China signs deal to build 1,000 Schools in Iraq

Iraq has awarded contracts to two Chinese companies to build 1,000 schools at a cost of nearly $1.9 billion, a local news agency reported on Monday. 

The deals were signed yesterday at a ceremony attended by Li Daze, vice president of the Power Construction Corporation of China (PowerChina), Koo Jun, regional director of Sinotech, and Karar Muhammad, director of the Iraqi government’s Supreme Committee for School Construction.

PowerChina will build 679 of the schools (estimated contract value: 1.3 billion) and Sinotech the remaining 321 (estimated contract value: $600 million).

The deal is the first tranche of a wider agreement, reached last November between Iraq and China, to build 7,000 schools. According to that memorandum of understanding, they will be model facilities, “modern in style and in accordance with the actual and practical needs of the Iraqi environment”, reports Iraq Business News.

The schools will be built in Baghdad, Najaf, Babylon, Nineveh, Saladin, Kirkuk, Alanbar, Dialya and other Iraqi governorates, they said. 

The report did not make clear if the contracts were awarded in line with an “oil-for-projects” agreement signed by Baghdad and Beijing in 2019 allowing Chinese firms to undertake projects in Iraq in exchange for crude oil supply. 

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