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Iraq

Profile

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Iraq
Leader
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi

Iraq country datafile
Country overview
Government contacts

Country data

Iran 2008 2009 2010 2011f 2012f 2013f 2014f
Nominal GDP ($bn) 131.6 111.7 138.5 185.8 216.0 229.3 248.3
GDP per capita ($) 4,328 3,575 4,374 5.687 6.410 6.594 6.923
Real GDP growth (annual change, %) 6.6 5.8 5.5 10.2 10.3 4.2 5.9
Government revenue (% of GDP) 56.4 46.2 45.4 48.1 47.4 43.2 43.1
Government total expenditure (% of GDP) 57.3 58.9 49.6 43.4 43.3 49.1 45.1
Total government debt (gross, % of GDP) 72.6 84.0 51.0 39.1 33.5 31.3 16.3
Current account balance (% of GDP) 12.8 -8.0 3.0 12.0 6.7* 0.0 1.0
Value of oil imports 2.8 1.4 2 3.4 5.3 5.8 6.3
Value of oil exports 60.7 38 51.2 79.4 93.8 101.1 108.6
Inflation (%) 2.7 -2.2 2.4 5.6 6.1 1.9 1.9
Click to see full economic data (2005 - 2018 forecast)
Source: International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database; Last updated: July 2014

Doing business in...

Iraq

MEED Guide to Doing Business: Seize the Iraq opportunity Subscription

16 February 2014 | By

This April, Iraq will hold its third round of parliamentary elections since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003

Basic information on Iraq Subscription

16 February 2014

Official name Republic of Iraq

History

History of Iraq Subscription

16 February 2014

Iraq’s modern history has been a turbulent one, reflecting its creation in 1920 from the remnants of the Babylonian and Mesopotamian outposts of the Ottoman Empire

Iraq GDP

Iraq's economy Subscription

16 February 2014

Iraq’s economy has made significant strides in recent years

Iraqi Kurdistan Subscription

16 February 2014

Travellers disembarking at the shiny arrival hall at Erbil International airport could be forgiven for not realising they have set foot on Iraqi territory

Iraq project awards

Iraq projects market Subscription

16 February 2014

There were $518.31bn-worth of projects planned or under way in Iraq at the end of January 2014, according to MEED’s Gulf Projects Index

Kurdish law: Expatriate employees living in Iraqi Kurdistan must first qualify as tax residents in Iraq

Taxation in Iraq Subscription

16 February 2014

Thomas Donovan of Iraq Law Alliance discusses the rules governing taxation in Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan

Anti-corruption in Iraq Subscription

16 February 2014

The Iraq Law Alliance’s Thomas Donovan explains the legislation around bribery and influencing officials

Contract law in Iraq Subscription

16 February 2014

Thomas Donovan of the Iraq Law Alliance explains how contracts are enforced in Iraq

Taxation and compliance in the Kurdistan region Subscription

16 February 2014

Allan Fowlie, CEO of consultancy Tiller, explains the differences between federal Iraq and the Kurdistan region

Iraq's National Investment Commission Subscription

16 February 2014

Established in 2007, the National Investment Commission (NIC) aims to entice investors into Iraq and help them make the most of the privileges and incentives afforded to them by Investment Law 13 of 2006

Setting up a company in Iraq Subscription

16 February 2014

Addleshaw Goddard’s Hussein Damirji and Rafi Sajian explain the process of establishing a presence in Iraq

Economic zones in Iraq Subscription

16 February 2014

Iraq is home to three official free zones, located in the southern Basra province, the northern province of Ninevah and the western Anbar province

Population: The Baghdad province is home to almost 7 million people

Provinces in Iraq Subscription

16 February 2014

The Republic of Iraq is a federal system made up of the central government, along with the semi-autonomous northern region of Kurdistan

Key ministries in Iraq Subscription

16 February 2014

Contact details for selected ministries in Iraq

Security

Security in Iraq Subscription

16 February 2014

In most of Iraq, it is unsafe to travel without security staff

Transport in Iraq Subscription

16 February 2014

Business visas for travel to federal Iraq must be applied for in advance

Accommodation in Iraq Subscription

16 February 2014

Rents in Iraq not only vary according to the size of a property, but more importantly, they are also influenced by the level of security

Telecoms industry in Iraq Subscription

16 February 2014

Iraq’s telecoms sector has grown rapidly since 2003, when mobile services were unavailable

Healthcare in Iraq Subscription

16 February 2014

The state of Iraq’s healthcare system is a far cry from the 1970s, when the country boasted more than 1,200 primary healthcare centres and the lowest infant mortality rates in the region

Key ministries in Iraq Subscription

16 February 2014

Contact details for selected Iraq ministries

Information providers on Iraq Subscription

16 February 2014

MEED Since its launch in 1957, MEED has been tackling news issues head-on with groundbreaking exclusives that shape the Middle East

Prime Minister of Iraq Nouri al-Maliki (left) and President of Iraqi Kurdistan Massoud Barzani (right)

Government in Iraq Subscription

10 February 2014

Iraq’s current political structure can trace its roots back to 1920, when British colonial forces forged the modern state of Iraq out of three provinces of the Ottoman Empire: Baghdad, Basra and Mosul. The turbulent modern history of Iraq since then has yielded a difficult political legacy, with weak institutions and a culture of authoritarian governance.

