Al-Falih: Investment opportunities waiting for Saudi companies in Iraq

“Companies such as Aramco, Ma’aden, SABIC, oil services companies, drilling companies, seismic survey companies, large agricultural companies and many Saudi companies are waiting for investment opportunities in the Iraqi market,” said Khalid Al-Falih, the minister of energy, industry and mineral wealth in Saudi Arabia.

“I expect that the most Saudi companies that will have opportunities in the Iraqi market are SABIC, Ma’aden and the major agricultural companies in Saudi Arabia.

Aramco may also have opportunities in the field of gas aggregation and conversion into petrochemical products,” he said after a news conference with his Iraqi counterpart Jabbar al-Luaibi. But these need to be explored. Oil companies, drilling companies and seismic survey companies will be competing in Iraq, as well as very old companies, such as TAQA, which provide advanced and very sophisticated services at competitive prices not only for Aramco but for other Gulf countries.

On the opening of offices for Saudi companies in Iraq, Al-Falih explained that the first step is to bring the Saudi product and Saudi exports to various consumer sectors directly and quickly.

“Unfortunately, the Saudi products required and desirable in Iraq pass through other countries and exported through these countries. There is margin of handling and additional profit margin for traders from other countries. This loses some competitiveness and weakens the share of Saudi exports in Iraqi markets. And Iraqi companies that need high-quality Saudi products to obtain them in quantities and competitive prices. ”

Al-Falih pointed out that the first step of economic cooperation between the two countries is to get the Iraqi market and the Iraqi consumer to the needs of Saudi goods and products faster and less expensive. “We agreed on executive steps to accelerate this through opening ports and facilities of the parties for customs, This will be followed by the opening of offices for many Saudi companies in the Iraqi market and the participation of the Saudi private sector and Saudi companies in trade fairs to promote and obtain purchase contracts in the Iraqi market, followed by evaluation of investment opportunities and there are many projects introduced as new projects and some sucks Reverse the list to own and re-launch. ”

On the volume of investments expected, Al-Falih explained that at the present time is very limited, and what we aspire in the years to reach tens of billions of dollars, petrochemical projects only if it is made, we all know that it is not measured by hundreds of millions and even billions, and if there are gas projects such as Which is an extension of phosphate reserves in the Kingdom. These will be major projects. There are also large reserves of metals in Iraq that have not been evaluated, explored or converted to projects, As well as agricultural land, Al-Alar S fertile ground and there are water resources, either through rivers or groundwater that are not exploited in Iraq.

Minister Al-Falih said that transferring the successful Saudi experience not only in agriculture but also in the food industry would be an opportunity if it provided the appropriate investment environment in Iraq as well as the stimulus would be beneficial to all.

“The possibility of a cut in production is not on the table, and we have not closed the door on extending production cuts, and if any further action is required, either an extension or a change in production levels, it will be studied at the time and agreed through 24 countries,” he said. But it is premature to predict what will happen after the first quarter of next year, “pointing out that in our meeting in Russia, we confirmed the Kingdom’s readiness to consider the extension if needed.