International companies to invest in six Iraqi shopping centers

Iraqis shop at a mall in Baghdad's Karrada district. [Mohammed Ameen / Reuters]

Iraqis shop at a mall in Baghdad's Karrada district. [Mohammed Ameen / Reuters]

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The Iraqi Ministry of Trade offered six shopping centers in Baghdad as investment projects for foreign companies last week.

Offering the centers for investment is the second phase of a three-phase plan the ministry started last January. The plan will offer a total of 20 central shopping complexes in Baghdad and the provinces for investment.

Saad Faris al-Hamdani, director-general of the Ministry of Trade's state company for shopping centers, said the first phase included the award of the Mansour shopping center in Baghdad to the Emirati company Taqat.

The company is now working on repairing and renovating the shopping center, which is expected to be complete by mid-2012.

"The second phase includes offering for investment the Ahd, Shaab, Salihiya, Mustansirya, Thulatha and Amil shopping centers. A number of international companies have submitted offers to turn these compounds into huge commercial complexes," al-Hamdani told Mawtani.

Turkish, French, American, Chinese, Lebanese, Egyptian and Emirati companies have submitted offers to invest in the shopping centers. The ministry is now studying the financial and technical aspects of the offers to choose the most suitable one.

"When deciding on which company, we shall take into consideration the company's solid standing, its expertise and experience in carrying out similar projects with high quality specifications, and the capacity of each project to absorb the largest number of employees from our company who are working at these centers, in addition to the percentage of annual profit that will be returned to our company from the investment," said al-Hamdani.

He also said that he expects the ministry to announce which companies won the investment opportunities and sign the contracts before the end of the year.

"The investment will make our shopping centers capable of competing with the private sector by offering various imported goods and items to the local consumers at reasonable prices and with good quality," al-Hamdani said.

Abdul Rahman al-Mashhadani, an economics professor at al-Mustansiriya University, said the effort to attract international companies and offer them the chance to invest in shopping centers "represents an excellent step on the part of the Ministry of Trade".

"The investments will help turn the centers into magnificent commercial and tourist centers that will bring considerable economic benefit to the state," he told Mawtani.

Al-Mashhadani said the investing company is required to employ no less than 60% of the former employees at the shopping centers. Management of the shopping centers and the process of importing merchandise will be left up to the investors, who will be exempt from paying taxes and customs duties for 15 years.

Ibrahim al-Rikaby, a member of the Iraqi parliament's economic and reconstruction committee, praised the plan to offer shopping centers for investment.

"I imagine that offering these shopping venues for investment is the best solution to have them rejuvenated to what they used to be in playing a major role and meeting all the needs of Iraqi consumers for high quality goods and items imported from well known sources," he told Mawtani.

Al-Rikaby called for renovating the centers according to the latest modern specifications and providing all commercial and recreational services such as shops, specialized shopping complexes, sports halls, hotels, restaurants and other service facilities.

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    معن حمود علي

    2012-4-28

    The Iraqi government can monitor the administrative and financial corruption in the huge projects, and the Iraqi government should be strict in enforcing the laws and the legislation that control these matters. For example, it should be strict in the conditions that organize the tenders’ processes, so they will not be exposed to any financial corruption, which in turn will lead to the project’s corruption and to its not being completed as required. Moreover, the Iraqi government should strengthen the sanctions on all those who have proven to be involved in financial or administrative corruption, whether they are among the state employees or those who carry out the projects, the contractors and others. Moreover, the sanctions could reach up to prison for life, or imprisonment forever and execution, if these corrupted projects have caused the death of innocent citizens, and the Iraqi government should have the reputation records of all those who carry out these projects.

  • ابو سهى

    2011-12-31

    I think reopening the central markets once again would not be very useful, because they are very old and small. If they reopen them, they will not be able to compete with the malls that exist everywhere now. So, I think it will be more effective if we build big malls instead of these small central markets. The malls we would build should be equipped with all the products and merchandise the citizens might need, to attract as many people as possible. The new malls should compete with the malls we have now, because the citizen will look at what actually attracts him. So, I think building new malls will be more valuable than wasting money in reconstructing the small central markets, which will not change anything or achieve any benefit. So, it is better to use the locations of the old central markets to build big malls.

  • مصلح خليل

    2011-12-31

    In the past, the governmental central markets played a great role in providing the products needed by the citizens. They used to buy their needs from the central markets at competitive prices; this kept the prices of products in the markets reasonable. Yet, because of the problems and wars in Iraq, these markets were shut down, looted and torched. The situation remained the same for years. I think it is time to reconstruct the buildings of central markets spreading all over the country and resume their work. They should be rebuilt and furnished, to benefit from them. We have to import foodstuffs and household times that are locally produced or imported from abroad. Those products should be available in the central markets for reasonable prices, to compete in the market and to be the first destination of the citizens, as in the past, when they used to go to the central markets to buy their needs, such as foodstuffs, electrical appliances and devices for competitive prices. This is very necessary, to help the citizens have the products and merchandise for prices that are lower than those at the local market.

  • شاهد محمد

    2011-12-28

    I think that the central markets that were affiliated to the Iraqi Ministry of Trade are considered to be among the characteristics of the new civilization which has spread in all the Iraqi governorates. They had a role in providing all the benefits for the Iraqi citizen, who is suffering from all the great difficulties of bargaining and swindling so as to get some of his different needs. These help him to ensure his basic living needs. In addition, there were moderate prices which these markets had before, which enabled and helped the citizen to get all the basic materials and accessories he needed, and at reasonable prices, which suited his monthly income or his purchasing ability. That is because most of the materials which the central markets had to offer had prices subsidized by the state and sold to the citizen at low prices, or at cost. That is because these markets were considered non-profit service institutions which were established to provide services to the Iraqi people.

