Iraqi ports see more vessels berthing
The ports of Khour al-Zubeir and Umm Qasr saw 14 and 15 ships dock last week, respectively, according to a General Company of Iraq Ports (GCIP) official, who was speaking to the Aswat al-Iraq news agency.
“Last week, Umm Qasr port received 15 ships from Panama, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Jordan, the US, Malta, Comoros and Liberia,” said GCIP spokesperson Abdulkareem al Basri, who indicated that the vessels carried a mixture of containers, vehicles and dry bulk cargo. Al-Basri added that the ships docking at Khour al-Zubeir were all from India.
The movements underline the efforts that the GCIP is undertaking to increase capacity at Iraq’s ports. The design of the US$5.4 billion Al Faw Big Port is currently being considered by foreign developers.
UK consultancy Business Monitor International (BMI) forecasts Iraq’s import sector to grow by 5% in 2009, a slowdown on the 15% increase witnessed last year, but in line with the global downturn in trade.
“Iraq's exports in nominal terms are expected to plummet falling by 54.9%, we note that this figure factors in the fall in oil price. The country's exports are, however, expected to recover and in 2010 are predicted to grow by 16.6%,” a statement from BMI indicated.