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Thursday, 02 December 2010

Italy to fund UNIDO industrial development project for Iraq

VIENNA, 2 December 2010 – The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) will launch in January a EUR 3 million technical cooperation project in Iraq to develop industrial zones and enhance investment in the country.

The two-year project will be funded by the Government of Italy, and implemented in coordination with the World Bank.

An agreement on the funding was signed in Vienna today by UNIDO Director-General, Kandeh K. Yumkella, and the Permanent Representative of Italy to UNIDO, Ambassador Gianni Ghisi.

Iraqi Chargé d'Affaires, Abdulkarim M. Shwaikh, who attended the ceremony, expressed his gratitude to the Government of Italy for its financial commitments and to UNIDO for its technical assistance.

Under the project, UNIDO will help enhance the capacity of the Iraqi Government in planning, designing and promoting industrial zones in a sustainable manner. This will include the establishment of an inter-agency coordination mechanism, the drafting of a comprehensive roadmap on industrial zone development, as well as capacity-building activities for counterpart institutions. The project will also facilitate the establishment of industrial zones in two pre-determined areas in order to revitalize the private sector in those areas and rehabilitate the local economy.

“Iraq’s Ministry of Planning asked UNIDO to develop a programme to support the establishment of industrial zones with focus on enhancing investment in the countries and, in doing so, provide the foundations for the Iraqi industry and private sector to develop,” said Director-General Yumkella. “We trust that our technical cooperation with Iraq will help diversify the country’s industry and create a competitive market economy.”

Yumkella also said that UNIDO had worked hard to earn the reputation of a neutral, honest broker between technology leaders and technology users. “Over the years, UNIDO has accumulated considerable experience as an executing agency for tailor-made investment and technology promotion programmes that aim to support efforts of governments and the private sector to expand industrial production and create job opportunities,” he said.

Ambassador Ghisi added:  “Since 2003, the Italian Government has actively assisted the Government of Iraq to rebuild its infrastructure, promote its civil society and strengthen the process of economic revival. Italy gives an important contribution, both through bilateral and multilateral funding mechanisms, towards the achievement of this objective. Italy believes that this new programme for the development of industrial zones will further support the Government of Iraq to implement its strategic priorities by enhancing the investment climate, create employment opportunities, generate income, alleviate poverty, and lay the groundwork for future economic stability.”

The Ambassador stressed that the partnership with UNIDO deserves a special place. “UNIDO has proven to be an effective and reliable partner to respond to the development priorities of Iraq. Italy, which is the major donor of the UNIDO Iraq Programme, with seven additional projects implemented so far, considers actions taken for Iraq development as one of our best success stories,” said Ghisi.

The Iraq Programme is the second largest UNIDO country programme, after China. Since 2007, it has supported economic reforms in the country in response to development priorities outlined in the UN Development Assistance Framework to attain inclusive, more equitable and sustainable economic growth. In this context, UNIDO has also recently launched a project on increasing the competitiveness of existing small and medium enterprises by integrating the traditional UNIDO approaches in local and foreign investment promotion with the use of an innovative e-learning platform.

UNIDO has successfully implemented post-crises projects in many regions of the world, including in Afghanistan, Haiti, Indonesia, Iraq, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, and Uganda.

For more information on the project, please contact:

Mithat Kulur
UNIDO Investment and Technology Promotion Branch
E-mail

For more information on UNIDO, please contact:

Mikhail Evstafyev
UNIDO Advocacy and Communications Coordinator
Telephone: (+43-1) 26026-5021
Mobile: (+43-699) 1459-7329
E-mail