  • رميل عباس

    2011-12-28

    The Iraqi citizen in the old days went to visit the central markets so as to do his shopping, to be entertained and to enjoy what these markets contained, as well as the vital facilities of restaurants, sitting areas and places to eat fast food while listening to beautiful music tones there in an atmosphere of safety and security. The Iraqi citizen enjoyed all this during this period of the days of his beautiful life. But these markets have been exposed to destruction as a result of the latest war that took place in Iraq. This led to most of them being burned and the rest being looted by the thieves and robbers who exploited the unstable situations to which a lot of countries in the world are exposed. The final result of that was the destruction of these beautiful institutions that were full of warmth and life, and that were providing their services to all the Iraqi people in all the Iraqi governorates. The memory of those beautiful days is still in the minds of most Iraqi people to this day. Therefore, these places need reconstruction at the present time, so as to come back full of giving and life, and to provide the Iraqi people with welfare and goodness, as they were before. This will bring happiness and pleasure to the hearts of the Iraqi people, who have been exposed to a lot of sadness and pain as a result of what the criminal organizations have done. They were seeking to kill the people and weaken the security in the country.

  • معين طه

    2011-12-28

    The central markets in Iraq were one of the factors of development and progress in the country during the past period of the Iraqi history. These markets provided all the requirements which the citizen needs,from the car to the needle, which enabled the Iraqi citizen to live a beautiful and good life, through the welfare provided to him through these markets. These markets fulfilled all the needs of the Iraqi citizen without his getting tired in order to get his basic needs. This may cost him a lot of effort as a result if he has to search in the markets and shops, so as to get his necessary needs for which he is searching, so as to benefit from them in his daily life. Considering the end of \ the presence of these central markets in Iraq, it has become necessary today for the Iraqi citizen to look for the developed alternatives, which make him dispense with the central markets and which could provide him the best services, better than what the central markets were providing at that period of time in his life. Therefore, we call upon the competent Iraqi authorities to provide us with the home services and the basic accessories through opening modern shopping malls, which most of the countries in the world have started to carry out, and which provide all the citizen’s needs. These will replace the central markets, whose period and time has ended. Life is in continuous development, and the human being needs every new and developed thing, so as to enjoy a stable and good life through what these malls provide him in terms of various services at reasonable prices. The spread of malls in Iraq at the present time is considered one of the civilized phenomena, and it will give a good impression about the extent of refreshment of the Iraqi markets at this time, while we enjoy safety and security, which our country is enjoying at the present time.

  • خضر عبيد

    2011-12-27

    I would like to say something to the Iraqi government. What is taking place in Iraq is enough. Don’t you want Iraq to restore its former situation and become better? Don’t you want to be proud of a country that has always served you and is currently ready to do anything to achieve the development that you want? In fact, Iraqis are brave and are able to do their best to restore the former situation of Iraq. As for me, I would like to tell them that Iraqis will do their utmost to cooperate in order to rebuild Iraq once again. In addition, these malls will delight Iraqis and restore their confidence. Thus, I pray to God the Almighty to help Iraq restore its former position. God willing, the situation will become better than before.

  • Zahid

    2011-12-27

    Iraq is in desperate need. Thus, we have to work on ridding it of this great trouble and restoring the things which have been taken from it, so as to restore its activity. In fact, there used to be central markets in the past that enabled Iraqis to do the shopping. Thus, they desperately need these markets to resume their activity. As for me, I am personally thinking of relying on great malls, which could also help Iraqis do their shopping comfortably. In so doing, we will develop these places and profit from people who come to do the shopping, hence earning a lot of money and making Iraq more developed. In addition, we can also reserve some space for children in these malls to entertain themselves, and for citizens to get their shopping needs. In fact, I personally believe that these ideas are good, and will help make Iraq more important. In so doing, we will achieve our ambition of maintaining a brighter future for all Iraqis, through making Iraq more outstanding and developed. We should also do our best to restore the former situation of Iraq and make it better, given that it is as important as other Arab countries, which benefited from the Iraqi wealth.

  • كوثر

    2011-12-27

    The idea of restoring the supermarkets is a very good idea, especially since they are helping the poor and contribute to restoring the former situation of Iraq and even better. In fact, Iraq must restore its former situation. Thus, supermarkets must work on ridding Iraq of the bitter and difficult conditions which this country is currently experiencing. Therefore, I pray to God not to bring worry and oppression to Iraqis. May God sow mercy among the citizens. In this respect, I call on the Iraqi government to work on establishing and rehabilitating these markets in order to maintain the balance of rights. God willing, the former situation will be restored and become better.

  • صبري كال

    2011-12-27

    We call on the Iraqi government to work on supporting all the needy, through helping them get rid of their current worries. In fact, all Iraqis were used to benefiting from these supermarkets. Today, Iraqis desperately need to restore these supermarkets as soon as possible. In fact, as Iraqis, we appreciate this issue, given that these goods will help us save a great deal of money because they contribute to enabling us to save a lot of money, and the poor Iraqi families will get rid of these difficult conditions. As for me, I am personally one of the people who appreciate these places very much, because the supermarkets help us save. Actually, some people used to purchase these goods and sell them on the so-called black market in the past. Today, however, we have been informed of this fact, and we have to put conditions and regulations in place in order to solve this great problem. Thus, as an employee of the Ministry of Commerce, I personally must collaborate with you and think of a solution, which consists in increasing goods and distributing them fairly. In addition, we have to work on setting up a clear and defined plan, so that we will know how we can maintain the security and safety of citizens and preserve the limited amounts of goods. We must also work on setting up private files for each person, containing his photo. In so doing, we will try to clamp down on whoever wants to deceive us or work on getting more than one share. In addition to that, we have to set up plans outside the markets, so as to prevent the sale of these goods at higher prices, given that the poor citizens will look for them in these markets to buy them.

