The National Investment Commission held its first Forum for the Iraqi – Korean Economic Cooperation on the 25th of February.2010 in Baghdad. The conference was attended by HE Mr. Nuri Al – Maliky, and more than 200 people of high officials and businessmen from both sides.
The Iraqi Prime Minister said through his speech in the conference that Iraq has all the characteristics enabling it of providing comfortable life to its people, but; all wars, adventures and policies adopted by the previous regime had caused a massive destruction. Now all economic sectors and investment opportunities are available for the Korean companies especially in sectors like energy, power, housing and factories rehabilitation in addition to developing the military infrastructure. The prime Minister also stressed the importance of knowledge sharing and providing the training opportunities for Iraqi companies to gear up with the construction and rebuilding process.
Dr. Sami Al- Araji – Chairman of the National Investment Commission said that having a Korean delegation of such high level represents the new trends Korea is taking in its relations with Iraq, Dr. Sami also announced the project of building 1 million housing unit to be implemented within the forthcoming 3 years in addition to the project of raising the power production capacity and other important investment projects.
The Korean side was headed by HE Mr. Choi Kyung Hwan- Minister of Knowledge Economy accompanied with a big number of government officials and executive mangers of well known companies, the Korean Minister spoke about the most important economic issues that the prominent Korean companies are intending to start in Iraq in various fields like energy, power, oil, housing and heavy industries.
The vision of both sides were united to come up with ways to achieve the economic growth in Iraq and reinforcing the bilateral relations through activating the role of the fruitful dialogue among businessmen of both sides starting from fields of common interest like developing the energy sector, construction, industrial facilities and infrastructure.
The Korean side confirmed the great interest in reconstruction projects for the Southern Oil Company, roads, bridges, houses and hospitals in addition to preparing the major plans for the new Iraqi cities and their infrastructure when Hyundai Co. for heavy industries discussed with the representatives of the ministry of housing and construction supplying all equipments needed to reconstruct Iraq.
It’s also worth saying that the Korean side had submitted so many consultations to the Ministry of Oil on how to go forward in the projects of upgrading Dora refinery and building new refineries.
Hyundai Co. for heavy industries negotiated with the Ministry of Electricity to supply power packs. On the other hand, STX co. for heavy industries had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Industry & Minerals to modernize Oil and petrochemical projects.
The Korean companies also had submitted several initiations for a number of projects like (rehabilitating the power stations in Basra, utilizing the gas associating oil extraction process in the south and water treatment projects)
The two sides reassured the mutual benefits for both of them through economic partnership in Korean investments in Iraq that will contribute to diversifying and stabilizing the Iraqi economy, they also stressed the importance of activating the regular contact and follow up of the results of this conference to speed up development, therefore; both sides agreed to foster the economic cooperation between Iraq and Korea and provide facilitated one stop shop services by the Iraqi side.