Thursday, July 16, 2009

Iraq: Iraq planning $30 billion housing and commercial development

Trade Arabia reports Iraq is lining up at least $30 billion in housing and commercial developments over the next decade.

Baghdad Mayor Saber Al-Issawi said the city government had received bids from seven foreign companies to build 150,000 flats, stores, parks and cinemas over 10 years in one rundown area of northeastern Baghdad.

The Iraqi government, looking to lure foreign investment and resurrect an economy overly reliant on a promising but underproducing oil sector, has agreed to put $10 billion into the project over that period, he said in a interview this week.

Sadr City, a largely Shi'ite area of northeastern Baghdad, is one of the most striking examples of the unchecked growth of Baghdad's population, which has grown to 7 million as Iraqis fled the countryside and a depressed farm sector.

Buildings in Sadr City have been reduced to rubble by American airstrikes and the area's poorest live in shelters cobbled together from scavenged materials. Electricity flickers on and off, people truck in their own water, trash is everywhere and people tend livestock on city streets.

Published by Mike Hitchen,
Putting principles before profits