by Marwa Yahya
Top officials from Egypt and Iraq recently exchanged views on expanding economic, commercial and investment cooperation between the two countries.
During his meeting with Iraqi Ambassador Ahmed Nayef al-Dulaimi in Cairo on Aug. 25, Egyptian Minister of State for Military Production Mohamed Morsi expressed willingness to deploy the ministry’s technologies and human resources in the reconstruction of Iraq via carrying out several major industrial projects in the civilian and military sectors.
The meeting came amid a trilateral summit held in Amman by King Abdullah II of Jordan, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.
The summit focused on boosting economic, commercial and investment cooperation among the three countries, especially the projects of electricity linkage and energy, according to a statement posted on the Egyptian presidency’s official Facebook page.
On the same day, Egyptian Minister of Housing Assem el-Gazzar discussed with the president of the Iraqi Contractors Federation (ICF) means of cooperation between the two countries in reconstruction.
“Egypt desires to take part in the reconstruction projects in Iraq,” Hassan Abdel Aziz, chairman of the African Federation for Construction and Building Contractors, told Xinhua.
Abdel Aziz, who participated in the meeting of el-Gazzar and the ICF chairperson, said the Iraqi housing minister had been invited to visit Egypt to see the latest developments in mega construction projects in Egypt.
“The Egyptian experience in the construction and infrastructure development could be repeated successfully while Iraq is currently suffering problems in sectors of housing, water, sanitation and electricity,” he said.
Waleed Gaballah, professor of financial and economic jurisdictions at Cairo University agrees that the reconstruction is one of the most important sectors that Egyptian companies could take part in Iraq, stressing that the Egyptian building firms contributed in many large projects in African and Arab countries.
He explained that “Iraq owns the financial resources to fund wide-scale construction operations, as security situation has greatly improved in most of the Iraqi lands after the defeat of the Islamic State.”
“Jordan could be the gate and the connection between Egypt and Iraq for passing the equipment and commodities,” the economic expert said, adding that the latest trilateral summit will add a big momentum for opening the door for more cooperation.