South Korea


Hanwha briefs PM on Progress at Bismaya Housing Complex

By John Lee.

Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi has received a delegation from Korean company Hanwha, headed by its President and CEO, Choi Kwang-ho.

During the meeting, they discussed the progress at the Basmaya housing complex near Baghdad, with the Prime Minister stressing the importance of securing the road link between the residential complex and the center of Baghdad.

He heard a detailed explanation by company representatives about the completion plan for the coming years, emphasizing the quality of housing units and the necessary services, including maintaining the cleanliness of the environment and spaces within the complex.

He also has called for a meeting between the company and Iraqi banks to reach suitable formulas to secure the marketing of the units under appropriate lending conditions.

Hanwha is currently building 100,000 homes at the project, which are due for completion by 2019.

(Source:  Office of the Prime Minister)

Modernization of Public Administration “is KRG priority”

KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani inaugurated the new building of Kurdistan Institute of Public Administration (KIPA) on Tuesday.

In a speech, Prime Minister Barzani stated, he hopes that KIPA “will continue to work diligently to provide the much needed services of building the capacities of Kurdistan Regional Government’s civil servants.”

Below is the transcript of Mr. Barzani’s speech:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good Morning.  I would like to welcome you all to this ceremony of inaugurating the new building of Kurdistan Institute of Public Administration (KIPA). I would like to specially welcome the Republic of Korea’s Ambassador to Iraq Mr. Song Wong-Yeob, Korean Consul General in the Kurdistan Region and the Head of Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) in Baghdad. I especially welcome Professor Park who came from Seoul specifically to this occasion and I welcome you all again.

Today, human resources’ development is important for change and progress in all sectors and major fields, especially in the fields of governance and administration. Capacity building and Development is key to the development of Administrative, economic, social and cultural sectors.

Competency and capacity are very important for human resources. One of the main pillars of human resources’ development is training. That is equipping the staff member with up-to-date information and more knowledge about their field of work. Information and knowledge get updated continuously. In order to enable the KRG institutions and their staff to cope with the progress in all fields, especially good governance, the KRG should make training and capacity building part of its human resources development strategy.

Therefore, all technical, material and moral necessities should be made available for this purpose and all parties and individuals should be urged to adhere to implement the directives and instructions related to capacity building and training. And this is, again, for the purpose of developing the civil service in administrative, technical and theoretical areas based on modern principles.

KOGAS Recoups Investment in Zubair

By John Lee.

The state-owned Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS) has said that it has recouped its $2.49 billion investment in the Zubair oil field in southern Iraq.

According to a report from Yonhap, the company has recovered $2.53 million as of December, which exceeds its initial outlay.

The oilfield is currently producing around 360,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

The project primarily involves the drilling of more than 200 wells, the construction of treatment and storage facilities and refurbishment of the existing facilities.

(Source: Yonhap)

South Korea Provides Food for Syrian Refugees in Iraq

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) welcomed a contribution of US$1.5 million from the Republic of Korea that will provide food assistance for some 30,000 vulnerable Syrian refugees in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq for two months.

Song Woong-Yeob (pictured), Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Iraq, said:

In the aftermath of conflict, the Republic of Korea was once a recipient of food assistance, including from WFP.

“We have now become donors and maintain a strong partnership with WFP in over 30 countries. We sincerely hope this contribution will provide much needed relief to Syrian refugees and their families in Iraq.

This contribution will allow WFP to provide food assistance to Syrian families that have sought refuge in Iraq. Through electronic food cards that WFP provides to vulnerable people in Iraq, each family member will receive US$19 per month to purchase the food they prefer from local shops.

In addition to allowing for greater choice in their diets, this programme injects cash into the local economy, which benefits shops and producers with increased demand for their products.

Sally Haydock, WFP Representative in Iraq, said:

“Thanks to this generous and timely donation from the Republic of Korea, WFP will continue to address the underlying causes of vulnerability for Syrian refugees in Iraq, increase families’ self-reliance and reduce the need for international assistance in the future.”

Since 2014, the Republic of Korea has provided US$4.8 million in support of WFP food assistance for Syrian refugees in Iraq.

(Source: WFP)

Korea’s Support is Helping Iraqi Returnees

The Government of the Republic of Korea and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signed a partnership agreement today for US$4 million to support stabilization and recovery in newly liberated areas in Iraq.

Korea’s contribution will be channeled through UNDP’s Funding Facility for Stabilization (FFS), which finances fast-track initiatives in areas retaken from ISIL. This is Korea’s fourth contribution since 2015 to FFS.

