Against a backdrop of difficult political and economic transitions, Iraq is once again opening its doors to foreign business. Decades of war, sanctions and hardship have left the country with a devastated infrastructure, and the government is looking to foreign investment and expertise in its bid to rebuild and expand. The story of Iraqi oil is by now well known: the country has (at least) the third-largest reserves in the world, with many fields as yet unexplored. The inflow of oil revenue, and expectations of substantial increases, has allowed the government to pass expansionary budgets and to announce ambitious investment plans to the tune of US$186bn over the next five years. Eleven technical service contracts have been signed since last year that will see international oil companies help boost existing oil production, and the Economist Intelligence Unit forecasts that production could almost triple to over 6m barrels/day by 2016. Beyond the hydrocarbons sector, opportunities abound for enterprising businesses looking to enter the Iraqi market. One legacy of the long years of Iraq’s isolation is that information, beyond news journalism, is sparse. Companies wishing to consider investment in Iraq often do not have sufficient information required to make informed decisions. This white paper goes some way towards filling that gap by highlighting the current experiences, hopes and concerns that companies have regarding the business environment in Iraq. It is based on a programme of desk research, a survey of 367 senior executives, and 13 in-depth interviews with business executives, diplomats and investment experts. This research focuses on companies’ perception of doing business in Iraq, and includes the views of companies currently operating in the country, those that plan to invest and those not considering entry into the Iraqi market.
Excerpt of the report.
See link: http://graphics.eiu.com/upload/eb/Iraq_through_investors_eyes_WEB.pdf