15 June, 2021

In Search Of The Iraqi Pie

Business as usual. India's going all out to 'lend a hand' in rebuilding Iraq, but there's a long queue already.

In Search Of The Iraqi Pie
The excitement is palpable. Indian businesses eyeing lucrative contracts in Iraq during the reconstruction phase are trying everything in the book to get a toehold. Last week, a 20-member delegation was in Kuwait. The purpose: to attend a conference organised by American engineering giant Bechtel, which has already bagged a $680-million project for capital construction in Iraq and is searching for sub-contractors. Indian managers were also vying to strike deals with Kuwaiti businessmen since they feel that Kuwait could be an ideal entry point into Iraq.

At the same time, Indian CEOs with contacts in USAID—the coordinating agency doling out Iraqi contracts—are using their clout to somehow get into Iraq. Finally, there is a clutch of exporters who enjoyed cordial relations with the former Saddam Hussein regime and think that they can win a few deals due to proximity with Iraqi and UN decision-makers. However, right now, there's no clear idea how the reconstruction story is going to pan out. "No one can confidently say how these sub-contracts will be awarded," says A.C....

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