Japan unveils ambitious plan for 7 new projects in Iraq


The Japanese Ambassador to Iraq, Futoshi Matsumoto, revealed that the Japanese government is embarking on a significant venture, setting up a total of seven innovative projects in Iraq. The move comes as a testament to the strong bilateral ties between the two nations.

Matsumoto shared with the Iraqi News Agency that these projects are made possible through loans granted by Japan, boasting an impressive loan term of 40 years. What’s more, these loans come with an exceptionally low-interest rate of just 0.2 percent.

Over the past two decades, Japanese companies have successfully overseen approximately 30 major projects within Iraq. With the intention of further contributing to Iraq’s development, Matsumoto expressed that these seven new endeavors will come to fruition if the Iraqi government designates funding in its upcoming annual budget.

Diving into specifics, Matsumoto outlined that two of these projects are slated to commence in the year 2023. The initial project entails the Basra Refinery Upgrading Project, aimed at enhancing the facility’s capabilities. The second project revolves around a crucial water desalination initiative in the Muthanna governorate, signifying Japan’s commitment to bolstering Iraq’s infrastructure.

With a staggering cost of $300 million, the Muthanna project is hailed as a pivotal step towards modernizing Iraq’s core infrastructure. Matsumoto emphasized the project’s significance, highlighting its potential to create a lasting impact on Iraq’s development landscape. Importantly, the Japanese Ambassador affirmed Japan’s ongoing support through the provision of soft loans, cementing the partnership’s commitment to shared progress.

“Reflecting on recent developments, the Japanese embassy in Iraq confirmed the signing and exchange of notes between Ambassador Matsumoto, Iraqi Minister of Finance Taif Sami, and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). This historic exchange marked the approval of the fifth batch of Official Development Assistance (ODA) loans, an impressive sum of $1.4 billion. The purpose of this funding is to bolster the Basra Refinery Upgrading Project, the largest Japanese undertaking within Iraq”.

“This ambitious project holds multifaceted goals, including reducing foreign currency expenditures on fuel imports, stimulating trade, addressing fiscal challenges, and generating economic opportunities for the Iraqi populace. Furthermore, the initiative is set to modernize Iraq’s energy industry while fostering private sector engagement. A notable environmental angle is also present, as the project aims to minimize air pollution by curbing sulfur content in oil products”.

“Matsumoto highlighted the infusion of Japan’s cutting-edge technical and engineering expertise into the Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) Complex within the Basra Refinery. This move will play a pivotal role in Iraq’s economic stability while fostering growth in its energy sector. The loan’s remarkably low interest rate of 0.2 percent per annum is expected to substantially contribute to Iraq’s financial resilience”.

“Overall, Japan’s commitment to these initiatives signifies a promising era of progress and collaboration between the two nations, with far-reaching implications for Iraq’s development and Japan’s continued global engagement”.

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