Despite relatively high growth rate achieved in 2011 and expectedly in 2012, the structure of the Iraqi economy is still dominated by the oil sector, which is presently the main dynamo for economic growth in Iraq. The Iraqi government economic policy failed to introduce major institutional and structural reforms that can lead to a dynamic and sustainable growth, particularly in the non-oil sectors. Public investment policy failed short of achieving set targets to rebuild infrastructure and to provide basic public services such as electricity, water, sewage, health care and education.
The Iraqi Economists Network was founded in 2009 aiming at:
- Mobilization of Iraqi experts and professionals living outside the country to promote the transfer of know-how and expertise through networking and interacting with Iraqi economists working inside Iraq and initiating joint research and capacity building projects.
- The formation of an actively involved group of experienced Iraqi economists offering professional participation in decision-making processes related to policy measures aimed at reforming and rebuilding the Iraqi economy, such as those related to the formulation of sustainable development strategies, programs and economic policy measures, as well as projects related to transparency and good governance.
- Provision of advisory services to Parliament and decision makers in government agencies as well as promoting scientific research in Iraqi universities and research centers by linking them with international think tanks and academic institutions.
- Promoting awareness of economic issues among policy makers and government officials, members of Parliament and political parties as well as among civil society organizations.
During the last three years, the IEN has established an active online forum for dialogue, which has attracted increasing number of qualified Iraqi economists and oil experts worldwide as members. Views are exchanged in lively debates on present economic issues such as monetary policy, inflation, fiscal policy, oil policy, oil service contracts with the International Oil Companies, trade policy and the introduction of tariffs. The Arabic Website was launched in August 2011. Both have marked the beginning of active interaction and linkages among Iraqi economists working worldwide. This reflects their commitment to help their home country to overcome the state of underdevelopment and assist in the formulation of a coherent development strategy as well as effective economic policy. Furthermore, the process underscores their high motivation and willingness to contribute to the reconstruction of the Iraqi economy and sustainable economic development in Iraq. The launching of the English version should mainly serve to achieve the objective of the IEN with regards to linking Iraqi economists with the international academic and research community as well as promoting the process of know-how transfer into Iraq. The IEN also envisages the promotion of development co-operation projects with Iraq.