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Business Profile

 

 

Iraq Business Profile

Statistics

• GDP: US$47 billion (2006).
• Main imports: Food, medicine and manufactured goods.
• Main exports: Crude oil, crude materials (excluding fuel), food, and live animals.
• Main trade partners: USA, Turkey, Syria, Italy and Spain. 

Economy

Iraq’s economy is dominated by the oil sector, which has traditionally provided about 95% of foreign exchange earnings. The military victory of the US-led coalition in March/April 2003 resulted in the shutdown of much of the economic administrative structure.

Although a comparatively small amount of capital was damaged during the hostilities, looting, insurgent attacks, and sabotage have undermined efforts to rebuild the economy. These have also prevented Iraq from reaching projected export volumes, but total government revenues have been higher than anticipated due to inflated oil prices.

Despite political uncertainty, Iraq is making some progress in building the institutions needed to implement economic policy and has concluded a debt reduction agreement. Public debt stands at approximately US$125 billion.

In 2005, unemployment stood at 27%. Iraq’s economic prospects will depend on the government’s ability to control inflation, to implement structural reforms, and to develop the private sector.

 

Business Etiquette

Formal courtesies are common and expected. Business cards are regularly exchanged and these are often printed in Arabic and English. Meetings may not always be on a person-to-person basis and it is often difficult to confine items to the business in progress as many topics may be discussed in order to assess the character of colleagues or traders.

Office hours: Sat-Thurs 0800-1400. Friday is the weekly day of rest when offices tend to be closed. During the month of Ramadan, hours are reduced.

Commercial Information

Any companies with involvement in reconstruction projects in Iraq should contact the Iraq Unit at UK Trade and Investment (tel: (020) 7215 8893; e-mail: iraqunit@uktradeinvest.gov.uk).

Federation of Iraqi Chambers of Commerce and Industry
PO Box 11348, Mustansir Street, Baghdad, Iraq
Tel: (1) 888 8850.

Baghdad Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 24168, Almsarif, Al-mustansir Street, Baghdad, Iraq
Tel: (1) 887 6211/2.

 

 

 

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