Abu Dhabi Ports, which operates ports, industrial cities and free zones in the emirate, has signed a preliminary agreement with the General Company for Ports of Iraq (GCPI), to explore potential investment opportunities and strengthen co-operation in transportation and maritime sectors.
Abu Dhabi Ports will also develop national infrastructure in Iraq, such as roads and rail networks, which will connect the country’s Al Faw Ports with markets in Jordan and Turkey, it said in a statement on Monday.
As part of the pact, Abu Dhabi Ports will conduct feasibility studies on the management and operation of the Iraqi company’s ports and economic zones and other infrastructure, it added.
The move demonstrates UAE’s drive to enhance co-operation with other Arab states, Suhail Al Mazrouei, the UAE's Energy and Infrastructure Minister, said.
“Leveraging the lessons learned as part of our nation’s pursuit to develop strategic sectors and build frameworks that contribute to the economic and social development of the UAE, we are transferring this invaluable knowledge to our kin in Iraq in order to support the formulation of a diverse and sustainable economy in Iraq,” he said.
Owned by one of the region’s largest holding companies, ADQ, Abu Dhabi Ports plans to list on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange later this year. The listing is subject to market conditions and regulatory approvals, ADQ said this month.
On Sunday, Abu Dhabi Ports said it partnered with the Aqaba Development Corporation to establish a cruise terminal at the Marsa Zayed project in Aqaba, Jordan. It will be the first terminal to be developed by Abu Dhabi Ports in Jordan and its first cruise facility outside the UAE.
“The co-operation with Iraq will also enhance trade and the flow of foreign investments to Iraq and will elevate the quality of maritime transportation and logistics services available in the region,” said Capt Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, group chief executive of Abu Dhabi Ports.
The preliminary agreement between the two entities is set for an initial period of 12 months with a clause for automatic renewal, the statement said.
Abu Dhabi Ports owns and manages 11 ports and terminals in the UAE and Guinea, including Khalifa Port, Zayed Port, Musaffah Port, Fujairah Terminals, Community Ports, Kamsar Port and Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal. It operates more than 550 square kilometres of industrial zones within Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad) and ZonesCorp, the largest integrated trade, logistics and industrial business grouping in the Middle East.