Arab firms to be given priority when bidding for Iraq reconstruction work

Iraq's new interim government will give priority to companies from Arab countries when awarding contracts for reconstruction.

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By  Rhys Jones Published  July 17, 2004

Iraq's new interim government will give priority to companies from Arab countries when awarding contracts for reconstruction work the Iraqi Housing & Construction Minister, Omar al-Damluji has said. The announcement comes following a series of meetings between al-Damluji, the Egyptian government and private sector representatives, during which their possible participation in Iraq’s reconstruction programme was discussed. “We will give Egyptian and Arab companies priority to carry out reconstruction contracts in Iraq as part of our desire to co-operate with any state in this field,” al-Damluji said. “Iraq’s interim government will also place a priority on employing Iraqi workers to reduce unemployment rates,” he added. Although Egyptian companies, with the exception of mobile phone operator Orascom Telecom, have been reluctant to participate in the rebuilding of Iraq due to concerns over its stability, others in the region have been less hesitant. Daman Iraq Fund, for example, has already invested in a residential real estate project in the heart of Baghdad. The development involves the construction of a cluster of villas, with work underway and due to be completed before the end of the year. “This new development reiterates our long term commitment to the region and the Iraqi market,” said Shehab Gargash, director of the Fund.

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