What Investments Is the UAE Planning In in Iraq?

Published April 12th, 2021 - 02:00 GMT
UAE and Iraq flags
The UAE has recently pledged a $3B plan of investments in Iraq. (Shutterstock: Novikov Aleksey)

Earlier this month, the UAE Prime Minister welcomed his Iraqi counterpart during a state visit that aimed to discuss cooperation and diplomatic ties between the two Middle Eastern countries. The visit ended with a bilateral agreement on an Emirati investments plan in Iraq worth $3 billion.

The plan was announced by the end of the visit made by Iraq's Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi to Shiekh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum on the 4th of April 2021.

Amongst the final remarks at the end of the visit, Iraq's Al-Khadhimi expressed his country's interest in cooperation with the UAE on different levels, but mostly the economic one, saying that as his country recovers from several decades of wars and violent conflicts, Iraqis hope to look up to a successful example as strong as that of the UAE's.

Besides cooperation in terms of intelligence and security, the agreement between the UAE and Iraq included Emiratis' interest in helping Iraq's reconstruction efforts post-war. Moreover, the two sides agreed to increase trade ties, including facilitating travel visits between the countries' business people to allow better space for them to explore the different projects they can embark on together, aiding both countries' economies.

The agreement also paved the way for establishing the Iraqi-UAE Business Council, one that will continue to work on strengthening trade ties between the two countries. According to Gulf News, "the council has 15 members forming the core committee. Membership is open to non-Iraqis and corporates."

Despite both the UAE and Iraq being quite rich in terms of oil resources, talks between representatives of both countries included setting plans for clean-energy projects, especially ones based on the solar energy Iraq has recently started generating, as it can be both eco-friendly and sustainable.

Additionally, a statement published by the official UAE news agency WAM has revealed a UAE initiative that aims to renovate some of Iraq's most famous religious sites, including Al Hadba Minaret, Great Mosque of Al-Nuri, and a number of churches, which could help support Iraq's efforts to restore religious tourism after decades of instability and sectarian divisions.

By 2019, Iraqi-Emirati non-oil-based trade reached about $11 billion.

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