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As the company has done with many African customers, Boeing has advised Iraqi transportation officials on improving the country’s aviation infrastructure, training airline staff and technicians and obtaining leased planes before the first of the new 737s and 787s are delivered.

“They’re trying to build a national airline, and that’s one reason we’ve been able to get these kinds of deals,” he said. “We can bring a lot of resources to the table.”

The first new 737s are not scheduled to be delivered until 2013, Iraqi officials said, and the last of the planes will not arrive until 2019.

While not a huge part of Boeing’s order list, the Iraq deal was well-timed. The company has been under fire for repeated delays in the new 787 Dreamliner.

Boeing’s stock fell $3.95, or 4.6 percent, on Wednesday — the biggest drop in four months — after American Airlines announced sharp cutbacks in its fleet. Boeing shares gained 7 cents on Friday to close at $81.48 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Boeing executives say overseas deals like the one with Iraqi Airways are key to its battle to overtake Airbus in the global market.

With world oil prices surging, Iraqi officials are also talking more hopefully of the future, and of rising foreign investment interest.

Iraq is the largest ever emerging market that you can think of,” Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih told reporters at last week’s World Economic Forum on the Middle East, held at the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheik.

“There is nothing in Iraq that doesn’t require investment, but the state cannot solve it and so we look seriously to the private sector,” he said.