Foreign Companies Cash In on Stable Iraq

Baghdad aggressively courts international investment
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 22, 2008 12:00 PM CDT
A young worker is seen at a brick factory in the holy Shiite Muslim southern city of Najaf some 160 kms from Baghdad on May 26, 2008.   (AFP/Getty Images)
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(Newser) – With security and stability on the rise, Iraq’s government is turning its attention, and its generous budget, toward reconstruction. That’s led to some big opportunities for Western businesses, which are scrambling to get a cut of the country’s $25 billion reconstruction budget. Iraq, which lacks the resources to rebuild on its own, is just as eager to make deals, reports Der Spiegel.

Iraq has plenty of cash—the country expects $100 billion in oil revenues this year—but its industries and infrastructure have been devastated. “We have to start over in many areas,” says Nouri al-Maliki, who is headed to Berlin this week to recruit German businesses. The government is sweetening the pot, too, by waiving taxes for 10 years. “Nobody can complain about conditions like that,” said one exec.