Deputy Minister of Planning Maher Hammad on Monday discussed with Chinese Ambassador to China Chen Weicheng bilateral relations and means of developing them.
A ministry press statement said that the Undersecretary of the Ministry “received today in his office in Baghdad, the Chinese ambassador in Iraq, and discussed bilateral relations between the two countries and ways to develop them, especially economic and investment.”
He added that the two sides discussed “the possibility of Chinese companies to enter Iraq more broadly and contribute to the reconstruction and development in the liberated areas and other provinces.”
“The previous experience with the Chinese companies was encouraging after the great successes achieved by Chinese companies in the implementation of projects, especially in the field of oil and electricity,” Hammad said.
He stressed that “the priorities of the next phase of the government is the implementation of water and sanitation projects, electricity and health services, followed by education projects, roads and bridges,” calling on Chinese companies to invest in these important areas, especially in the field of housing.
“There is also a gap in the number of schools throughout Iraq, according to estimates, we need about 6,000 schools,” Hammad said.
He stressed that “the security conditions in the liberated areas have become stable and excellent and would provide an environment suitable for the implementation of projects in those areas,” explaining that “the government is ready to provide guarantees in those areas to encourage investment and open avenues of partnership with investment companies.”
For his part, the Chinese ambassador said that “there is great cooperation between the two countries, especially in the field of oil and electricity,” expressing the willingness of Chinese companies to work in Iraq in the field of implementing infrastructure projects, “because China has the ability and willingness and courage to participate in reconstruction according to priorities set by Iraqi government”.
The two sides “agreed to benefit from the Chinese experience in the field of reconstruction and development through the establishment of workshops and training courses for Iraqi cadres in China, as the Chinese ambassador expressed his country’s readiness to develop its expertise and potential in support of Iraq and on all levels.”