With the improved security situation in the country and a wave of overseas economic investment, the Iraqi economy is beginning to improve. There has been recent growth in the construction, retail and energy industries, and this has served as a boon for the economy as a whole. Iraq’s economy grew by seven percent in 2011, and the country’s per capita income could double over the next decade if growth continues at this rate. The vast majority of the country’s income comes from oil sales. Iraq exports over two million barrels of oil per day, and the country sits on one of the largest oil reserves in the world. While Iraqi oil fields are capable of producing many more barrels of oil every day, the infrastructure in the country cannot keep up with higher production levels. There are many construction projects currently underway to increase Iraq’s petroleum processing and exporting capabilities.
However, people in Iraq are still heavily dependent on international aid. The country has been ravaged by years of war and instability, and many average people in Iraq are unable to find jobs. Civil institutions and businesses are still rebuilding after sanctions were imposed on the country for many years. Aside from the oil industry, the food processing, textile, chemical, construction, fertilizer and metal processing industries employ large number of people in the country. The unemployment rate in Iraq was between 23 and 38 percent when it was last surveyed in 2009, and many more people are considered under-employed. The minimum wage in the country is set at $72 per month, and mean wages are $2.10 per hour. The country’s major trading partners include the United States, South Korea, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Germany, Italy, India, Taiwan, China, the Netherlands and Japan.
Iraq has a well-educated and productive workforce. With the rise in overseas investment projects that are pouring into the country today, Iraq is experiencing an economic resurgence. Iraq is a very attractive place for investors right now, especially because overseas investors are able to own Iraqi companies outright. Many of the oil fields in Iraq are undeveloped, and most of them are located in very stable parts of the country. Iraq also has a very reasonable 25 percent flat corporate tax rate. Because of this, major oil companies from around the world have their eye on Iraq.
The Iraqi dinar is the national currency and is abbreviated IQD. The dinar was restructured in 2010 to make financial transactions easier. Unfortunately, the Iraqi dinar is not traded on open currency markets. However, people who want to buy the Iraqi dinar can find alternative foreign exchange traders and banks that will sell them this currency.
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