(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAUDI NEWS AGENCY ASHARQ AL-AWSAT)
Iraq: Prime Minister to Head to China to Sign MoUs
It is reported in some economic circles that the visit will lead to the signing of about 30 memorandums of understanding (MoU) between Baghdad and Beijing including construction, services, trade, and industry.
The Iraqi Foreign Ministry said last week that Asia and Australia Department organized a consultative meeting for a number of representatives of Iraqi ministries and institutions. During the meeting, the officials discussed the MoUs to be signed during the PM’s visit to China.
PM’s advisor Abdul-Hussein al-Hunayen said that Abdul Mahdi will head to China on the 19th of September chairing a large delegation including ministers, advisers and businessmen.
Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Hunayen said that the program of the visit includes major projects in roads, transportation, services, education, and health among others.
He noted that both sides have prepared for the visit through continuous meetings with major Chinese companies, and the completion of the funding model through the Iraqi-Chinese joint reconstruction fund.
During the visit, the adviser expects the officials to sign a number of contracts and major agreements in the sectors of industry and agriculture, construction of schools, hospitals, housing, roads, trains, and bridges.
Hunayen also noted that Iraq is considering signing a number of agreements with US companies, such as Exxon Mobil, Gi Group, and others. In addition, Iraq opened its doors to neighboring countries for investments, namely Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey, Gulf countries, and Jordan.
Earlier in April, a large delegation of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) visited Baghdad to discuss Chinese investments in the reconstruction of the liberated areas. The delegation met with Iraqi officials and discussed coordinating Iraqi-Chinese cooperation in the fields of reconstruction, security and economy.
China’s Ambassador to Iraq Zhang Tao told al-Sabah semi-official newspaper that the Chinese side attaches great importance to developing relations with Iraq and looks forward to seizing the opportunity of this visit to make joint efforts with the Iraqi side to further consolidate and deepen bilateral relations.
Zhang expressed his hope that Abdul Mahdi’s visit will contribute to upgrading the level of mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields. He also hoped it will enhance human and cultural communication between the two friendly countries in the framework of the strategic partnership.