The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]
http://metimes.com/2K3/issue2003-25/bus/iraqis_lose_out.htm Iraqis lose out on contracts By Khaled Yacoub Oweis BASGHDAD A top US aid official said on Thursday that Iraqi firms will get only half of the initial reconstruction contracts. Andrew Natsios, head of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), said Bechtel, the US company awarded a $680 million contract to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure, would subcontract half the work to Iraqi firms, a level significantly lower than Bechtel announced two weeks ago. "About 50 percent of the subcontracts will go to Iraqi firms with Iraqi employees," he said. A senior Bechtel executive said the firm had planned to award 90 percent of engineering work to Iraqi companies. USAID awarded Bechtel the contract to rebuild ports, power networks, airports, schools, roads and other facilities. Clifford G. Mumm, Bechtel's project director for the reconstruction of Iraq, had said foreign firms would only be sought for capabilities not found in Iraq. But Iraqi contractors who met with Bechtel said they doubted they would win much business, as nearly 13 years of UN sanctions had damaged their ability to compete. Asked about this problem, Natsios said only: "Bechtel will show them the standards to follow." Some businessmen have been seeking foreign partners to bid for contracts, aiming to capitalize on low labor costs in Iraq, where an Iraqi engineer would only be paid about $200 a month. "These foreign companies never used to pick up their phones when I called," Ghassan Kubba, vice-chairman of an Iraqi holding company. "Now they are running after me." "Bechtel is the only game in town," said computer company owner Muhammad Al Kubeisi. Meanwhile, unemployment in Iraq is now well over 60 percent. Reuters _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk