Press Release: Reuters Story on Iraq as Main Target of Belt and Road Investments in 2021 Incorrect!

Joint Press Release



China Investment Research (United Kingdom –

Belt and Road Institute in Sweden (BRIX –

Our joint investigations into an article published by Reuters on 2nd February and subsequently cited by many additional media in which it said Iraq was the top target for China’s Belt & Road infrastructure initiative in 2021, receiving $10.5 billion in financing for projects including a heavy oil power plant, showed that the information cited in the article is incorrect in its assertions. Reuters cited a report published by the Green Finance and Development Center in Fudan University, China. As seen below, while Chinese institutions did win a number of Iraq based contracts in 2021, for which they will earn revenues, they did not invest capital – either debt or equity – in those contracts:


Signed Deals with Disclosed Project Values ($8.0 billion)

  • June 2021 – CSCEC – signed $367 million EPC contract for Nasiriyah International Airport upgrade (CSCEC made no capital investment)
  • October 2021 – $1.9 billion contracts awarded for 1,000 schools to Power China and Sinotech; Deal signed in December 2021 (no confirmation of any capital investment by either organisation)
  • November 2021 – CITIC Construction won the bid for the $5.7 billion contract for 1st and 2nd phases of AI Khairat heavy oil power plant (CITIC made no capital investment)


Signed Deals with Disclosed No Values


  • April  2021- Sinopec won the deal to develop Iraq’s  4.5 Tcf Mansuriyah gas field; revenue sharing deal signed January 2022 (No investment amounts stated)

Agreement in Principle only (so does not count as either a deal or an investment)


  • December 2021- the preliminary principles agreement for the Al-Faw investment refinery project was signed by South Refineries Company (SRC) /Ministry of Oil, and Hualu Engineering & Technology (majority controlled by CNCEC)


Based on this analysis, it is not possible to have reached the conclusions either in the study or cited by Reuters and/or any other media.


For further information, contact Hussein Askary, Information and Communication Manager at BRIX

Email: [email protected]