June 2003
Middle East;Jun2003, Issue 335, p6
The article focuses on the role of Arab countries in the reconstruction of Iraq. U.S. firms may have won major Iraq reconstruction contracts, but economic and political realities are compelling them to turn to Arab banks, shippers and other subcontractors to get the job done. Although these companies won the primary contracts, a significant portion of the actual work will be subcontracted to others. It is creating a new opportunity for Arab companies, who are either already in Iraq, or have full awareness of local conditions. So far, the prime contracts to get this work done are being awarded by US government agencies, including the Department of Defense, and the US Agency for International Development (USAID). U.S. multinational corporations, known for their engineering, energy and technological prowess, are certain to subcontract significant portions of their work to Arab firms, which have expertise in unique local market conditions. The rebuilding of Iraq is expected to cost upwards of $100bn over the next five years. It will involve restoring shattered telecommunications and transport facilities, maintaining and expanding the country's oil production capacity, and repairing or replacing damaged houses, industrial plants and offices. USAID is soliciting bids for 12 separate reconstruction contracts, covering everything from creating a legal code to repairing roads, bridges, hospitals, and sanitation systems. INSET: Iraq's economy at a glance.


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