  • قصي

    2011-12-27

    The best thing that Saddam did was the building of shopping centers, which used to help a lot of the poor families to do their shopping there. In fact, although they were overcrowded, these supermarkets used to achieve a great success for Iraq and Iraqis. Yet, war times have demolished all these supermarkets. Thus, they desperately need to be rehabilitated. Indeed, once they reopen, all Iraqis will get rid of the tyranny and injustice which they are experiencing, especially since the rationed food is little or almost completely nonexistent.

  • مغديد عبدالله جمال

    2011-12-25

    The big, modern supermarkets and malls have become widespread everywhere in the world’s countries. These malls have not only been for shopping. In fact, they have become an image of civilization. This is in addition to improving the economic and investment movement. Besides, they have been a source of comfort in order to attract tourists. In fact, our northern provinces have witnessed a significant spread of these malls. Thus, I call for establishing malls in all the Iraqi provinces. And it is possible to transform these supermarkets into larger malls by rehabilitating and developing these buildings. In fact, the small supermarkets are no longer beneficial, believe me. Thus, malls have become one of the most successful projects that can attract people. That’s why it is important to build big malls in Baghdad, in order to serve the citizens and the country’s investment. This is also in order to improve the business activity. In fact, these malls meet all the citizens’ requirements, whether these are food products or household appliances.

  • تحسين صابر

    2011-12-25

    Iraq used to have many central markets and buildings that were spread everywhere in Baghdad and in the other provinces. Thus, the Iraqi citizens were able to buy their requirements at low prices. Thus, the markets supported the citizens’ situation. Unfortunately, today there are no central markets, due to the lack of support for this sector to be reopened and reconstructed. Thus, it is possible to transform the old buildings and supermarkets into malls or any other successful projects. I don’t know why the government has not worked on the projects of rehabilitation, as it did in the previous time. Frankly speaking, this is a big question. In fact, the goods, the household appliances and the rationed food products used to be available to the citizens, and the citizens used to go to the central markets in big numbers to meet their requirements.

  • مراد بدري

    2011-12-20

    We call for opening more malls in our local markets. We also call for opening modern malls that would provide us with all the commercial goods coming from well-known international markets. In fact, the supermarkets are not able to work as they used to in the past. Thus, we have to focus on the malls for their beauty, as we are seeing them today.

  • عبدالكريم شريف

    2011-12-20

    Iraq is moving towards development and modernity in many areas of life, particularly the economic and reconstruction areas. Therefore, I personally approve of building more malls. In fact, I personally consider this one of the positive steps that will help activate the economic movement more, given that we need to open more malls in our residential areas. Indeed, these malls will play an important role in providing all the requirements of shoppers in terms of clothing and other goods which we currently need. There are only a few malls at present, and their number is very limited. Thus, we have to work on opening more shopping malls to substitute for the small central markets, which are no longer able to provide the needs of all the families. In fact, the spread of malls in all residential areas will add a great deal of beauty, development and modernity, which we are looking for our local markets. In addition, increasing the number of malls will raise a kind of competitiveness between their owners, who will compete over importing and presenting the best qualities of goods, clothes and food. In so doing, Iraqi families will enjoy the best goods, and the problem of poor quality goods which are brought from places which do not meet our requirements will come to an end. Regarding their importance, I personally call for the opening of more modern malls to substitute for the small central markets. Besides, the wide spread of malls will contribute to eradicating unemployment, given that they will hire the jobless youth and ladies.

  • اياد غانم

    2011-12-20

    We have to reconstruct, rehabilitate and reopen these supermarkets so they serve as an additional support for the Iraqi families. In addition, they should provide the best goods from the best international markets, in order to provide the best services for Iraqi families, which hope that these markets will open once again.

  • احمد فارس

    2011-12-20

    Central markets have been one of the beneficial facilities that helped citizens purchase their needs at reasonable prices for almost everyone. In fact,central markets used to provide many of the citizens’ needs and they were distinguished for selling everything, namely food, meat, eggs and many other needs of the Iraqi families. They also used to provide some brands of electrical and household devices. Thus, we used to visit the central markets which existed in our regions in order to do the shopping and meet our needs concerning all our requirements. In fact, central markets used to provide us with a lot of our daily requirements. Thus, we hope to see our central markets open to the public once again, especially since we used to buy goods from them at very low prices. Indeed, these goods were accessible to everyone, given that the majority of Iraqi families used to go to these markets in order to get their needs from them. Everything used to be available in these markets. Yet, today, we notice that the latter are no longer playing the role which is expected from them, given that they have been closed for many years. Thus, I call on the Ministry of Commerce to reopen them after rehabilitating them, because these markets are one of the necessary things for a lot of Iraqi families. Therefore, they should be rehabilitated so that they would carry out the role that is required of them, contribute to activating the economic and trade movement in the country and help reduce the prices of a lot of goods which we are purchasing at the public markets. In fact, central markets may be exploited by the Ministry of Commerce, especially if it makes them the principal shopping areas in a lot of regions where these markets exist. The Ministry could also make them the largest and the most prestigious shopping centers in Iraq, which would earn the appreciation of Iraqis who used to go to the central markets in the past.

