The Export-Import Bank of the United States (US Exim) has guaranteed US$35mn in project finance for Iraq.

The loan was extended by JP Morgan to Devco International for the construction of a sulphur purification plant in Mosul. None of the involved parties could confirm any of the terms of the loan.

However, a US Exim bank spokesperson tells GTR that there are “significant opportunities for American companies in Iraq as the nation rebuilds, and US Exim is prepared to accept prudent risk to support them in their endeavours and thereby bolster American jobs”.

The sentiment is enhanced by the comments of Sami al Araji, chairman of Iraq’s National Investment Commission (NIC). He says that Iraq needs up to US$1tn of investment in its “crumbling infrastructure and battered economy” over the next 10 years.

Speaking at the Baghdad International Fair, al Araji suggested that while the lion’s share could be accessed by exporting the country’s vast supplies of crude oil, foreign direct investment (FDI) will also need to play a big part in financing Iraq’s development.

He says: “Eventually, FDI will be much, much higher, both as a value and as a percentage.”