Sep 23 2012
Azzaman, September 23, 2012
Iraq has drawn a five-year development plan to eradicate poverty, diversify economic resources, and lessen reliance on oil exports as the major source of income, a statement by the Ministry of Planning said.
The plan will be launched in 2013 and the country is expected to invest up to $275 billion on various sectors, added the statement.
It said the plan has selected certain sectors whose development “is certain to lead to a rise in the country’s economic conditions.”
The statement cited tourism as a major possible source of income if developed properly.
It said Iraq can cash in massive income by marketing its ancient sites belonging to civilizations known the world over.
Iraq boasts some of the holiest shrines in Islam, particularly for the Shiites.
The statement said agriculture was among the sectors to receive attention during the five-year plan.
Iraq currently imports most of its food needs, spending billions of dollars on agricultural imports.
“It is important to find alternatives for income other than oil. It is vital for the economy to move from the current state of almost total reliance on one export commodity,” the statement said.
The development plan is based on $85 for a barrel of oil on international markets, it added.
Oil currently trades at $111 per barrel. Iraqi exports are the highest in many years and they are on their way to rise barring unexpected interruptions.
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