Iraq trends

Middle East contract awards December 2014

Middle East contracts awarded: December 2014 Subscription

7 January 2015

Over $6bn of contracts awarded in December in the Middle East

Middle East contracts October 2014

Middle East contracts awarded: October 2014 Subscription

1 December 2014

Over $13bn of contracts awarded in October in the Middle East

November contract awards

Middle East contracts awarded: November 2014 Subscription

1 December 2014

Over $3bn of contracts awarded in November in the Middle East

Saudi oil production and brent crude price

Riyadh in strong position ahead of Opec meeting Subscription

18 November 2014 | By

Saudi Arabia showing no signs of cutting oil production despite falling prices

Iraq annual expenditure

Once more a war economy Subscription

13 November 2014 | By James Gavin

The cost of the fight against Isis, coupled with falling global oil prices, means Baghdad faces a widening deficit and depleting foreign exchange reserves

KRG spending

Closing the rift with Baghdad Subscription

13 November 2014 | By James Gavin

The Kurdistan Regional Government needs to broker an oil revenue-sharing deal with Baghdad to help stabilise its economy in the wake of Isis’ advance

The Oil Ministry estimates that the halt in exports from northern Iraq is costing Baghdad about $1.2bn a month in lost revenues

Conflict threatens Iraq's production targets Subscription

13 November 2014 | By

The fresh outbreak of fighting in Iraq means the country is unlikely to meet its production target of 8.5-9 million barrels a day by 2020 as key projects are delayed

Shoring up: Iraq’s Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi (left) is working hard with the US on regional security

Emerging from Al-Maliki’s shadow Subscription

13 November 2014 | By

To narrow the sectarian divide and combat Isis, Iraq’s new prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, will have to throw off the influence of his predecessor and be his own man

Mena military spending aand personnel 2013

Gulf nations step up defence spending Subscription

2 November 2014 | By

The continuing conflict in Syria and the ever-present threat of domestic unrest mean the region’s governments will continue to ramp up military investment

Defence

Pushing back against Isis Subscription

2 November 2014 | By

While the US’ allies in the region have joined the coalition against Isis, each has a differing agenda on Syria. Meanwhile, Iran, the one country that could really help, is being ignored

Middle East contracts September 2014

Middle East contracts awarded: September 2014 Subscription

16 October 2014

Over $2bn of contracts awarded in September in the Middle East

Zain Iraq active customers

Iraq poses difficult challenges Subscription

6 October 2014 | By James Gavin

The country’s telecoms market has growth potential, but operators are being held back by red tape and the ongoing conflict

Promising development: Amman is now studying a proposal to issue its first Islamic bond

Wider Middle East ripe for Islamic finance Subscription

18 September 2014 | By Richard Nield

Sharia-compliant banking has yet to take off across most of the Levant and North Africa. But growing support from governments could soon lead to a boom in demand

New strategy: Washington and its allies plan to wipe out Isis targets wherever they are, including Syria

Washington takes the initiative Subscription

11 September 2014 | By

Air strikes by a US-led coalition are key to the pushback against Isis

Filter Iraq analysis by sector

MEED comment

Iraq's decision to relaunch its private power programme is laudable, but is likely to attract scepticism

Baghdad faces IPP challenge

22 December 2014

The government’s decision to relaunch its private power programme is laudable, but is likely to attract scepticism due to the many challenges involved

US Secretary of State John Kerry said the attack missions by Iranian jets were a positive development in efforts against Isis

Iran carries out first airstrikes against Isis, US claims Subscription

4 December 2014 | By

Tehran denies offensive despite news footage showing F-4 Phantom II raids in Diyala

Haider al-Abadi

Al-Abadi facing familiar problems in divided Iraq Subscription

13 November 2014 | By

New prime minister a welcome replacement for Al-Maliki, but faces same sectarian pressures

Baiji refinery, north of Baghdad, in Iraq

Erbil strives to meet domestic fuel demand Subscription

6 November 2014 | By

Baiji refinery outage highlights importance of refining expansion in Iraqi Kurdistan

The development of power plants shows the Kurdistan Regional Government is determined to meet the needs of its people and industries