  • صبحي

    2011-12-15

    The central markets used to provide many of the needs of the citizen, and they also provided the clothes, house furniture, toys and many of the household needs. Many segments of the Iraqi people depended on these markets in their daily shopping, and they were frequented by a large number of citizens, who bought all their needs there. Hence, I think that these markets cannot remain in this condition, and they must be reconstructed again by the Ministry of Commerce, so as to appear in their new condition, which will restore the glory the central market and will restore it to life again. Therefore, I support the re-opening of these commercial markets again, which will have a lot of success. It will be one of the best commercial markets that the Iraqi citizen can depend upon. Also, reconstruction of these markets will be added to the campaign of building and construction that is taking place in our country, and which will add much beauty to the cities and the infrastructures of the country. We need to open central markets again in the country, in order to contribute to the commercial movement of the country and also to providing many of our daily needs. It is one of the successful experiences, and it will be one of the best malls which will provide services to the Iraqi families. Also, the development of the markets and the private commercial centers should be balanced by a development in the governmental commercial centers, which will work to support the Iraqi citizen through providing many of his requirements with prices lower than the malls and the private markets. Therefore, I support the reconstruction and the return of the central markets in order to serve the citizen.

  • عمران بشير

    2011-12-15

    I think that the central markets which existed in Iraq before were necessary and important markets, which provided many of the needs of the citizen. Therefore, I support the re-opening of the central markets, and we should pay attention to them and convert them into commercial malls which will work to provide all the requirements of the citizen. Hence, we should be directed to reconstruct all the central markets and to benefit from them, so they will be one of the largest commercial centers that the city centers can depend on, and they can also contribute to increasing the commercial and economic movement in our country.

  • ليث عبدالباري

    2011-12-15

    The markets today depend entirely on the worst kinds of goods and of the traditional type. Our local markets have become filled with these goods, especially Chinese goods, second-class goods or lower than that. The citizen generally is complaining about the poor quality of the goods that enter our markets at the present time. Our markets need the presence of the best and the most exquisite types of goods and the commercial commodities from the best international sources, especially the Japanese goods, which are characterized by their international quality and the accuracy of their manufacture, which last for a much longer time. Many of the goods and commodities that we buy today do not meet our needs, because of their repeated faults and they cannot last long, and this matter costs us a lot of money, as some goods, particularly electrical appliances, are already broken even before we operate them. This matter bothers many of the families that buy these appliances, and the reason is the lack of control over the merchants who import these materials that are unsuitable for use. In order to reduce this phenomenon faced by our markets, the process of importing such goods and commercial commodities from non-universal, cheap and unrecognized sources should be stopped in order to offer the best kinds of goods, and we should get rid of this negativity that we all suffer from. We wish to reduce the phenomenon of the spread of these goods imported from the worst sources, and it is one of the negative phenomena suffered by everybody.

  • فلاح عبدالكريم

    2011-12-15

    I think that our markets at the present time are full of many goods which are not suitable for our level of ambition. Many of the goods that we buy from our markets do not meet the level of our needs, as many of the goods imported by the merchants are very shoddy, and the aim of importing these good is an abundant profit at the expense of the citizen. Many of the goods found in our markets today, and especially the electrical goods, are of an unacceptable quality. Therefore, I support the monitoring of our markets in order to prevent the import of such goods and commodities, which I consider as failed to some extent, and the merchants should be monitored when they are importing such goods, which are not good.

  • ثائر صدوق

    2011-12-15

    Malls have become a widespread phenomenon in Baghdad and in the other provinces. In fact, many people have enjoyed these malls, and especially the families who have gone to these shopping centers in order to spend exciting times. These malls have witnessed a state of modernity in terms of decoration, organization and harmony. Besides, these malls include a space for children’s games. Thus, I hope to witness the establishment of more and larger malls that include all the products and goods. This is in order to meet the requirements of the Iraqi families. This is also in order to replace the small supermarkets. Thus, it is important to use the system of comfortable installments in order to achieve the citizens’ comfort and services. In fact, this will lead to a remarkable increase in gains. Thus, the establishment of such malls will be successful and fruitful, because they will provide citizens’ requirements. That’s why I ask the concerned authorities to establish new malls instead of these small supermarkets. In fact, Iraqis love shopping, and especially women. That’s why it is important to establish a mall in every region. This is in order to recruit the unemployed. Thus, this is a very important and civilized thing for the country, especially since Iraqis need such malls in order to be able to buy good products. It is also important to work on decreasing product prices. This is in addition to providing services for Iraqis. In fact, we hope to witness building and development operations. This is in order to improve the situation of Iraq, God willing. In fact, this is the wish of all Iraqis, who want the well-being of their country and people. Thus, we all dream of a new and beautiful Iraq that must be better than before.

  • خضر عبدالمجيد

    2011-12-15

    It is important to work on the country’s reconstruction. This is in order to allow Iraqis to enjoy all the products and goods at suitable prices. It is also important to sell products and goods on payment plans. This is in order to help the citizens to meet all their requirements. Thus, the concerned authorities must rebuild these markets in a developed way. They must also establish new markets with the same performance level. This is in order to provide all the good products and to serve Iraqis, who need such markets in order to enjoy comfort and help. This can be achieved through being able to buy products on comfortable installments, especially for those will get married, in order to be able to buy all the necessary requirements. In fact, this will achieve a lot of gains through joining such supermarkets. Thus, we hope that these markets will be opened again, in order to work as they did in the past days. In fact, it is important to reconstruct these markets that have been exposed to destruction, damage and stealing.

  • ابو علي

    2011-12-15

    Central markets used to be among the famous and excellent markets that included the best products and goods. In fact, the Iraqi citizen used to participate in these markets through getting a monthly book which included the number of his family members. This book was stamped whenever they bought something. In fact, these markets included many products. And these products were divided by the days of the week. Thus, the food products such as meat, eggs, fish, cheese, milk and sweets were sold on one of the week days. The next day, they would sell household needs and electrical appliances. And on the next day, they would sell clothes, towels and sheets. This is in addition to many other products and goods of good quality. However, today, central markets are witnessing a state of deterioration and damage.