Based on priorities identified by the Government of Iraq and local authorities, FFS helps quickly repair public infrastructure, provides grants to small businesses, boosts the capacity of local government, and provides short-term employment through public works schemes.

During a signing ceremony held in Baghdad, UNDP Resident Representative for Iraq, Ms. Lise Grande, said:

“Stabilizing Mosul is the biggest stabilization challenge we have faced. There are 366 stabilization projects already underway in the city, but so much more needs to be done. This generous contribution from the Republic of Korea will help us accelerate our work in western Mosul. The level of destruction in this part of the city is the worst in the country.”

H.E. the Korean Ambassador to Iraq, Mr. Song Woong-Yeob, said,

“The Republic of Korea is deeply committed to supporting efforts of the Iraqi Government and the international community to stabilize areas affected by the violence of ISIL. I firmly believe that our fourth contribution will further help the efforts by imbuing affected Iraqis with hope and empowering them to recover and start the process of rebuilding their communities.”

UNDP’s Funding Facility is implementing over 1,200 initiatives in newly liberated areas of Anbar, Salah al-Din, Ninewah, and Diyala.

(Source: UNDP in Iraq)

Petrofac Wins Iraq Contract with KOGAS

UK-based Petrofac has been awarded a Front End Engineering Design (FEED) modification contract for the KOGAS AKKAS B.V. Nasiriya Gas Treatment Plant (GTP) in southern Iraq.

Petrofac’s scope of work includes the modification and application of an existing field design to meet the needs of the Nasiriya GTP, and an estimation for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) costs in line with the revised design requirements.

Steve Webber, Senior Vice President, Engineering & Production Services East, said:

This award is testament to our engineering design capabilities, as well as our deep understanding of the market and supply chain in Iraq. KOGAS is a new client for us in a core market and we look forward to further developing our relationship through the successful delivery of this scope.

“Throughout the project, we will provide a robust FEED package for the execution of the Nasiriya GTP in alignment with KOGAS’ expectations, to ensure that it can maximise the total value of the field.

(Source: Petrofac)

Iraq is Iran’s 2nd Biggest Non-Oil Customer

By John Lee.

Iran’s Trade Promotion Organization (TPOI) has issued data showing that five countries — China, Iraq, UAE, South Korea and India — accounted for 68.7 percent of Iran’s total non-oil exports in the first five months of the current Iranian fiscal year (March 20-Aug. 22).

Its non-oil exports (including gas condensate) fell 5 percent in the period, to $17.193 billion.

China was the main importer of goods from Iran, accounting for 21.8 percent of the total, with Iraq taking 15.1 percent with $2.604 billion, followed by the UAE, South Korea, India, Afghanistan, Turkey, Pakistan, Thailand and Taiwan.

(Source: Trend)

(Image credit: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

S. Korea to Train Public Employees in Iraq

KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani received Mr. Park Young-Kyu, the Consul General of Korea, and his accompanying delegation, in Erbil.

Mr. Park conveyed a letter from Mr. Moon Jae-In, President of the Republic of Korea, inviting stronger relations between Erbil and Seoul.

He expressed Korea’s readiness to cooperate with the Kurdistan Region on technology development and discussed the Korean International Cooperation Agency’s (KICA) capacity to help with electricity production and distribution.

He also expressed his government’s interest in helping to strengthen the public sector and said next month they will open a center to train public employees.

Prime Minister Barzani expressed his appreciation for President Moon’s letter and stressed the KRG’s desire also to strengthen bilateral relations between Erbil and Seoul.

Prime Minister Barzani said that the KRG will welcome Korean companies to invest in the Kurdistan Region and share their expertise, especially in the field of e-governance.

(Source: KRG)

LG opens Biggest Overseas Brand Shop in Iraq

By John Lee.

South Korean electronics maker LG Electronics has reportedly opened its largest overseas brand shop in Iraq.

The two-floor shop covers 870 square meters in the main commercial district of Erbil.

Around 200 government and media officials attended an opening ceremony, according to a report from Nation Multimedia.

(Source: Nation Multimedia)

Korea wins $100m Contract for Vote-Counting Machines

By John Lee.

South Korea’s Miru Systems has signed a $100-million deal to supply vote-counting machines to Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC).

According to a report from Yonhap, Baghdad is reportedly considering using Miru’s vote-counting equipment and solutions in the September local elections for the first time, ahead of a parliamentary vote planned for next year.

(Source: Yonhap)