Erbil remains committed to development Subscription

6 November 2014 | By

The development of power plants shows the Kurdistan Regional Government is determined to meet the needs of its people and industries

Iraq's Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi

Baghdad unity government a positive step Subscription

11 September 2014 | By

Al-Abadi faces huge challenge to bridge sectarian divides

Syria's President Bashar a-Assad

Respite from cold for Al-Assad Subscription

4 September 2014 | By

The West might have to ask the Syrian leader for assistance in stamping out jihadist group Isis

Kurdistan

Isis threatens Kurdish hopes Subscription

21 August 2014 | By

Erbil faces difficult questions about its quest for independence

Iraq: Fighting has displaced 170,000 people in Sinjar

Erbil could face unilateral battle Subscription

7 August 2014

The Kurds’ dispute with Baghdad could affect their chances of getting international help against Isis

Nouri al-Maliki

Iraq's ill-equipped prime minister Subscription

19 June 2014 | By

Nouri al-Maliki’s declining popularity and loss of control over vast areas of Iraq has weakened his mandate to lead the country

Iraq conflict

Iraq on the brink of destruction Subscription

12 June 2014 | By

Conflict threatens Sunni-Shia tensions across the region. To prevent civil war in Iraq, a decisive response by Washington is required

Poll: About 60 per cent of eligible voters took part

Addressing Iraq's sectarian divide Subscription

8 May 2014 | By

The key question is whether Iraq’s power brokers have the will to bring Sunni or Kurdish elements into the government to unite the country

More MEED commentary

Special reports

Haider al-Abadi

Iraq: Economic fallout from jihadist advance

13 November 2014

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has taken on the leadership of Iraq at a critical time

Whatever Al-Maliki’s role in the spread of Isis, it soon became clear that he was unable to counter the military threat

Uniting against a common enemy Subscription

14 August 2014 | By

Nouri al-Maliki’s position became untenable as allies lost patience with reaction to Islamist advance

Kurdistan

Kurdistan Projects 2014

28 May 2014 | By Dominc Dudley

Housing and industry lead the projects market in Iraqi Kurdistan

Iraq

Iraq: Factional friction poses threat to security Subscription

6 March 2014

At MEED’s Iraq Energy Projects conference held in Dubai in February, gas was high on the agenda

Iraq

MEED Guide to Doing Business: Seize the Iraq opportunity Subscription

16 February 2014 | By

This April, Iraq will hold its third round of parliamentary elections since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003

More Iraq special reports

Market presentations

After the Uprisings webinar

After the Uprisings: The outlook for business in the Middle East in 2013 and beyond Subscription

4 March 2013

A webinar on the region’s business environment, providing current data and exclusive expert analysis drawn from MEED’s team of experts

More MEED webinars

Top 10 projects

Rank Project Name Sector Contract value ($m)
1 Housing Complex in Basmaya Construction 8,000
2 Karbala New Refinery Oil 6,040
3 Zubaidiya Power Plant: Phases 1 & 2 Power 1,940
4 Baghdad Monorail: Phase 1 Tranport 1,500
4 Housing Project in Baghdad Construction 1,500
6 Kut Tourist City Construction 1,000
6 Iraq Energy City Industrial 1,000
8 Zubair Field Development: North Degassing Station Oil 894
9 Badra Oil Field Development: Phase 2: CPF Gas 879
10 Zubair Field Development: Early Production Facilities Oil 843
Click through to the full data table on Iraq's biggest projects in construction
Click through to MEED's Q3 2014 Top 100 Projects report
Source: MEED Projects; Data compiled: November 2014

Project awards

Iraq energy EPC awards

Iraq awards design deal on critical seawater supply project Subscription

16 December 2014 | By

Austria’s ILF Consulting Engineers wins contract on two 150km pipelines

Petrojet wins $143m in Iraq gas contracts

Petrojet wins $143m in Iraq gas contracts Subscription

14 December 2014 | By

Egyptian group to build gas pipeline and undertake work on separation plant

Iraq awards $900m of oil storage and transmission projects

Iraq awards $900m of oil storage and transmission projects Subscription

13 November 2014 | By

Chinese group picks up $667m deal to build depot near Nasiriyah field

Al-Faw Port in Iraq

Petrofac awarded $106m Al-Faw contract extension Subscription

3 November 2014 | By

UK group wins new six-month deal from South Oil Company on export facilities services

