Iraq Must Accommodate Foreign Workers to Boost Investments

By Omar al-Shaher for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraqi authorities admitted that they are not providing facilities to foreign workers and oil companies operating in Iraq.

Oil Ministry spokesman Assem Jihad told Al-Monitor, “Iraqi parties in charge of the entrance of foreigners to Iraq are not providing facilities to contract workers and experts for foreign oil companies that were granted contracts with the Iraqi government.”

Jihad attributed the reason behind this to “the exceptional security situation the country is going through and the terrorist challenges it is facing.”

Iraq has been witnessing a spike in violence for the past two months. Car bombs and suicide bombers have claimed the lives of hundreds of Iraqis during attacks targeting markets, cafes, playgrounds and residential compounds in many provinces.

Jihad noted, however, “The importance of investment in all fields must be taken into consideration. The success of the state relies on its ability to pass laws that protect and encourage investments, in addition to creating a suitable ground and providing security and facilities to workers in investment companies.” Jihad considered the aforementioned to be “characteristic of civilized countries.”

“The non-provision of facilities does not only include the oil and investment sector in Iraq but also the rest of the fields, given the exceptional situation. We need to educate people about how to deal with the concept of investment,” he continued.

“There are still some mentalities that dub investment companies as monopolistic companies fed by the blood of the people,” Jihad noted, reiterating “the importance of dealing with this issue in a civilized manner and working on the provision of facilities so as not to transform [Iraq] into a country that pushes investments away.”

Iraq had promised to provide visas for workers with oil companies within two weeks.

2 Responses to Iraq Must Accommodate Foreign Workers to Boost Investments

  1. Mustafa August 31, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    If you are not a direct oil company contractor, you have to pay too much bribe to get your visa and it takes 2-3 months at least. You have the mention the names in alist when you are applying. However, you have to pay the salaries to the workers during this period otherwise nobody will wait you for months.

    Even if you are working for oil contractors, 2 weeks visa is something not true. Again you are waiting up to 2 months time to time. There is a very complex bribe chain for the Iraqi visa and too many people are getting benefit from it. So, the IRaqi government has to step up and break this chain. It will not be easy, because too many officials are part of this chain. This is the Iraqi visa fact.