A project to construct a rail line and a motorway from South Iraq to the Turkish border in the North is estimated to cost up to $20 billion, Turkey’s Transport Minister has said.

Abdulkadir Uraloğlu, whose country has signed an agreement to execute the project jointly with the UAE and Qatar, said it involves building a 1,200 km rail line and a motorway for trucks and passenger vehicles from Iraq’s Faw Port to the Turkish border.

In an interview with Qatar’s Al-Jazeira news network this week, the minister said ‘The Development Road’ project would largely save shipping costs as it will reduce freight time by at least 15 days compared with shipping through Egypt’s Suez Canal to Europe.

“This is a great project….it could cost between $8 billion and $15 billion in the first phases…total cost could reach $20 billion,” he said.

“I cannot provide accurate figures but real costs will be clear as work is in progress. We have agreed in principle with Iraq to fund the project through loans provided by global finance companies.”

Uraloğlu said he expects the project, which would be completed in late 2029, to give a boost to Iraq’s economy and create thousands of jobs.

He added: ”This project will also lead to other projects and stimulate nearly 150 sectors, including cement, logistics, furniture and glass.”

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Bhaskar Raj)


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