It said the money will be in the form of a long-term loan as it is being raised by an Iranian bank set up to encourage Iranian exports.
The statement said the bank has already earmarked up to $400 million for immediate investment and urged Iraqi entrepreneurs to hold talks with the Iranians on the kind of projects they want to participate in.
The Iranian side will cover the whole financing but only own 33% of the projects to be implemented. The other 66% will be owned by the Iraqi side.
Iraqis will start paying their share of investments 10 years after the completion of these projects in addition to only 1% interest.
The statement quoted the minister as saying that it was essential “for all Iraqi industrialists in take part in the legal, technical and economic negotiations with Iranian side that are scheduled to start very soon.”
Najafi said his ministry was keen to take part but would rather encourage the private sector to have the lion’s share of the investments.
“Iraq’s economic policy for the future is to solidify the private sector to enable it to have a pivotal role in the economy,” the minister said.
It is the first such deal the ministry signs with a foreign country. Negotiations with other countries failed due to security reasons.
However, the Iranians have said they will proceed ahead with their investment despite mounting insecurity.
A team of Iranian industrial experts is due in Iraq to map out the sectors of mutual interest, the statement said.
Seven major Iranian companies will be involved.
The Iranians would like to start up a new car company in Iraq as well as factories for the manufacture of electrical transformers and appliances, steel and glass.
“The money is there. The companies willing to do the job are there. And above all the governments of the two countries are keen to see the projects implemented,” said Sami al-Araji, undersecretary of the Industry and Minerals Ministry.(Source)Muthana Aidan, Azzaman