Private Sector Development Strategy in Karbala

UNDP is helping to launch the Private Sector Development Strategy in Karbala

The Governorate of Karbala in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and support of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) organized a conference to roll out the Holly Karbala Private Sector Development Strategy (2018-2030) in Karbala province.

The Holly Karbala Private Sector Development Strategy (2018-2030) (HKPSDS) will support the diversification of the economy as one of the most important keys for the economic growth in Karbala. This new strategy will help create jobs and promote growth in the local economy.

UNDP, and the Governorate of Karbala, Provincial Council, Holy Shrines, private sector and academia, have been developing the HKPSDS for the province. Representatives of private sector companies, associations, academics, Directors of public departments, media and other UN agencies as well as officials from the local authority attended the conference.

The Governor of Karbala, Mr. Aqeel Al-Turaihi, said in his speech during the conference:

“The Private Sector Development Strategy will be a center of excellence of the private sector development among the local governorates, and Holy Karbala Government will provide full support to the implementation of this strategy”.

UNDP Deputy Country Director Mr. Gerardo Noto said:

The implementation of this strategy will contribute significantly to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). In particular SDG 8 (Decent work and economic growth), leading to achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading and innovation.

“It will also help to achieve SDG 17 (Partnerships for Goal) to encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships”.

The HKPSDS is an adaptation to the local context of the PSDS Iraq 2014 – 2030. It is designed to address the challenges identified and to achieve the objectives set on the national level in the PSDS Iraq (2014-2030) within Karbala Province and is intended to utilize the resources and opportunities available in the province, to achieve the overarching development objectives of revitalizing and strengthening the local private sector and improve the business environment, to contribute to local economic growth, sustainable development and job creation.

As the first one of its kind to be implemented in the local governorates of Iraq, The PSDS envisages achieving, by 2030, the vision of “Developing a viable, competitive, local private sector, led by the business community that contributes to the local economy, job creation and sustainable local development in partnership between the Local Government of Karbala Governorate and the local private sector.

(Source: UNDP)

$8m Project to plant 70,000 Date Palms

By John Lee.

An Iraqi Shi’ite Muslim foundation is reportedly planning to plant a total of 70,000 date palms south of Baghdad.

According to Reuters, it has already planted 16,000 date trees outside Karbala [Kerbala].

The scheme is backed by a state loan of IQD 10 billion ($8.43 million).

(Source: Reuters)

Rotork to supply Karbala Refinery Project

By John Lee.

British-based engineering company Rotork is to supply the Karbala Refinery project in Iraq.

According to a press release from the company, Rotork will provide large quantities of IQ3 non-intrusive intelligent electric valve actuators, designed specifically for automated flow control systems in hazardous environments.

Due to open in 2020, the State Company of Oil Projects’ (SCOP) Karbala Refinery will have a refining capacity of 140,000 barrels of crude oil per day (bpd). Production will meet the latest international standards, serving the growing domestic demand for oil in Iraq and reducing the current level of refined product imports.

(Source: Rotork)

4 Metropolitan Transport Opportunities in Iraq

By John Lee.

Iraq’s National Investment Commission (NIC) has included four subway and metropolitan rail projects in its list of major strategic projects to be presented during the Kuwait International Conference for Iraq Reconstruction, to be held in Kuwait from 12th to 14th February:

1. Baghdad Metro

The project consist of two lines with total length of 46km. it has 47 station, two locomotive garages on both lines, and three power transferring stations.

  • The first line (23km 25 station) starts from the main locomotive garage north east of Baghdad through (10*10) project location –previously, to Al Sadir city crossing Al Thawra St. heading to Baghdad center to Al Jimhoriya St. to its final destination Antar Sq.
  • The second line (23km 22 stations) starts from south east of Baghdad near Aqaba Bin Nafee Sq. –Sadoon St. City center, crossing the Tigris to reach Al Faris Al Arabi Sq. forming two branches, one to Al Mansoor and the other to Al Bayaa where the second locomotive garage is located.
  • The project can provide comfortable and efficient transportation services to 250 thousand passenger/h in all stations.
  • Ministry of Transportation contracted a number of specialized consulting companies in the mid-seventies to conduct a study regarding Mass Transit that resulted to using tracks according to the feasible study done in 1978 (Feasibility study and Preliminary Design of an integrated Transport System within the City of Baghdad)
  • A contract was signed with Sestra Co. (French), one of the specialized international companies, to conduct the initial designs and the tender documents under the title (Technical, Legal and Contractual Requirement for Baghdad Metro Project)
  • The estimated cost of the project including detailed designs and execution of the two lines excluding extensions is €5.7b which is roughly $6b according to the French Co. feasible study adding to that $2b for acquisitions, total cost will be $8b. EPC document was based on turnkey delivery system.