  • غسان علي

    2011-12-14

    I am in favor of rebuilding the central markets, in order to serve the Iraqi citizens. These markets should be assigned to groups that are honest and who work with precision and with constant supervision, in order to ensure the comfort of all the citizens and those who wish to participate once again, and to shop at the central markets. I support the construction of such structures, which are important to many people, and we should ensure that good and high-quality products and goods are offered there, which will encourage many citizens to participate and obtain everything they need

  • قادر محمد

    2011-12-12

    The central markets in Iraq are among the factors that contributed to the development and progress of the country, given their importance and key role in providing all the different requirements that are necessary for human life. These markets alleviate the burdens of life and help the Iraqi citizen to get all the goods, products and services that he needs from good origins and at high quality. The central markets open their doors to receive the consumers and provide them with the high-quality basic and complementary services at suitable prices that fit the monthly income. Therefore, all Iraqis can benefit from the services of these markets.

  • عقيل فارس

    2011-12-12

    Since ancient times, Iraq has represented the crossroads between the continents of the old world, and this qualified it to become a large market where all kinds of good and commodities were traded between all the neighboring states and the southeast Asian states, as well as the rest of the world. Iraq was a key commercial station. After this long period, Iraq is still a commercial market for all the good commodities. However, what is going on these days is strange, because Iraq became the favorite destination of useless and low-quality goods, and even some goods that are not suitable for human consumption, especially the foods and canned foodstuffs that come into Iraq. It is common knowledge that the foreign trade and importation from the rest of the world aims at meeting the needs of the local population and exchanging the benefits between the different states. Unfortunately, after these developments in Iraq that started eight years ago, Iraq turned into a market for all the low-quality goods. This aims at fighting the national industry and draining the hard currency from the Iraqi banks. Certainly, this would have a negative impact on the Iraqi citizen, because the Iraqi markets today are drowning in goods imported from all countries of the world in general and the neighboring countries in particular, and these parties aim at achieving their own interests at the expense of the Iraqi citizen, who suffers many crises and problems every day. Hence, we demand that the Iraqi government impose strict control measures on the goods that are imported from all countries of the world, especially the goods that are imported from Iran and Southeast Asia. That is because they are mostly expired and unsuitable for human consumption, or they are contaminated with depleted uranium, especially the Japanese goods after the nuclear leakage there, because of the earthquakes and storms. These measures must be taken to protect the health of the Iraqi citizen and in order to revive and help the Iraqi economy, which deteriorated significantly in the face of the unfair competition with the imported poor goods that affected the high-quality local products.

  • Rason

    2011-12-12

    In the past, the central markets in Iraq had the advantage of being close to the residential complexes and areas, and they were distributed throughout the capital and the governorates, according to the population density and the geographical locations of the city, which was not very far from the majority of the citizens in all the Iraqi cities. These markets were supervised by highly-efficient cadres from the Ministry of Commerce, in addition to the commercial control, which was affiliated to the departments that are concerned with the administration of these markers. In fact, the experiment of the central markets in Iraq was among the ideal and successful experiments that offered many services to the Iraqi citizens. Hence, whenever I pass by these markets, I feel sorry for their current condition, as they were looted and destroyed by some saboteurs who stole most of their assets, which are owned by all Iraqis. However, we can benefit from this ideal experiment by reviving these markets and re-opening them, to contribute to meeting the needs of the Iraqi citizen as to the services, and to restore their former status instead of leaving these buildings abandoned. We can utilize them through investing in the service to the Iraqi citizen, who is in urgent need of it.

  • اياد

    2011-12-10

    The supermarkets in Baghdad desperately need to be reconstructed and expanded, through adding new wings to them. Also, we should work to provide all of the services inside these supermarkets. In fact, the latter have been operating for a long time and contributed to providing all the needs of Iraqis. The shopping process inside these supermarkets has been organized and nicely arranged. For instance, everyone used to get high quality goods through participating in supermarkets by getting the book market price. Every citizen or family has the right to get the products they want, given that each day was reserved for a particular product, namely chicken, eggs, meat, fish, cheese and other food. Another day would be reserved for clothes, sheets, towels and other household needs, namely electric appliances, like refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, irons, televisions, computers, fridges, air conditioners, etc. Also, a day is dedicated to car parts, such as batteries, tires and other car accessories. Therefore, reviving supermarkets represents an important and vital issue for Iraqis, who need such high quality products. In addition to that, the shopping process should be organized, quiet, and at prices suitable for the Iraqi families. Thus, reconstructing supermarkets is necessary and very important for a lot of citizens, and it represents an important issue, given its positive results that would facilitate for citizens the process of searching and ease the difficulty of finding good and needed products.

  • احمد جبار

    2011-12-10

    The existing goods in Iraq, which are imported by traders who may purchase counterfeit products, have led to the deterioration of the quality of the goods in the Iraqi market. Goods should be monitored and meet certain standards and specifications that allow them to enter Iraq. They should also meet the needs of the Iraqis. In addition, we have to halt the importation of the products which are counterfeit and useless for consumption. Therefore, Iraq must be one of the countries that work on reviving and establishing industrial companies once again, and on producing good and excellent Iraqi products, given that if we work on promoting the Iraqi industry, it will be able to compete with the best Arab and even foreign products. Therefore, it is necessary to grant considerable continuous support to the national Iraqi industries. For this, we have to create some parties which are interested in this field and work on monitoring all the Iraqi national products, so that Iraq will be one of the exporting, rather than importing, countries.

