By John Lee.
A couple of weeks ago, the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair addressed the Iraq Britain Business Council’s 4th London Conference on the theme: “Iraq: The Road To Success?”
Mr Blair will always be associated with Iraq, positively or negatively, depending on ones view, and he has a keen understanding of the country.
In his speech, he pointed to several encouraging economic metrics:
- The economy of 2012 is several times the size of ten years ago;
- Growth this year will be 9% and Iraq is set to be one of the fastest growing economies in the world over the next decade;
- A Government worker is paid now, on average, around 4 times what he was ten years ago in real terms;
- Oil revenue now stands at $100 billion per annum and is set to treble by 2020.
But also, Mr Blair did not shy away from addressing such problems as corruption and bureaucracy in Iraq.
"There has also been progress", he said. "It is important not to exaggerate it; equally important not to ignore it."
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