2. Baghdad Mono Rail

A vital project with good financial revenues, prepared by French Alstom Co.

  • Estimated cost: $ 1.5b
  • Duration: 5 years
  • Project purpose: to solve traffic jams and improve services in Baghdad.
  • Phases, locations, implementation lines in Baghdad
  • Phase one: 15.5 km, Kadhmiya-Al Sadir City-Shaab, with 12 internal station and crossing the Tigris
  • Phase two: 4.45km, the International Station in Alawi-Utaifiya with two internal stations.

3. Mono Rail in Holy Karbala Province

This project is considered to be one of the major strategic projects in Holy Karbala Province for its importance in resolving the transportation problem of visitors coming to the Holy city. The project starts from the station Bada’at Aswadin Al-Husainiya District and going toward the Baghdad road taking the middle path of the main road toward Bab Twerej and passing through Al-Salam bridge and then through Al-Ibrahimiya station.

  • Length:18 km/ dual line/ 20 passengers stations.
  • Estimated cost: 450 million dollars.

4. Basra Metro

This project is considered to be one of the major strategic projects in Basra Province for its importance in resolving the transportation problem.

  • The metro contains 5 main lines with 35 main and branch lines
  • First line: Sa’ad square-Basra University-can be extended to the city center.
  • Second line: sa’ad square-Zubair-can be extended to Safwan
  • Third line: Sa’ad-Al-Ashar-Shalamja
  • Fourth line: Sa’ad square-Abu Al-Khaseeb-Faw
  • Fifth line: Sa’ad square-14th July street-presidential palaces.

The full 46-page document can be downloaded here.

(Source: NIC)

Strategic Urban Development of the Pilgrimage Governorates

UN-Habitat and UNDP are helping Iraq to address strategic urban development of the Pilgrimage governorates of Najaf and Karbala.

Nearly thirty Iraqi officials convened in the holy city of Karbala, on 22-23 August 2017, to partake in an intensive two-day workshop titled “Governorate Urban Strategies for the Pilgrimage Cluster: Meeting the SDGs in Iraq”.

The officials represented the Ministry of Planning, Ministry of Municipalities, Construction and Housing, and Public Works, both the national and local levels, as well as Karbala Governorate.

UN-Habitat organized the workshop under the Local Area Development Programme (LADP), a project implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and funded by the European Union (EU).

Director General for Local and Regional Planning at the Ministry of Planning, Mr. Mohammed Al-Sayed, said:

“We appreciate the chance to enhance coordination between Governorate officials and improve the capacity of the staff at the central and local levels, in line with the decentralization efforts of the government.”

The workshop focused on the on-going spatial analysis of urban issues and development indicators concerning the governorates of Najaf and Karbala, being developed by UN-Habitat in close coordination with the Ministry of Planning.

Investment Opportunity in Iraq’s Industrial Sector

The Iraqi Cement Company in coordination with the National Investment Commission (NIC) are pleased to announce the investment opportunities for :

  • Fallujah White Cement Plant
  • Babil Cement Plant
  • The Lime Plant in the Holy City of Karbala

We invite specialized Iraqi, Arab and International companies, investors and financers to participate in these investment opportunities to rehabilitate and upgrade these plants, on basis of partnership in management, production and increase of production capacities.

Regarding the needs of these plants productions, the importance of meeting the Iraqi market, the economic feasibility and the privileges achieved to the investor including provision of raw materials at suitable prices.

The investment profile can be obtained from the Iraqi State Cement Company (HQ), at non- refundable price of (150000 I.D) one hundred fifty thousand Iraqi Dinar.

The company is ready to provide detailed information and facilitate the visit to plants.

We would like to mention that offers must match the conditions stated in the investment profile.

Offers must be handed as two separated offers (Technical and Financial) >

All attached document must be certified officially by the official department in the countries related to those companies beside the official Iraqi embassy in that country.

Notice , the price equation of cement is applied to preserve price fluctuation in cement market .

Offers should be presented by the end of the work day of (Wednesday the 3rd May 2017, 12:00 O’clock).

