A mega rail project that will traverse Iraq to Turkey will generate annual revenue of nearly $4 billion and could spur large housing projects, an official was quoted on Thursday as saying.

The project, officially estimated to cost at least $17 billion, will also include the construction of several industrial and economic cities, said Abdul Zahra Hindawi, information director at the Iraqi Planning Ministry.

Hindawi told the official Iraqi news agency that the rail line and a parallel motorway will be nearly 1,200 km long and will start from the Southern Faw Port and end at the Northern border with Turkey.

He said Iraq is in touch with regional states to secure their participation in the project, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE, Syria, Iran and Turkey.

“This is a very large and strategic project that will stimulate several sectors including trade, investment and tourism,” Hindawi said.

“The project also comprises several economic and industries cities…we expect it also to give a strong push to housing projects in Iraq,” he added.

Iraq, OPEC’s second largest oil producer after Saudi Arabia, hopes the project to be finished by 2029 and to turn the country into a major commercial transit hub for Europe.

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)


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