iraqis decorated by the state, they said.
A large number of industrial projects have been closed down over recent years because of a lack of essential goods and high inflation.
Iraqi authorities last week lifted curbs on foreign currency dealings inside the country's two free trade zones -- opened in 1999 in an effort to create jobs and revive the economy -- where company and income taxes have also been scrapped.
Iraq has been under economic sanctions since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait -- BAGHDAD (AFP)
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