  • منير عادلذ

    2011-12-10

    Iraq is considered one of the best countries which are manufacturing products and goods. Thus, I personally believe that we should work on developing Iraqi industry, making a lot of efforts, exploiting unemployed manpower, employing them and producing a lot of excellent, useful products. In so doing, we will eradicate a part of the unemployment in the country and ensure the production of Iraqi national products that would overwhelm the local market. Therefore, Iraq will be able to cancel the imported products and goods. In addition, the Iraqi local market will enjoy a lot of high quality, Iraqi-made products. Thus, the government must formulate laws that work on penalizing whoever is responsible for importing poor quality or counterfeit products. As a result, the Iraqi market will become one of the best markets and will follow the example of the other markets. In fact, Iraqis have the right to get high-quality products, given that they deserve all the best and distinguished products at reasonable prices, which are commensurate with their salaries. In so doing, we will contribute to improving the economic situation of the country, employing the unemployed and producing high-quality, Iraqi national goods.

  • خضير عبد

    2011-12-9

    One of the bright spots that we used to see in Iraq before was the central markets, where Iraqi families used to shop for most of their domestic supplies, because of their reasonable prices that were within the Iraqi family’s budget. I consider the central markets to be a sign of a civilized country and a proof of the government’s interest in people. It shows the government’s interest, because they provided most of the domestic needs at subsidized prices to facilitate the lives of citizens by enabling them to provide their houses with what is needed. I wish the central markets would be reconstructed, rehabilitated and filled with many supplies and goods that the Iraqi citizen needs. This would help the Iraqi citizens, especially the poor ones who are really concerned about having central markets. I personally have shopped ay these important markets. I consider these markets as the only good step that Saddam took in his era, as the regular citizen could shop for food and other important supplies which were distributed there. The prices there were suitable and better than at the other markets. I think that if these days were back, the Iraqi citizen would feel more stability and advancement. I was one of the people who shopped the most because the prices of the supplies were convenient and I could find anything I wanted at a fair price. Sometimes, I couldn’t get things that I wanted, so I traded my goods; I bartered with people who wanted them. This trading helped me a great deal to get myself out of big trouble, and it also helped me to save the money to buy more necessary supplies that helped my family and were satisfactory.

  • ناصر عبيد

    2011-12-9

    I am really surprised the Iraqi government, which has a lot of money, doesn’t use it to build such projects. I want to understand why it doesn’t. Iraq wants to develop, but it needs support, and the Iraqi government is really capable of doing that. These malls will help provide all the large and small goods, and this is an area of development. In addition, this will help the Iraqi citizen to entertain himself. I want to pass on the idea that these malls, with their attractiveness and beauty, will be a place for children’s entertainment. This will be done through using special areas dedicated to children to play while their parents continue shopping. This will ensure that the parents are shopping and entertaining their children at the same time, and this is what the parents want. This is a great idea, and it will have a great financial return to the Iraqi government, more than they expected, because these are all commercial businesses. God willing, there will be development in Iraq, and the central markets will be revived, but in a new form. This will be a big jump and a bigger step forward so Iraq can return to its normal condition and develop itself more. This will happen through the cooperation between the Iraqi government and the Iraqi people. They will work together to reconstruct and develop Iraq more, so that it will become equal to the other Arab countries. I don’t think that it is hard for the Iraqi government to work on achieving that and to help in developing Iraq. God willing, Iraq will be back to the way it was, and even better than before. Amen.

  • طه غالب

    2011-12-9

    Iraq wants to step forward more, not to move backward. The conditions right now in Iraq did not allow it to do what it wants to achieve in terms of important advancements. Iraq has been through lots of war-related issues and acts of sabotage because of terrorism and terrorists. We as Iraqis should find a way out of these situations. We should work on carrying Iraq on our shoulders and make it stand on its feet again. Iraq has lots of commercial shops and markets, but they have become old and they don’t measure up to the civilized development that other Arab countries have reached. I want the Iraqi government and its officials to develop these central markets and to build big new malls for shopping. The big mall should contain everything the Iraqi citizen needs, including food, clothes and other important supplies. I think that the Gulf and the Arab countries are not less than Iraq, because Iraq is one of the rich countries that have many treasures that would allow the entire population to live in happiness and welfare. We want to have new plans that work on raising the level of the Iraqi citizen and making him move forward. These central markets used to work well on selling supplies, and I am one of those who say that they were good. In the meantime, we want to develop the status of Iraq more and to build something that the Iraqi citizen can be proud of. These malls will restore the markets to what they were before, as they used to save the citizen a lot. We now want to keep the markets to save the money and the economic status of the Iraqi citizen, but in the meantime, we want to see development in Iraq.

  • مؤيد بكر

    2011-12-8

    God willing, there will be a good initiative by the Iraqi government which will revive these markets, and there will be a kind of urban and cultural development in Iraq. May God protect Iraq and spread goodness everywhere. May the current Iraqi government work on restoring Iraq to its best status! We want a better status than the previous one under Saddam Hussein’s rule. I think that what he did and the impact he had is not better that the current Iraqi government. You, O Iraqi government, should be more developed and dedicated to Iraq and the Iraqis. I am optimistic about you and hoping all the best from you, because you want to do something and you will, God willing. As Baghdad’s international exhibition resumed its activity, the central markets will do the same. This will help us feel a status of safety, security and development; may God conciliate us.

  • منصور سليم

    2011-12-8

    I think that we are moving today towards the construction and development phase, which could display a developed and beautiful image of countries. Iraq is one of the countries which have started to move towards this trend through the construction and reconstruction projects, which work on developing the country and providing the best services to the citizen. I also wish to draw attention to the shopping mall projects, which have become huge projects and which are followed by many of the countries of the world as well as the region. I call for opening more malls, which I think will be a successful alternative to the small central markets, which do not meet the Iraqi citizen’s requirements. Today, shopping malls are one of the positive steps which will contribute to achieving a modern qualitative transfer for the Iraqi markets, which we are waiting for, and which I consider one of the requirements of modernism at the present time, as the malls contribute to adding more beauty to the cities, as well as to providing a lot of daily needs and requirements which the citizens need, such as clothes, food, and all kinds of soft drinks, as well as children’s toys and furniture.

