Iraq has approved nearly $10.5 billion to support a landmark oil-for-projects agreement it signed with China nearly four years ago, Iraq’s former Prime Minister has said.

Adel Abdel Mahdi told an Arab-Chinese economic conference in Shanghai that Baghdad has supported the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ announced by China nearly 10 years ago.

Mahdi, quoted by the official Iraqi News Agency on Wednesday, said China has become one of the largest economic partners of Arab countries, with two-way trade standing at nearly $431 billion in 2022, an increase of 30 percent over the previous year.

“Iraq’s 2023-2025 budget includes an allocation of $10.5 billion for the agreement with China,” Mahdi told the meeting.

Under that agreement, Chinese companies will execute projects in Iraq in exchange for crude supplies. Hundreds of projects have been executed in the OPEC member since the accord was signed in 2019.

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)


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