Iraq Investors Wary but Optimistic

A survey of more than 300 senior executives by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) found that foreign investors are still put off by violence in Iraq, but most companies believe the security situation will improve, despite the withdrawal of international troops.

The EIU surveyed 367 senior executives from 52 countries about their perceptions of investment in Iraq. They work for 80 companies currently investing in Iraq and 32 companies that are considering it.

Seven years after the US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, 64 percent thought it was still too dangerous to do business in Iraq, but 55 percent said they believed the security situation for foreign executives and employees would improve over the next two years.

According to the EIU survey, which will be published next month, violence was the biggest business risk for 67 percent of respondents, followed by corruption (44 percent) and the lack of infrastructure (35 percent).

Iraq's oil and gas reserves were the most attractive aspect of the country for investors, but after this, 43 percent said construction and real estate was the most promising non-hydrocarbon sector, followed by consumer goods (23 percent) and healthcare and pharmaceuticals (18 percent).

(Source: AFP)

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