So I was doing the usual reading today and noticed the michigander statement about Iraq's rank with the World Bank and it piqued me to do some background on some other statistics. I found on the World Bank's site comparisons on Iraq's economy in 2012 to projections for 2013. Interestingly enough, you'll see most all the projections showed a mostly downward to stalled PROJECTION trend. So let's look at the numbers:
Iraq 2013 2012
Starting a business 177 177 there were 1,943 new LLC's started in Iraq in 2011. At approximately 74 days per to start and costing 25.2% paid-in minimum capital (The amount that the entrepreneur needs to deposit in a bank or with a notary before registration and up to 3 months following incorporation and is recorded as a percentage of the economy’s income per capita.)
Dealing with Construction permits 84 80 187 days. The total number of days required to build a warehouse. The measure captures the median duration that local experts indicate is necessary to complete a procedure in practice.
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Getting Electricity 46 47 47 days. The number of days to obtain a permanent electricity connection. The measure captures the median duration that the electricity utility and experts indicate is necessary in practice, rather than required by law, to complete a procedure.
Registering Property 100 98 51 days. The total number of days required to register property. The measure captures the median duration that property lawyers, notaries or registry officials indicate is necessary to complete a procedure.
Getting Credit 176 176 Maintains no data on firms or individuals. Distributes no data whether positive or negative, retail, trade or utility as well as financial institutions. Does not maintain more than 2 years of historical credit information and does not guarantee by law that borrowers can inspect their data in the credit registry.
Protecting Investors 128 124 Iraq's average disclosure index was a 4 on a scale of 1-10 with the higher the number indicating the greater disclosure.
Paying Taxes 65 59 28.1%, The total tax rate measures the amount of taxes and mandatory contributions payable by the business in the second year of operation, expressed as a share of commercial profits.
Trading Across Borders 179 181 In order to export there are 10 documents to present with an export time of 80 days, costing $3,550 per container. Importing is similar with 10 documents taking 82 days, costing $3,650 per container.
Enforcing Contracts 141 141 520 days. The time to resolve a dispute, counted from the moment the plaintiff files the lawsuit in court until payment. This includes both the days when actions take place and the waiting periods between.
Resolving Insolvency 185 185 Has no practices in place.
data compiled from world bank
Overall, Iraq ranks 165th of 185 (185 being worst) countries (projected 2013 rank) on ease of doing business with. Not only must the currency change but the practices by which Iraq does business inside and outside their country must be updated if they are to successfully deal with treasures that lie within their borders.
Now, reading all of this sounds very negative when you consider the implications this must have on the investment strategies of worldwide businesses. On the contrary, if you look at business trending you'll see the outlook from a business standpoint is completely different. In Business Insider, http://www.businessinsider.com/29-of-the-worlds-fastest-growing-countries-2012-6?op=1 they list the 29 fastest growing companies in the world and sitting at number 1 is, you guessed it, Iraq at +25.4%.
Est. 2012 GDP: +11.1 percent
Est. 2013 GDP: +13.1 percent
Est. 2014 GDP: +11.0 percent
Economy: Iraq's major export is oil, and it accounts for 90 percent of the government's revenues. The country is also in a rebuilding phase in the wake of U.S. occupation, with construction a major driver of the economy as well.
Source: The World Bank, CIA World Factbook
So, while the statistics may say one thing, business outlook has a completely different idea in mind. So while you may hear and see stories of stagnation, passive or sluggish developments, or collapsing contracts, understand that the business WORLD has high expectations for Iraq which will require them to come to the forefront with their currency and their economy.