Fears expressed by some officials and businessmen about the Development Road project connecting South Iraq with Europe via Turkey are baseless, the head of the Arab country’s National Business Council has said.

Daoud Zayer said the $17-billion project would give a strong push to the domestic economy and turn Iraq into a major global transit hub.

“There is no justification to reject this strategic project and express fears about it…the fears expressed by some are totally baseless and have no realistic value,” he was quoted as saying by Al-Forat TV on Tuesday.

Zayer also dismissed fears about a sharp decline in oil prices in the near future. He said oil prices are expected to remain relatively stable until the end of the year and that independent forecasts about a 5 percent price decline will have no impact on Iraq.

“I believe that there are no financial risks facing Iraq in during the three-year budget, which started in 2023…Iraq possesses massive oil reserves that enable it to offset the repercussions of lower crude prices,” he said.

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)


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