South Korea, Iraq sign $3.55 billion reconstruction deal

South Korea, Iraq sign $3.55 billion reconstruction deal

Seoul: South Korea and Iraq have signed a $3.55 billion agreement to help rebuild the war-torn nation and set up various forms of social infrastructure in exchange for nearly two billion barrels of Iraqi oil.

The agreement was signed Tuesday by South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and visiting Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, according to the presidential office’s press release. The agreement means the oil is immediately available to South Korea, whereas in agreements with other countries South Korea has to first help develop oil reserves.

The Basra region is said to account for some 70% all oil production in Iraq, the world’s third largest producer.

South Korea’s offer is only a small portion of some %150 billion expected to be needed over the next eight years to rehabilitate Iraq, but Seoul expressed hope more South Kore an businesses will be able to take part in various projects to rebuild the Middle East nation.

“President Lee also requested that South Korean businesses be allowed to take part in Iraq’s $550 million project to buy new generators and in designing a new oil refinery, worth %84 million," the presidential office said.

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