Iranian firms urged to invest in southern province

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By Basem al-Rikabi

Azzaman, December 8, 2013

The southern Province of Missan has turned to Iran for the execution of scores of strategic projects to improve conditions and the quality of public utilities.

The provincial council has said it was in contact with major Iranian firms for the execution of 150 projects in the province and that an official delegation will head to Tehran soon for final agreement.

“The province is seeking to attract foreign investments and is offering 150 investment opportunities to major Iranian firms,” said the council’s president Hilal al-Sahlani.

Sahlani said the projects will cover various sectors including oil, electricity, tourism, industry, trade, agriculture as well as other strategic and development projects.

However, Sahlani said, no deals would be struck before the provincial authorities obtained first-hand information on the designs and status of the firms that will shoulder the implementation.

A delegation of Iranian firms is already in the province and its members have presented the provincial authorities with the designs of the projects they are implementing in other countries.

Sahlani gave no details on how the province will finance the project or whether the Iranians will implement them through some form of service contracts.

But the province is emerging as an oil producing center in Iraq with output estimated to reach 100,000 barrels per day by the end of the year.

Dhi Qar, of which Nasiriya is the provincial capital, is the heartland of the ancient Mesopotamian civilization of Sumer which flourished in southern Iraq in 2500 B.C..

It is home to fabled Sumerian metropolises of Ur, Eridu, Lagash and Larsa.

Iran’s trade with Iraq is booming and it is expected to hit $14 billion this year.