Bloomberg reported that Iraq has doubled its goal of building 500,000 housing units after international companies showed a healthy appetite to win the construction contracts.
As a result the war shattered nation is looking for bidders to build one million new units, valued at an average of USD 50,000 each, for a total value of USD 50 billion.
Iraq's growing population faces an acute shortage of homes after years of war and sanctions. The government, which hopes to build the one million new homes within three years, estimates it will need about 2 million new units in the next 5 years.
Mr Sami Al Araji chairman of Iraq’s investment commission said that when we saw the huge interest by giant firms this made us seize the opportunity instead of 500,000 to reach for 1 million. More than 100 firms showed interest in the ambitious project including American, UAE, Chinese, Turkish and Canadian companies.
Mr Araji said that his commission has concluded negotiations with Canadian firm Traugott Building Contractors to build 100,000 units in 6 provinces and will sign a contract as soon as possible. We are planning in the next three months to hold discussions with all the companies and when we reach the stage of understanding with any company, we will sign a contract with it immediately.
Construction has been hampered by red tape and security concerns since the 2003 US invasion. The government hopes a sharp fall in violence in the last two years and a new investment law allowing foreigners to own land for housing projects will entice foreign developers.
Mr Al Araji said that the government had set up favorable terms to lure construction companies. We will bring the land and bring them the buyer, and we will participate in funding the project. They will not risk any money, they will finish the work and they will sell it to a company which we will establish.