  • منور سلام

    2011-12-8

    The phenomenon of re-opening the central markets, which were spread in all the Iraqi governorates, especially the capital Baghdad, is considered one of the positive phenomena due to the services these markets are providing for the Iraqi consumers, who have found everything that they need in the central markets, which provided everything for them. Most of the Iraqi family’s needs were provided in the central markets and they were among the best and most advanced global facilities, as the goods were of a high quality and at reasonable prices, and the central markets contained a lot of departments, each one according to its specialty. There were departments for food, clothes, perfumes, soft drinks and everything that we needed, and we were getting everything that we needed through them. This was the state of the central markets in Iraq previously. It was considered one of the most advanced markets at which the Iraqi consumers, who were avoiding the external markets, used to shop. Today, I wish that we could see our central markets as they were before, and I wish that there would be attention paid to them, and that they would be reopened after carrying out construction and reconstruction operations again, so as to regain their bright and positive image which we saw previously in our markets. The Iraqi Ministry of Trade should perform its duty towards these markets, so as to provide the best services to the Iraqi families, which are today in a dire need for restoring the work of the central market again, for it to regain its brightness, which we were used to. We need to work on everything that could serve the Iraqis, whether through opening the central markets or the huge markets, like shopping malls, which have become one of the positive phenomena and which will contribute as well to the revitalization and the prosperity of our markets. Paying attention to our central markets is considered one of the important steps which will benefit the construction and reconstruction process in our country, and in our beloved capital of Baghdad in particular. We wish to see it integrated, along with the rest of the Iraqi governorates from all aspects. We support the idea of paying attention to the central markets, as well as reopening them, because they are important for us, as they provide our daily needs, and their services will fulfill many of the Iraqi citizens’ requirements.

  • صالح شامل

    2011-12-8

    I support the idea of opening shopping malls in our country, and I call for paying attention to this matter, due to its importance for many of us. I wish to see shopping malls spread in all the Iraqi regions and cities, for their beauty and their way of providing services. The previous central markets should be compensated in the shopping malls, as the central markets at the present time do not achieve the level of ambitions we have, and which we wish to see in our markets. In my opinion, the successful alternative is establishing modern malls, as it is done in many of the world countries.

  • نجيب محمد

    2011-12-8

    The food ration is insufficient, and no one is able to get anything good out of it. We want all those closed doors to be opened once again, so that we can obtain food items at affordable and low prices, as well as electrical products or other products that we use. I would like to take this opportunity to demand that the Iraqi government restore these central markets, so that the poor people can come back and do business, because they were benefiting the poor more than any other people. We have not seen anything good from the Iraqi government. If this project were to be re-opened, it would help all the Iraqis, especially the poor citizens. These central markets were sometimes limited under Saddam, and there are restricted items that nobody can buy. We are making an appeal to the Iraqi government to give us the opportunity to get whatever items we want without any restrictions, and to establish clear rules for buying and selling, and the basic rules of doing business, and to ensure that the employees and workers show clear collaboration in this matter. I am one of the Iraqis that are most eagerly waiting for this project to be launched, and for many job opportunities to become available to those without jobs, so that they can work once again. This is yet another chance to considerably reduce joblessness. I do have a job, but it is not of much benefit, and I hope to get an opportunity to work on this important project. I hope that there will be opportunities for all Iraqis that are out of work. By doing so, the Iraqi government would be killing two birds with one stone, by considerably reducing the large numbers of people who are unemployed, which will ensure the resumption of business and shopping in these markets. Additionally, this will restore Iraq to what it used to be like and even better, through the trade relations with other countries, and through investments by building and construction companies, and this will enable Iraq to get back on its feet once again, which is what we have been calling for.

  • علاء

    2011-12-4

    We should take care of the issue of prices, which should be determined by the specialized authorities, following the different categories of citizens from Iraqi society, who want to go to the malls. So it will be preferable to open a lot of malls in order to contribute to that issue as well, to decrease the prices and not to establish just one mall in the region, in order not to exploit the citizens in the aspect of prices. That is because the competition between the malls and the existence of more than one will please the citizens very much and will contribute to decreasing the prices in order to let people go shopping. Through that we will contribute to lowering the prices, providing the malls and pleasing the Iraqi citizen and providing all his needs. All of that will return great financial benefits and work on selling the goods. This also will contribute to recruiting a lot of young men and women in the process of selling and working in business, as it is a better occupation than unemployment, which a lot of youth suffer from, and at the same time, it will provide a lot of money for them.

  • اياد جميل

    2011-12-4

    From now on, Iraq will witness a stage of reconstruction, construction and the advancement of the country. Iraq will achieve the prestigious position that we all aspire to. It will become one of the most developed countries in various fields, including reconstruction, the economy and investment. Therefore, Iraq should seek to attract investments to the country and facilitate the work of corporate reconstruction projects. Stability and security in particular will encourage huge international companies to invest in Iraq.

  • مهدي سلام

    2011-12-4

    A lot of the Iraqi people need these kinds of markets that contribute to the comfort of the people and work on providing all their needs in terms of goods and important products for them. So it is very necessary to work on establishing and reconstructing these markets once again, and to revive them, to intensify activity in them and to develop and provide the latest capabilities, equipping them with all the means and services which will contribute to the comfort and the enjoyment of the Iraqi individual when he visits a place like that. They need to provide all his needs and at low prices; in addition to that, the beauty of the place plays a great role in the appeal of such markets to the citizens, as we miss these markets in Iraq.

