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Abu Dhabi companies have invested in US$66-billion worth of developments in Iraq after major signs of support from the UAE government for the war-torn nation, reports The National.
The investments follow the UAE's decision to cancel almost US$7 billion of debt and accrued interest owed by Iraq. The UAE was also the first country to set up an embassy in Baghdad and appoint an ambassador.
At the time, President Sheikh Khalifa, described the move as “an expression of brotherhood and solidarity between the two countries” that would help the Iraqi government carry out its reconstruction and rehabilitation plans.
International companies have generally been slow to invest in Iraq because of the lack of security and concerns over the stability of the government. But Emirati investors have been pouring money into projects across the country.
Crescent Petroleum and Dana Gas, two companies based in Sharjah, are involved in major projects in Iraqi Kurdistan in the north of the country. Arabtec, based in Dubai and the largest construction company in the region, is mulling plans to build a 100,000-seat stadium on the outskirts of Baghdad.
Emirati investors committed almost US$37.7 billion last year, almost a quarter of all investment pledged to Iraq, according to a report from Dunia Frontier Consultants. The Trade Bank of Iraq, an Iraqi government-owned bank, has targeted Gulf investors specifically with its investment funds for economic development.