A Middle East BRI? Behind Iraq’s $17 Billion “Development Road”

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In an effort to attract investment and rejuvenate its economy, Iraq has unveiled an ambitious $17 billion transportation project known simply as the “Development Road.” This project, symbolizing Iraq’s ambition to become a regional transportation hub, aims to connect Europe with the Middle East. If realized, the project would offer a competitor to the Suez Canal, stimulating trade activity and enhancing Iraq’s clout in the region. This report examines the geopolitical and economic ramifications of this potentially transformative venture.

Iraq’s strategic location, bridging East and West, gives the Development Road project considerable strategic value. Envisioned to extend from the northern border with Turkey to the Gulf in the south, the project would unify a geopolitically diverse region and represent a shift in regional dynamics by restoring Iraq to a central position in the Middle East, a status it has sought to regain since the US invasion.

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