Iraq assures safety, seeks Indian investment

Mumbai, Aug 24 (IANS) Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Kamil al-Maliki Saturday assured a secure investment and business climate and asked Indian companies to participate in the rebuilding of the war-ravaged country.

He said there were many opportunities in the energy, oil exploration, refineries, petrochemicals and fertilizers sectors of the Gulf nation.

The Iraqi premier was addressing a meeting organised by industry chambers Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham).

He also invited India's participation in developing low cost houses, airports, railways electricity plants and harbours in order to compensate for the destruction suffered during the war years.

Health and education were other sectors where private investment was needed.

The Iraqi Prime Minister added that his country was beginning to set up the financial mechanisms for investment in various projects and hoped that Indian banks would open branches to facilitate the transfer of finances.

Over the next 10 years, Iraq needs to spend a trillion dollars on the reconstruction of its vital sectors.