  • منير عبدالحق

    2011-12-4

    The reconstruction process of these markets much be done quickly, in order that such markets are used for other things. They need to be developed in an organized and neat way, to indicate the good and successful work. Specialized authorities should be committed to things like these, and the work be performed quickly; it should not be done slowly. Central markets should be established and equipped with the best products, goods, clothes and food, and there should be plenty of them. They should not be limited to only one place; they should be in all the regions and governorates in order to facilitate that issue for the Iraqi citizen, so he can buy his goods from comfortable and beautiful places, with good engineering and architectural taste. These will have a great role in encouraging a lot of citizens to buy and participate in the ability to get benefits from the financial rewards which will result from these markets in expanding such service and good projects to the Iraqi citizen, and working on developing the health and service fields which are most useful to the people. That is because Iraq is in great need of such building, reconstruction, development, improvement and progress, in order to provide services to the Iraqi people, and from all the aspects of life. This will help the Iraqi citizen, who lacks many of the services.

  • تحسين خيري

    2011-12-4

    I would like to ask that big, new malls be opened that have a lot of markets which contain all the needs of the Iraqi individual, in terms of products and goods. These should be instead of the small central markets which used to exist, and be on a par with the markets and malls like those in Erbil and the other northern governorates. A lot of malls and good markets have been provided there, and they offer a lot of goods and products. It is very necessary to establish malls in the rest of Iraq’s governorates, for them to be beautiful and to provide all the needs of the Iraqi individual in terms of a comfortable and beautiful atmosphere, in addition to the entertainment areas for children and adults. All of that will contribute in providing comfort, entertainment, enjoyment and great times spent when people go shopping to buy products. All of that contributes in attracting the biggest number of shoppers in all the Iraqi governorates. It is very essential to take care of decreasing the prices of the products and not to exploit the citizen. These malls are witnessing a great increase in the prices of the products and goods. These malls are considered classy places, so their products should be expensive, and the rents of the shops are very expensive as well. So we will find that the citizens do not prefer the malls; they like the central markets more. So, it is very important to take care of that issue, which is very important to the Iraqi citizen, so he can find his comfort, not to suffer and feel deprived of buying from such places, because the malls contain a lot of beautiful and classy goods.

  • حكمت راضي

    2011-12-3

    We have to facilitate the task of these companies and work on encouraging their entry and attracting them through facilitating the procedures that will help open the door to investments in our country. In fact, investments have a considerable impact on promoting the reconstruction process and stimulating this project at the required pace, so that our country will enjoy better conditions. In fact, investments will have a great impact on the reconstruction process and on improving the Iraqi economic situation through the products which these companies will consume in the Iraqi market. In addition to that, investments will have a considerable impact in terms of eradicating unemployment, given that they will attract a lot of the unemployed youth. For instance, through the facilities offered to investment companies, Iraqi Kurdistan has managed to promote its service and urban projects through attracting investment companies to the northern region and has promoted the success of these companies in their work and in implementing their projects. Therefore, we believe that Kurdistan is currently experiencing a stable situation at all levels, because of the urbanization witnessed in the region in recent years, thanks to the investment projects which are implemented by these companies.

  • هاشم

    2011-12-3

    The central markets are very important for the Iraqi families, which can sell and buy at low prices. The Iraqi individuals can contribute in this place through participating in the coupons that entitle them to buy at low prices. The coupons booklet is marked every time the citizen visits the markets which offer a wide array of goods, such as clothes, electric appliances, foods and furniture. There is a strong demand for these beneficial and high-quality products, which are sold at suitable prices. This applies to the kids’ and adults’ clothes and other goods, which are sold according to a schedule. For example, clothes are sold on Tuesdays, chicken, eggs and food are sold on Thursdays, and car accessories and tires are also sold in these markets, which have facilitated many things for the Iraqi citizen.

  • عبدالرحيم قادر

    2011-11-28

    It is true that I am an Iraqi person, but unfortunately I do not feel that I am a real citizen. In fact, I have not received my full rights yet. I am one of those who have graduated from an Iraqi university, but I have not gotten a job opportunity yet. The same thing applies to other Iraqi youth. I would like to use this esteemed corner to make my voice reach all of the concerned authorities, in order to express my complaint. I expect them to do me a favor and to provide me with a job opportunity that could enable me to help my family and my aging father, who needs special care. I do not see any other solution. I am asking for a job opportunity to work in any directorate of the Iraqi departments. In fact, I am middle-aged, and I want to get married and do my family a favor by supporting them. I am currently starting a private business. However, life in Iraq is too challenging, and requires a lot of money. Meanwhile, I cannot afford all my expenses by myself, because the house rent, water, electricity and school fees of my brothers are very expensive. Indeed, I cannot afford to pay for all these expenses. I expect the officials to help me by providing me with a job opportunity. In fact, I am not the only Iraqi citizen who has failed to find a job. There are many unemployed Iraqi youths who are in dire need of money because of the difficult life in Iraq.

  • ابو سهيل

    2011-11-25

    We wish all success to Iraq and Iraqis, God willing. We also hope that the concerned authorities will consider the northern region of Iraq the best proof for their progress and development, as a result of the success in the way of planning and implementing all the planned steps entirely and carefully. In addition to that, we hope to maintain a kind of integrity, loyalty and sincerity in their work in order to reach the best desired results, God willing.

  • هدير

    2011-11-25

    It is very important for Iraq to seek out various economic activities and services. The latter should contribute to the development, progress and the advancement of the new Iraq. We hope that such progress will be achieved through the pursuit and the correct exploitation of the opportunities offered to Iraq. In fact, we need to participate and cooperate with states that have a lot of experience, technology, progress and development. This will bring Iraq back to the international stage where there is a lot of competition. Indeed, Iraq will achieve a lot of success, excellence and progress in all aspects of life, God willing. Progress should not be limited to the economy only. In fact, it should include other fields. This is the wish of honest and patriotic Iraqi citizens who love their country and their people.