For more details, please visit the company’s website :

Or visit the company’s HQ on the following address: Iraq- Baghdad- Al Za’faraniya

Mobile: 009647716620600


(Source: NIC)

(Picture: Kirkuk Cement Plant)

Will Karbala be added to list of World Heritage sites?

By Wassim Bassem for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News. 

The Karbala Provincial Council announced March 3 the formation of a committee to follow up on the issue of adding the city — which is home to about 300 archaeological sites — to the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites.

The Fortress of al-Ukhaidir (built in 778) was included on the UNESCO agenda during a July 2016 meeting. The site, however, did not meet all the conditions and was not considered for the list.

The council also hopes to include Caesar’s Church, which is located 70 kilometers (43 miles) from Karbala, to the list of World Heritage sites since it is the oldest eastern church in history.

It was built in the fifth century, more than 120 years before the emergence of Islam. Today, the church is considered of exceptional importance as it represents a Christian landmark, and promotes shared living and cultural coexistence in an Islamic milieu.

The council also seeks to add to the list al-Tar Caves, located 45 kilometers (27 miles) southwest of Karbala. These rocky formations date back to 1300 B.C. and are believed to have served as a passage for people who used to roam the Iraqi desert heading toward neighboring countries.

Khan al-Utaishi is also nominated for the list of World Heritage sites. It is one of the many archaeological khans, such as Khan al-Nakheel and Khan al-Rabeh. It was established during the Ottoman rule in Iraq (1532-1918) and served as a rest house for travelers from Baghdad and Karbala all the way to Najaf, 160 kilometers (99 miles) south of Baghdad.

Will Iraq ban Unveiled Women from Holy Cities?

By Mustafa Saadoun for Al Monitor. Any views expressed here are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News. 

Ibtisam al-Hilali, a member of parliament for the Karbala governorate and member of the State of Law Coalition, led by Nouri al-Maliki, stated Feb. 12 that the governorate’s provincial council intends to pass a bill banning unveiled women from entering the holy city of Karbala.

While banners on the streets of Iraq’s religious cities such as Karbala, Najaf and Khadimiya calling on women to wear the headscarf are a normal sight, this is the first time official figures and parliamentarians try to introduce a bill in this regard.

Karbala is home to the shrines of the third Shiite Imam Hussein bin Ali and his half brother Abbas. The citizens of Karbala are mostly Shiites, and each year the city hosts millions of pilgrims who visit the shrines of the two imams.

A parliamentary source who spoke on condition of anonymity told Al-Monitor, “Many blocs affiliated with Islamic parties are now trying to collect signatures to pass a bill that would ban unveiled women from religious areas. However, this was immediately rejected by parliamentarians, but the blocs are still trying to pursue their efforts to this effect.”

These endeavors might not be welcomed by the Iraqi community, which is governed according to the Iraqi Constitution instead of Sharia. Yet, it appears that some Islamic groups and parties are trying to impose Sharia on the different aspects of civil life. This might suggest the possibility of an imminent conflict between Islamic extremists and civilians seeking to live in a nonreligious state.

Sarwa Abdel Wahed, a parliamentarian for the Movement for Change, told Alqurtas News that some parties are seeking to impose political agendas and settle scores by trying to pass a law banning unveiled women from entering religious cities.

Mega-sized Cargoes Arrive at Iraq Port

The largest cargoes ever to arrive in Iraq have been unloaded at Basra Multipurpose Terminal (BMT), in the port of Umm Qasr.

The four LPG Bullets with unit weights of 665 tons were carried on the MV Happy Star. They measure 65 meters in length and 12 meters in diameter, and will be used at the State Company for Oil Projects (SCOP)’s Karbala Refinery Project, currently being built by Korea’s HDGSK.

BMT describes itself as the largest multi-purpose facility in the country with direct access to major road networks and national rail links.

(Source: BMT)

Work Starts at Mid-Euphrates Airport

By John Lee.

AFP reports that Iraqi officials laid the cornerstone of a new Mid-Euphrates Airport, 35 kilometres (20 miles) south of Karbala.

The $500-million project will be carried out by the UK-based Copperchase, with work supervised by the Khayrat al-Sibtein company, which belongs to the Imam Hussein shrine (pictured).

During the ceremony, Karbala Governor Aqeel al-Turaihi said that Karbala receives millions of pilgrims annually, and building the airport is a necessity.

The first phase will include the construction of a runway, passenger terminal, car park and maintenance facility, with the first flight expected in 18 months.

(Source: AFP)