Iraq’s 2023 budget includes allocations for the largest projects in 50 years as the OPEC producer is seeking to tap higher oil export earnings, an official has said.

The projects, costing billions of dollars, include mainly the ‘Development Road’ which involves the construction of a 1,200-km rail line and the country’s largest motorway, said Fadi Al-Shammari, a political adviser to the Prime Minister.

Both the rail and the motorway will link Iraq’s Southern region through Faw Port with Turkey in the North and work is expected to be launched in 2023, he said.

Shammari was quoted by the official news agency on Friday as saying other “strategic projects” are also included in the budget that will be approved shortly by Parliament.

“The 2023 budget includes allocations for major projects that have not been seen by Iraq over the past 50 years…one of the largest projects is the Development Road which we consider as a watershed for Iraq in terms of trade and investment,” Shammari said.

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)