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Iraq

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Iraq
Leader
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi

Iraq country datafile
Country overview
Government contacts

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.

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

Mounting debt: Baghdad owes $9bn to contractors for 2014 and needs to pay $18bn to investors this year

Payment arrears stall Iraq oil sector investment Subscription

12 May 2015 | By

Despite record oil exports, Baghdad is struggling to pay contractors and having to lower production targets

Unfulfilled ambition: No progress at this construction site in Erbil

Reportage: Erbil, Iraq Subscription

10 May 2015 | By

After being dubbed the ‘New Dubai’ in the boom years, Erbil now faces a future dominated by the fight against terrorism

Saudi Defence Minister Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud (C) at a defence exhibition in February

MEED board report, May 2015 Subscription

7 May 2015 | By

Key events and trends in the region over the past month and their impact on the outlook for the Middle East and North Africa

MEED contracts awarded April 2015

Middle East contracts awarded: April 2015 Subscription

3 May 2015

Nearly $5bn of contracts awarded in April in the Middle East

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

Southern Iraq holds potential Subscription

27 April 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

US-based GE’s distributed power business finds promising markets in areas of volatility

GE sees opportunity in instability Subscription

27 April 2015 | By

Firm’s CEO of distributed power talks about supply and generation challenges in region

Iran nuclear talks in Lausanne

MEED board report, April 2015 Subscription

8 April 2015 | By

Key events and trends in the region over the past month and their impact on the outlook for the Middle East and North Africa

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

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

Kirkuk dispute to intensify Subscription

24 February 2015 | By

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

Refinery

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

Filter Iraq analysis by sector

MEED comment

Iraqi oil ambitions checked

Iraqi oil ambitions checked Subscription

12 May 2015 | By

Oil Ministry must cut capital expenditure and focus on key export infrastructure

Iraq’s refining sector receives boost

Iraq’s refining sector receives boost Subscription

28 April 2015 | By

Basra refinery progress to help increase gasoline production

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

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

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

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: Phase 1 & 2 Power 1,940
4 Kalak Refinery Third Expansion Oil 1,500
4 Baghdad Monorail: Phase 1 Transport 1,500
6 Iraq Energy City Industrial 1,000
7 Badra Oil Field Development: Phase 2: CPF Gas 879
8 Zubair Field Development: North Degassing Station Oil 840
8 Zubair Field Development: North Central Degassing Station Oil 818
10 Akkas Field Development: Gas Processing Facility Gas 750
10 Zubair Field Development: North Degassing Station Oil 818
10 Erbil Media City: Phases 2 & 3 Construction 750
Click through to the full data table on Iraq's biggest projects in construction
Click through to MEED's Q4 2014 Top 100 Projects report
Source: MEED Projects; Data compiled: April 2015

Project awards

Technip awarded management on Basra refinery upgrade

French firm awarded management on Basra refinery upgrade Subscription

28 April 2015 | By

Partners Japan’s Unico to oversee estimated $1.5bn project in southern Iraq

Gas pipeline

Petrojet awarded $185m gas deal Subscription

22 April 2015 | By

Firm to build central processing facility on southern Iraq development

Iraq

South Koreans win Iraq infrastructure work Subscription

9 April 2015 | By

Contract follows 2012 development deal

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

Projects trends

Gulf projects index

Saudi Arabia leads Gulf index recovery Subscription

18 May 2015

All countries record gains to bring projects market up by 0.7 per cent

Gulf projects index

Impact of GCC slowdown takes hold Subscription

12 May 2015

Bahrain makes the biggest gain, while Saudi Arabia’s market continues to fall

Gulf projects index

Iran jump struggles to lift Gulf index Subscription

4 May 2015

GCC slowdown cancels out gains in Islamic Republic

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

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

See all Iraq biographies

Latest Iraq news

China’s Zhongman wins West Qurna-2 drilling contract in Iraq

Chinese group wins $527m Iraq drilling contract Subscription

21 May 2015

Zhongman to drill production wells for 28 months at West Qurna-2 field

Oil field

BP agrees to reduce spending in Iraq Subscription

20 May 2015

British oil major reduces budget for 2015 by $1bn, claims report

Ramadi, Iraq, 16 May 2015

Isis seizes Iraqi city of Ramadi Subscription

18 May 2015

Government forces withdraw from capital of Al-Anbar province after days of fighting

Payments from Baghdad disappoint as Kurds hit record oil exports

Baghdad disappoints as Kurds hit record oil exports Subscription

14 May 2015

Erbil receives less than half expected budgetary payment for April

Iraq owes more than $22bn to international oil companies

Iraq owes $22bn in oil debts Subscription

13 May 2015

Oil and Energy Committee member warns oil price shock has created debt problem

Tawke oil field in Iraqi Kurdistan

DNO doubles capacity at Iraqi Kurdistan oil field Subscription

11 May 2015

Production to be ramped up over coming months after investment programme completed

Iraqi Kurdistan oil exports hit record high in April

Iraqi Kurdistan oil exports hit record high in April Subscription

6 May 2015

Volumes exported through Turkey exceeded monthly commitment to Baghdad, says Erbil ministry

Iraq has revised down its budgeted oil price for 2015

IMF to agree $800m loan to Iraq Subscription

5 May 2015

IMF to clear $800m Iraq funding “in coming weeks” to help balance budget

Oil

Iraq oil exports reach long-term record high Subscription

4 May 2015

Government says April exports are highest since 1980s

Technip awarded management on Basra refinery upgrade

French firm awarded management on Basra refinery upgrade Subscription

28 April 2015

Partners Japan’s Unico to oversee estimated $1.5bn project in southern Iraq

Gas pipeline

Petrojet awarded $185m gas deal Subscription

22 April 2015

Firm to build central processing facility on southern Iraq development

Iraq invites renewables interest

Iraq invites renewables interest Subscription

19 April 2015

Four sites selected for projects

Opec oil output surges

Opec output surges Subscription

16 April 2015

Group pumped 30.79 million barrels a day in March

Karbala in Iraq

Karbala to build industrial city Subscription

13 April 2015

Iraq province hoping to attract foreign direct investment in manufacturing

Filter Iraq news by sector


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