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Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi

Iraq country datafile
Country overview
Government contacts

Doing business in...


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 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 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.

Country data

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Iraq 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015f
Nominal GDP ($bn) 111.7 138.5 185.8 216.0 229.3 232.2* 240.0
GDP per capita ($) 3,575 4,374 5,687 6,410 6,594 6,474* 6,491
Real GDP growth (annual change, %) 5.8 5.5 10.2 10.3 4.2 -2.7* 1.5
Government revenue (% of GDP) 46.2 45.4 48.1 47.4 43.2 42.3* 41.3
Government total expenditure (% of GDP) 58.9 49.6 43.4 43.3 49.1 45.3* 42.0
General government debt (gross, % of GDP) 84.0 51.0 39.1 33.5 31.3 30.7* 29.8
Current account balance (% of GDP) -8.0 3.0 12.0 6.7 -0.8* 3.0 2.4
Inflation (%) -4.4 3.3 6.0 3.6 3.1 8.0* 6.0
Population (millions) 31.2 31.7 32.7 33.7 34.8 35.9* 37.0
Unemployment (%) na na na na na na na
Click to see full economic data (2005 - 2019 forecast)
Source: International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database; Last updated: February 2015

Iraq trends

Iraq's Finance Minister Hoshyar Zebari

Iraq economy falters as anti-Isis campaign unfolds Subscription

22 March 2015 | By

The IMF said Iraq’s government should cut spending and change its banking policies to deal with a soaring budget deficit

There is still potential for schemes to get under way in the south of Iraq

Southern Iraq holds potential Subscription

16 March 2015 | By

The signing of an agreement with Shell to develop a $11bn petrochemicals complex in Basra illustrates the region’s potential, as the most secure area in Iraq

Iraq additional power capacity and power sector

Baghdad gives IPPs another try Subscription

10 March 2015 | By

Iraq is restarting its independent power project programme in a bid to tackle its electricity crisis, but it remains to be seen whether developers and financiers will be interested

Iraq oil exports 2014-15

Iraq oil exports hit 12-month high Subscription

10 March 2015 | By

Erbil claims it is not receiving budget payments despite boosting northern volumes

Video graph

Strategic priorities shape Gulf projects spending Subscription

8 March 2015

The impact of low oil prices on project plans around the region


Kirkuk dispute to intensify Subscription

24 February 2015 | By

Erbil is determined to defend its control of the oil-rich province


Conflict sets back Iraq refinery programme Subscription

16 February 2015 | By

Baghdad’s plans to nearly double refining capacity by the end of the decade look to be a long way off track

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

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

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

Filter Iraq analysis by sector

MEED comment

Erbil, capital of the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq

Shifting borders in northern Iraq Subscription

24 February 2015 | By

Isis has provided a smokescreen for power plays in embattled region

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

Baghdad faces IPP challenge Subscription

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


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

More MEED commentary

Special reports

Haider al-Abadi

Iraq: Economic fallout from jihadist advance Subscription

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 Projects 2014

28 May 2014 | By Dominc Dudley

Housing and industry lead the projects market in Iraqi Kurdistan

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

Gulf index stalls on Saudi Arabia decline Subscription

23 March 2015

Kingdom cancels out gains made by Bahrain and Qatar

Value of projects planned or under way ($m) 5 Mar 2015

Kuwait leads Gulf index fall Subscription

10 March 2015

Kuwait and Bahrain record significant declines, with few positive notes

Gulf projects index

Kuwait five-year plan boosts index Subscription

3 March 2015

Six per cent rise in Kuwait market contributes to Gulf Projects Index growth

More Gulf Projects Index articles

All companies

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

Iraq State Company for Oil Projects Subscription

Iraq State Company for Oil Projects (Scop) established in 1964 is a state owned company overseen by Iraq’s Ministry of Oil, projects include the Karbala New Refinery

See all company profiles



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

See all Iraq biographies

Latest Iraq news

Onshore oil drilling

Gulf Keystone restarts Shaikan oil production Subscription

22 March 2015

UK-listed group receives pre-payments for exports from Iraqi Kurdistan

Pipe yard

Lukoil tenders permanent pipe yard Subscription

18 March 2015

Package is part of second-phase expansion of West Qurna-2 field in Iraq

Iraq oil and gas projects

Lukoil assessing bids for West-Qurna-2 expansion Subscription

9 March 2015

No awards on Iraq oil field expansion a year after tender

Shia fighters fire a rocket during clashes with militants from Islamic State in Iraq and Syria in the Salahuddin province

Iran influence looms large in Tikrit battle Subscription

5 March 2015

Revolutionary Guards commander overseeing Shia paramilitary groups in Salahuddin offensive

Oil industry

Iraqi Kurdistan receives Iraq budget payment Subscription

4 March 2015

Erbil receives $208m after Kirkuk crude exports ramped up February, according to Iraq Oil Report


Iraq crude exports rise on northern pipeline volumes Subscription

3 March 2015

Increased exports through Kurdish pipeline offsets drop at weather-hit southern Iraq terminals

Oil exploration

Turkey to explore for oil in Iraqi Kurdistan Subscription

3 March 2015

Energy minister says Ankara signed multiple deals on oil assets in northern Iraq


Mott MacDonald and Khudairi Group partner Subscription

2 March 2015

Companies to combine capabilities to deliver Iraqi oil and gas projects

Kurdish Peshmerga fighters

Iraqi Kurds accused of displacing Arabs Subscription

26 February 2015

Human Rights Watch claims Arabs prevented from returning to homes in northern Iraq by Kurdistan Regional Government

More resources are needed to avert the humanitarian crisis in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq and cater to the needs of refugees in the long term

Iraqi Kurdistan economy contracts 5 per cent Subscription

16 February 2015

World Bank says $1.4bn of additional investment needed to stabilise region in northern Iraq

CNOOC tenders wellpads at Missan oil field

CNOOC tenders wellpads at Missan oil field Subscription

4 February 2015

Contractors asked to submit bids by 23 February for southeast Iraq oil development


Kurds retake oil facility near Kirkuk Subscription

1 February 2015

Khabaz crude unit seized from Isis fighters

Petrochemicals industry

Iraq to invest in $11bn petrochemicals complex Subscription

1 February 2015

Shell-backed cracker project could be completed in five to six years

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

Filter Iraq news by sector

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