Egypt is working to seal a contract to sell Iraq 300 buses within the UN oil-for-food program, an Egyptian transport official said Friday, April 6.
"We hope to sign a contract to sell 300 buses within the UN oil-for-food program. Prices will be very tempting and lower than those in Egypt because of the absence of customs duties," Nagui Naguib said, without giving further details.
Naguib was speaking on the sidelines of a weeklong Egyptian trade fair that opened in Baghdad on Tuesday to showboat 182 companies mainly from industrial, food and automobile sectors.
The first 28 of 200 double-decker buses built in China went into service on the streets of the Iraqi capital this week as part of efforts to revamp Baghdad's public transport system. The rest are due for delivery over the next three months.
Baghdad's old fleet of 400 single-decker buses, which are to be transferred to the provinces, has been run down by a shortage of spare parts over the past decade of sanctions since Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990.
The UN oil-for-food program authorizes Iraq to export crude to finance imports of food, medicine and other essential items for its 22-million population.
Baghdad says a $26.59-million contract for 400 Vietnamese buses was currently being blocked by the UN sanctions committee, which vets Iraq's imports.
Apart from buses, around 150,000 licensed taxis serve the 4.5 million residents of Baghdad as well as an estimated 75,000 private vehicles whose owners also try to make a living off taxi driving. — (AFP, Baghdad)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)