IRFAD sees the need, alongside many other NGO-s and governmental entities, to establish an ‘economically, socially and environmentally viable Private Sector system’ within Iraq that is globally competitive, upheld by a legitimate and fair governance structure, and effectively transitions into a free, open market economy.
This private sector needs to be developed so that
- Job Opportunities for native Iraqi-s are created
- Iraqi Population’s standard of living is increased
During 2007 – 2012, the Government of Iraq issued $131.3 billion USD for a General Federal Budget–Capital Budget. This was used for Central Ministry development projects. The Government of Iraq also issued $26.4 billion USD for Local Government’s Regional Development Fund, for similar projects.
Key Development Players
Key players who are central to the development of Iraq include:
- Central Bank of Iraq
- National Investment Commission
- Kurdistan Region Government
- Central Ministries such as Ministry of Finance, Mnistry of Transportation, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Planning, Ministry of Interior and Municipalities, etc
- Parliamentary Committees
- Private Sector Institutions—such as Unions And NGOs
- Financial Institutions, such as Public And Private Banks, and Insurance Companies
- International & National Independent Experts
- Trade Unions
The following agencies have an active role in developing the private sector within Iraq:
- United Nations Agencies implemented the Private Sector Development Program for Iraq, which dealt with the issue of legislation reform.
- The World Bank has focused on banking and governance reforms, private and public partnerships, and it also established the Asset Valuation Unit at the Ministry of Finance.
- USAID implemented TIJAR, a program which focused on microfinance, small business lending, job creation for youth, and retail payment systems. USAId also implemented the Governance Strengthening Project, which empowered the local governments, reducing regulatory burden and decision making on central government entities.
- JICA, Japan International Cooperation Agency, is providing infrastructure development loans (electricity, water supply, transportation), and associated capacity development and training assistance for Iraqi labor force.
- United Nations Industrial Development Organization UNIDO is implementing the Enterprise Development Programme in the three governorates of Erbil, Baghdad and Thiqar, to support private sector development.
- Iraqi Middle Market Development Foundation IMMDF is funded by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation) and has aided in the development of Small and Medium Enterprise lending.
Current Investment Needs
Now, in 2014, there is still a lack of infrastructure widespread throughout Iraq. The following sectors are in great need of rebuilding and development, with significant investment opportunity:
- Energy: Electricity, Oil, Gas
- Natural Resources (Oil, Lime, Kaoline, Phosphates, Sulphur, Bentonite, Construction Raw Material (brick clay, aggregates))
- Religious – Cultural Tourism
- Internet Shopping
- Water, Sanitation, Solid Waste
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