Fox commits further funding for Iraq-UK partnerships

17 Apr 19

The government is offering additional support to companies doing business with Iraq, to coincide with a visit by trade secretary Liam Fox.

Fox will hold talks with Iraq’s prime minister, Adil Abdul Mehdi, and president Barham Salih. He has also announced that UK Export Finance will make an additional £1bn available to British firms operating in the country, bringing total support for Iraq to £2bn. The funding helps Iraq to source goods and services from the UK, benefitting both countries.

The trade secretary said that Iraq is enjoying an increasingly stable relationship with its neighbours and growing economic success. UK investment and an enhanced trade relationship, he said, would help the country to build up its infrastructure and benefit UK business.

He commented: “Iraq’s future is bright and my international economic department will continue to work tirelessly to ensure it maintains this stability, allowing the hard work of its talented citizens to flourish for the benefit of all.”

He said that UK Export Finance has already made a big impact on the country. Projects backed include:

• A £26m loan for a water and wastewater treatment project in the Kurdistan being delivered by UK company Biwater

• £770m to support Enka UK and GE in building two new gas-fired power stations in the Basra region and for GE Grid Solutions to build and refurbish 14 electricity sub-stations across Iraq

• Support for a £26m Siemens UK contract to refurbish the 320MW Al Mussaib power station in southern Iraq

• A loan supporting a £169m contract being undertaken by a UK subsidiary of GE to refurbish gas-fired power stations.

Fox said: “Trade is about more than economic self-interest. It is the means through which we deliver the mutual prosperity that underpins our collective security. That is the true prize of trade policy and promotion.”

During the visit, the trade secretary will speak to young Iraqi entrepreneurs and meet British firms.

Steve Scrimshaw, Siemens UK country lead for gas and power, said: “We are delighted that additional funding has been made available for ongoing regeneration in Iraq and we look forward to working with UKEF and the Iraqi government on future opportunities.”

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