Erdogan’s Iraq Visit Puts Spotlight on Ambitious $17 Billion Trade Corridor

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani recently agreed to cooperate against Kurdish militants and boost economic ties through a new trade corridor.

A key focus of the talks was the $17 billion Development Road project, an ambitious 1,200 km road and rail link aiming to transform Iraq into a transit hub connecting Asia and Europe. Erdogan and Sudani witnessed the signing of a four-way memorandum of understanding between Turkey, Iraq, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to cooperatively develop this major infrastructure initiative.

Launched last year, the Development Road would create a transportation artery from Iraq’s Grand Faw Port in the oil-rich south all the way to Turkey in the north. The project envisions Iraq as a crucial conduit facilitating trade flows between Asia and Europe.

Beyond this flagship venture, the two leaders signed over 20 other agreements spanning areas like culture, agriculture, education, and health care. The deals highlight warming political and economic relations after years of tensions stemming from Turkey’s cross-border operations against Kurdish militant groups based in northern Iraq. This was Erdogan’s first presidential trip to Iraq since 2011. 

In 2023, bilateral trade between the two neighbors totaled $19.9 billion. While this figure was down from $24.2 billion the prior year, Turkish exports to Iraq rose 24.5% in the first quarter of 2024 compared to the same period in 2023.

Information for this story was found via Reuters, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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