Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Iraq's port city shows signs of an economic comeback

Tom Peter from US newspaper the Christian Science Monitor visited Basra at the end of August.

One of his trips took him down to Um Qasr port where he found out that the amount of cargo coming into Umm Qasr has tripled since April.

As Iraqi dockworkers unload rice from the Yichanghai, a Thai freighter, the boat's captain recalls the last time his company sent a ship to Umm Qasr, Iraq's only port city, in 2004. Boats had to wait one to two months outside the port before authorities allowed them to dock, and local militias often extorted extra duties.
"It was too much of a problem," says Captain Cao Zhanshu, explaining why his company did not send another ship until now. This time the situation looks much different. They only waited 10 days and paid no bribes. "I think it's safe to come here," he says.

Read the full story here

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