The Development Road Project to Increase Iraq's GDP says Iraq's Prime Minister

High-Speed Rail System 186 mph Will Move Passengers and Goods from Southern Iraq to Europe via Turkey

Through the Development Road Project, Iraq intends to connect Asia and Europe through a new motorway and rail network worth $17 billion. By connecting Basra to existing rail and road networks that lead to Europe, the project will connect the southern port city of Basra to the Turkish border.


Last week, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Iraq, highlighting a project to connect Iraq and Turkey with railways, roads, ports, and cities.

As part of the Development Road Project, Iraq aims to reduce travel time between Asia and Europe through the Great Faw Port in Türkiye.

The Iraqi Silk Road will facilitate faster and more efficient trade by providing an alternative route to the Suez Canal.

Approximately 745 miles (1,200 kilometers) of railway and highways will connect the Great Faw Port, which is expected to be the largest port in the Middle East, to the Turkish border by 2025.

The project will cost up to $17 billion, generate $4 billion annually, and create at least 100,000 jobs.

Initially known as the Dry Canal, it was renamed as the Development Road Project during a meeting between Erdogan and Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia' Al Sudani in March.

According to Sudani, the Iraqi government held the Development Road Conference on May 27 in Baghdad with participation from neighboring countries, including Turkey and Gulf representatives. Sudani said the project would increase employment, financial leverage, and the gross domestic product (GDP) value.

Anadolu interviewed Iraqi businessmen and decision-makers on the project, which will open Iraq to the world through Türkey in three phases by 2028, 2033, and 2050.

Turkey is an important strategic partner for Iraq's development.

"The Development Road is not just a road to move goods or passengers. This road opens the door to the development of vast areas of Iraq," Farhan al-Fartousi, director general of the General Company for Ports of Iraq, told Reuters.

There will be a wide-ranging impact from Europe to the Gulf countries due to the project's endpoint in Türkey.

Sudani praised Turkish companies for their roles in Iraq's infrastructure projects and emphasized their potential to contribute to the Development Road Project.

Considering the trade volume between Türkiye and Iraq has exceeded $24 billion, the project has the potential to offer new business opportunities.

Firas al-Hamdani, President of the Baghdad Chamber of Commerce, told Anadolu that Turkey is the most important strategic partner in the Development Road Project.

Hamdani said the project would benefit Iraq, Türkey, and countries with commercial relations: "When this project is implemented, Türkey's real presence in this field will be realized.".

Turkey has a promising market, and Iraqi businessmen and the Iraqi government can benefit from Türkey's experience."

According to Hasan al-Sabari, an Iraqi Parliament's Economic and Investment Committee member, Turkey is Iraq's "most important strategic partner."

Designed by the Italian company PEG Infrastructure, the project will enter Turkey through Ovakoy after Mosul.

In terms of history, geography, economics, and humanity, Mosul is the second-largest city in Iraq after Baghdad.

During a conference in Kuwait, Turkey made the largest commitment to Iraq's reconstruction and stability with a $5 billion credit pledge.

Rifat Semmo, Mosul's deputy governor, said the train line would be approximately 8 kilometers (5 miles) from the city center.

"Turkish companies were preferred over other foreign companies in Mosul for investment and infrastructure projects. Turkish companies are among the best foreign companies in Iraq," he said.

Turkish companies played a significant role in the construction of Mosul Airport, roads, and bridges, according to Semmo.

Mosul is dominated by Turkish companies. When the city was liberated, especially after the liberation of Mosul, Turkish companies left an important mark," he said.

"Iraqi companies cannot manage this tremendous project alone. It needs foreign companies, and Turkish companies are closest to Mosul. We require Turkish companies for this project. It will be important for Iraq that Turkey participates in the Development Road Project with giant and high-quality companies, and Turkish companies will contribute to the quality of work in the region," he said.

Qatar and the UAE were also involved.

By 2025, Great Faw Port, which will have 90 berths, will surpass Jebel Ali, the largest container port in the Middle East with 67 berths.

Since China's Silk Road does not pass directly through Iraq, the Development Road Project, which will connect the port to the Turkish border, is an alternative option.

By shortening the distance between China and Europe, the project will save time and money compared to the sea route through the Suez Canal.

The Iraqi government cannot undertake the project alone to establish a new Silk Road between Turkey and Iraq.  Thus, Turkey, Gulf countries, and China are expected to contribute to the project's financing and completion.

Due to its location, Iraq is at the center of the Silk Road route, according to Songul Cabuk, a former member of the Iraqi parliament.

According to her, "Turkey is serious about connecting European countries with Asian countries through Iraq. Iraq can provide transportation to Asia, the Gulf, and even Europe."

Above all, this project will go a long way in building Iraq's infrastructure and connecting cities within Iraq.   

(191) Road and Rail Network to Link Türkiye and Gulf Via Iraq - YouTube

Can Iraq's $17B Road and Rail Project Turn the Country Into a Major Transport Hub? - YouTube

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