Iraq approves Baghdad free zone

New free zone hoped to promote local economy
By Neil King
Tue 29 Jan 2013 03:48 PM

Baghdad has had a new free zone approved after Iraq’s General Authority for Free Zones signed an agreement with the City Centre for Vehicles Services Co.

The capital’s latest free zone is 6,563 square meters and is part of a government initiative to promote the local economy and reduce unemployment, as well as diversifying state revenues.

The move to establish a new free zone comes at a difficult time for Baghdad, following a series of deadly explosions which have take the lives of several people.

At least 42 people died at an explosion at a mosque last wednesday, while three blasts, including a suicide attack, killed at least 17 people last Tuesday.

Despite the volatile environment, Iraq has remained active in several markets, including the oil industry in which deals have recently been signed with the UAE and Kuwait.

Iraqi energy officials signed an oil exploration agreement with Kuwait Energy and Dragon Oil of the UAE to explore a 900 square kilometer block in the south of the country.

Further, Qatar Airways recently launched a third route to Iraq in a bid to help the country get back on its feet, flying to central city Najaf.

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said: “With all the reconstruction efforts well underway in Iraq, there is a need for flights to bring in construction workers.

“As an air service provider, we at Qatar Airways have the faith and are doing our bit in the rebuilding efforts of the country.”

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