International Relations

‘Route of Development’: Iraq’s Bold Infrastructure Strategy

  • Iraq wants to become a regional transport centre by improving its road and rail infrastructure.
  • The “Route of Development,” an ambitious endeavour, is expected to cost $17 billion.

Project Scope

  • The “Route of Development” will stretch 1,200 kilometres from the northern border with Turkey to the Gulf in the south.
  • Economic Goals: The project’s economic goals are to build a sustainable non-oil economy and to increase regional connections.
  • Port Capacity: Al-Faw’s commercial port will be expanded to handle goods for the project.
  • Train Stations: Approximately 15 train stations will be built along the route, including significant cities such as Basra, Baghdad, Mosul, and all the way to the Turkish border.

Priorities and Challenges

  • Infrastructure Condition: Due to the effects of war, corruption, and sanctions, Iraq’s infrastructure, particularly roads, requires rehabilitation and maintenance.
  • Focus on Electricity: The government’s aim is to upgrade the ageing electricity infrastructure.

Economic Benefits and Geopolitical Position

  • Strategic Geographical Location: Iraq aims to capitalize on its position by becoming a transportation hub for goods and people between the Gulf, Turkey, and Europe.
  • Port Expansion: The Al-Faw commercial port will serve as a gateway for cargo before it is transported via the new road and rail links.
  • Train Station Network: The development of train stations in major cities along the route would improve transit efficiency.
  • Commercial Opportunities: The Gulf offers considerable commercial opportunities, particularly in the transportation of hydrocarbons.

Scepticism and Challenges

  • Concerns about the project’s viability include the necessity for “fluidity” in transportation routes and the preference for direct shipping without intermediary loading and unloading.
  • Adaptation to Customer Preferences: The changing global transportation dynamics and customer preferences should be taken into account.
And get notified everytime we publish a new blog post.