Iraq is not attracting domestic capital belonging to its citizens. Inadequate economic and investment policies in addition to widespread corruption have contributed to a new migration of Iraqi capital. This time, capital is going to Georgia, which provides much assistance for those who want to invest in the country.
The head of the Federation of Iraqi Chambers of Commerce, Jaafar al-Hamdani, a businessman and investor, told Al-Monitor that Iraqi capital — valued at billions of dollars — has began moving toward other countries such as states of the [former] Soviet Union, including Georgia, which is now attracting a lot of capital from Iraq.
This shift of capital, according to Hamdani, can be attributed to investment and banking facilities that owners of Iraqi capital find in Georgia; such facilities are not available in Iraq.
For its part, the government admits that the capital found inside Iraq is “weak” compared to the capital that has left the country, in light of the security situation, the decline in the labor market and decreased investment opportunities.
In a telephone conversation with Al-Monitor, Abdul Hussein al-Anbaki, adviser to the prime minister for economic affairs, explained, “The migration of Iraqi capital did not start after US troops entered the country in 2003. Rather, it began in the 1980s, when the former regime split profits with the private sector.”
Anbaki pointed out, “The migration of Iraqi capital that occurred after 2003 was due to the deteriorating security situation in the country and the lack of employment opportunities as well as the absence of a legislative or physical environment, or even infrastructure.”