Shafaq News / Iraqi Prime Minister Muhammad Shia al-Sudani extended an invitation to Indian companies to participate in the implementation of the "Development Road." This proposition materialized during his meeting with the Indian Ambassador to Iraq, Prashant Pisey, as per an official statement from his office.
The Iraqi Prime Minister acknowledged the deep-rooted historical ties between Iraq and India, underlining the numerous commonalities and opportunities for collaboration in all domains. He affirmed that the government is currently engaged in executing strategic projects, with the "Development Road" being at the forefront. He called upon Indian companies to invest in Iraq, emphasizing the importance of leveraging Indian expertise in electronic payment systems and hospital construction and operations.
Ambassador Pisey, in response, highlighted the significance of Iraq as one of India's major suppliers, with India importing $34 billion worth of Iraqi oil last year. Iraq ranks as India's seventh-largest trading partner. The Ambassador expressed the desire of Indian companies to participate in projects in Iraq, particularly in the healthcare sector.
It is worth noting that India has been pressing Iraq for more significant discounts on oil prices, similar to the cheap Russian oil that has become India's largest source since May 2022, displacing Iraq from the top spot.
The "Development Road" project is estimated to cost $17 billion and aims to link the massive Al-Faw Port for goods on Iraq's southern coast to the Turkish border through an extensive network of railways and roads. The project intends to transform Iraq into a transit hub by reducing travel time between Asia and Europe, in an attempt to compete with the Suez Canal.
The Iraqi government envisions high-speed trains carrying both cargo and passengers at speeds of up to 300 kilometers per hour, in addition to extending lines to local industry and energy centers, which may encompass oil and gas pipelines.
According to plans, major transport routes will be connected to the primary Al-Faw Port on the Gulf shores through the upgrade and construction of over 1,200 kilometers of railways and highways linking Iraq to neighboring countries.