International consortium wins Iraq desalination contract

International consortium wins Iraq desalination contract Subscription

26 October 2014 | By

Group to provide pretreatment facilities for planned Basra plant

GE to provide turbines for Iraqi Kurdistan power plant

GE to provide turbines for Iraqi Kurdistan power plant Subscription

19 October 2014 | By

Contract signed to supply five turbines to new Bazyan plant

electricity substation

Indian firm to supply substations for Iraq Subscription

13 October 2014 | By

Avantha Group will provide 16 substations for the Electricity Ministry

SNC Lavalin wins design deal for Iraq gas plant

SNC Lavalin wins design deal for Iraq gas plant Subscription

28 September 2014 | By

South Gas Company awards $27.8m contract on project at Ratawi and Bin Omer fields

Projects trends

Gulf projects index

Iran drags down Gulf index Subscription

27 January 2015

Losses in UAE, Iraq and Iran wipe 0.5 per cent off regional projects index

Gulf projects index

Qatar the worst performer on Gulf index Subscription

20 January 2015

Qatar’s project market declines by 2.1 per cent after the scrapping of Al-Karaana project

Gulf projects index

Gulf index records modest growth Subscription

13 January 2015

Saudi Arabia’s projects market sees sole decline in region

More Gulf Projects Index articles

All companies

Asiacell logo

Asiacell Communications Subscription

Set up in the Kurdish region of Iraq in 1999, it was awarded a mobile operating licence in 2007 and now has a quarter of its shares floated on the Iraqi Stock Exchange

Iraq Ministry of Electricity Subscription

Iraq Ministry of Electricity was established in 2003, it is responsible for the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in Iraq

See all company profiles

Clients

People

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi Subscription

22 January 2015

Head of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis)

Iraq's Prime Minister-designate Haidar al-Abadi

Haidar al-Abadi faces tough challenge to form unity government Subscription

14 August 2014 | By

Former adviser to Nouri al-Maliki must break from previous policies to curb sectarian divides

Dilshad Shahab Subscription

23 September 2013

Dilshad Shahab is municipalities and tourism minister, Kurdistan Regional Government

Doaa Amin Subscription

23 September 2013

Doaa Amin is general manager, Tangram Hotel, Erbil

Handren Azzo Subscription

23 September 2013

Handren Azzo is chairman, Golden Mountains Company

Ramzy Fenianos Subscription

23 September 2013

Ramzy Fenianos is regional director, acquisitions and development, Starwood Hotels and Resorts

See all Iraq biographies

Latest Iraq news

Iraq has revised down its budgeted oil price for 2015

Iraq cuts spending and budgeted oil price Subscription

29 January 2015

Budgeted oil price trimmed to $55 a barrel from $60 with deficit set to rise

Iraq generating capacity 2013

Firms express interest in Iraq IPP Subscription

26 January 2015

Total of 17 companies submit expressions of interest for first publicly tendered independent power project since 2011

oil

Petrochina tenders field surface facilities Subscription

22 January 2015

Chinese group also invites bids for power plant expansion management and new road bridge

Erbil, capital of the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq

Kurds to receive full share of Baghdad budget Subscription

21 January 2015

Oil exports deal smooths relations between Iraq and northern Kurdish exclave

Crude production

Iraq reports record crude production Subscription

20 January 2015

Oil Ministry says output has reached milestone of 4 million barrels day in December

Iraq to double Kirkuk crude exports

Iraq to double Kirkuk crude exports Subscription

15 January 2015

Northern Iraq oil sales boosted following deal between Baghdad and Erbil governments

Saudi Arabia has sent a delegation to Iraq to prepare to reopen an embassy in Baghdad and a consulate in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdish region of northern Iraq

Riyadh to reopen Baghdad embassy Subscription

13 January 2015

Embassy has been closed since 1990

Refinery

Still no awards decision on Bazian refinery Subscription

11 January 2015

Qaiwan Group still assessing proposals for Bazian refinery expansion and pipeline in Kurdistan region of northern Iraq

Gulf Keystone increases oil production at Shaikan

Gulf Keystone increases oil production at Shaikan Subscription

6 January 2015

Company exporting crude via trucks to Turkey as it prepares eighth well

Iraq says Kirkuk is restarting exports

Iraq says Kirkuk is restarting exports Subscription

23 December 2014

Kurds are overseeing production at fields

Iraq power sector and power capacity

Iraq relaunches private power programme Subscription

22 December 2014

Ministry invites developers to express interest in first publicly tendered IPP since 2011

Engineers hard at work to reopen Baiji refinery

Engineers hard at work to reopen Baiji refinery Subscription

22 December 2014

Iraq’s biggest refinery was taken back from Isis in November

Lukoil invites bids for West Qurna wellpad

Lukoil invites bids for West Qurna wellpad Subscription

21 December 2014

Companies given until 26 January for Iraq project covering 10 oil wells

Iraq energy EPC awards

Iraq awards design deal on critical seawater supply project Subscription

16 December 2014

Austria’s ILF Consulting Engineers wins contract on two 150km pipelines

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