The port, according to Hussein Abdullah, has nonetheless seen much improvement in the past four years as it currently handles more than 40,000 tons a day.
The Japanese investment loan is expected to propel the port to international standards, Abdullah said.
“Ports in neighboring countries now look at us with envy,” he said.
He said Umm Qasr alone cannot handle Iraq’s external trade and the country now relies on Syrian and Jordanian terminals to meet a large portion of its exports
However, he said, Japan has also promised to rebuilt another, currently idle, Iraqi port in the Gulf.
Khor al-Zubayr, an oil terminal on the Gulf, is out of order but Abdullah said preparations were underway to bring it on stream.(Source)Abed Battat, Azzaman