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TigerSwan to Attend Kuwait International Conference for Reconstruction of Iraq
12 February 2018, 04:50 | Devin Moran
Baghdad or bust: rawness, reality of war not forgotten
Ahead of a conference on Iraq's reconstruction that will be held in Kuwait next week, Iraq's National Investment Commission published a list of major strategic projects available for investment, with 157 different opportunities up for grabs.
Housebuilding is the most urgent task for Iraq, said Raja Rehan Arshad, the lead disaster risk management specialist for the World Bank.
Iraq needs around $22bn in the short term and another $66bn in the medium term, said the director-general of the country's planning ministry Qusay Adulfattah. "We hope French expertise will be used for the reconstruction", Iraq's Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari replied.
Millions of people were displaced, in particular in the Sunni north, as a result of the battles and thousands were killed.
Mahlab highlighted the rise in economic growth rates, noting that Egypt's economic reforms and development plans have actually started to bear fruit but they still need to be given more time to prove their complete success and to really reflect on the daily lives of citizens. He added there were early indications that some states are willing to do so.
Baghdad has said it is determined to tackle the red tape and corruption that hamper investment.
Iraq reopened to foreign investment after the 2003 invasion but the vast majority of the billions of dollars invested went to increasing its oil and natural gas production.
It will cost nearly $90bn (£65.1bn) to rebuild war-torn Iraq after three years of bitter fighting with Islamic State (Isis).
The International Finance Corporation's (IFC) country manager for Iraq, Ziad Badr, was speaking in Kuwait ahead of an international conference this week for donors and investors to rebuild and revive Iraq's economy as the country emerges from a devastating three-war.
A USA -led invasion toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003 and was followed by years of insurgency, sectarian bloodletting between Sunnis and Shias, as well as ethnic tensions between the Arabs and Kurds, all before ISIS emerged in 2014.
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