What's Your Advice to Iraq?

If you're a regular reader of Iraq Business News, you'll know all about the huge opportunities in sectors such as oil and gas, mining, housing, and electricity.

You'll also be aware of the sorts of challenges facing the country.

But if you could change just three things about Iraq, what would they be? What three pieces of advice would you give to improve Iraq?

Please let us know in the Comments section below.

And remember, if you're looking for advice on doing business in Iraq, please feel free to contact Gavin Jones at Upper Quartile and Adrian Shaw at AAIB.

23 Responses to What's Your Advice to Iraq?

  1. Lorenzo 21st February 2013 at 11:50 #

    The best for all the Iraqis or fix the oil issue. Improve the business mentality of the central government in order to attract investors to Iraq. Improve education and focus universities to the national wealth of Iraq or the oil industry. Iraq should have know how of all related with gas and oil without needs to import such knowledge from outside.
    This will create a private sector around the oil and gas industry. Iraqi capital and skills will find their way. Minimize the old fashioned plan economy of the past and invest the oil revenues in schools and health or where the demographics are.
    To decentralize the government to a federal state is a good thing resulting in engagement of iraqis citizens in the iraqi society in stead of paralizing the society waiting for political and religious leades to tell them what to do. Education, education and more education.
    Declare war to corruption, eliminate inmunities to all levels and improve Iraqs economy in order to minimize dependencies in food and medicines.
    Security, security and more security which is not the same as building up a very large army in order to protect against external enemies. Iraq has enough of internal enemies before it can take care of possible external enemies. The defence forces should be developed for defending Iraq from external enemies and not for political attacks on iraqis dissidents.
    Give democracy a chance despite of neighbors not liking democracy. I do not know of a better alternative despite of all the flaws that democracy has.
    Yes, and most controversial create peace in Iraq by giving forgiveness to past sins (and there are many!). Star a new Iraq by being independent from outside and dependent from inside

  2. Zaidoun Tariq 21st February 2013 at 11:56 #

    Dear Sir /Madam
    1-Goverement, local Governments to hire International firms (Planning, Designing, Consulting & Project Management) (There is such a waste of money of Infrastructure Projects)....and whatever has been spent is not reflecting on the Community
    2- Construction Projects will only be awarded to Reputable International Companies, Local Contractors can be considered subcontractors
    3-Only International Experiences will be hired to lead Projects, Locals to receive intensive training inside and outside Iraq on similar projects

  3. grip 21st February 2013 at 13:08 #

    3...EDUCATE THE PEOPLE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Dawn 21st February 2013 at 15:17 #

    1) Oust Maliki
    2) stop the corruption
    3)pass the laws that need
    to be passed, and stop the
    damn arguing!

  5. David Stephenson 21st February 2013 at 15:46 #

    1. As a country realize that you finally in the post Saddam era .You finally have the opporitunity to decide you want a better future.2.Find a way as a great nation to set perso nal beliefs aside whether Kurds,Sunnis, or Shites to become a democracy.Very few countries receive the chance to rewrite there own history. 3.Finally the Government should listen to the people and set an example for the world that given the chance they can change for the better and make a difference in the world.By doing this maybe other countries would realize given the chance they could do the same to

  6. Grow and stop the pain 21st February 2013 at 17:12 #

    The people of Iraq suffered for a long time. Its time to give back. Stop the Corruption, Pass the Oil/Carbon Law and etc. and Educate the People. If you they cant change and democracy is too hard adapt then they need to the ways of the country of Qatar. Qatar WOW!

  7. byron 21st February 2013 at 17:23 #

    1.Get the people income via more immediate jobs

    2.Allow the IQD currency to free float

    3.Have deadlines for Parliament decisions and meet them

    4.make education a priority

  8. Wizarat Rizvi 21st February 2013 at 22:03 #

    1. provide for free education for all Iraqis
    2. Provide for Free Quality healthcare for all children till the age of 15
    3. Invest in the infrastructure, such as free broad band access for all Iraqis.

  9. Nature Iraq 22nd February 2013 at 01:00 #

    As Iraq rushes to develop the country, we at Nature Iraq (Iraqi Conservation organization) feel that the environment is being left out of the equation at every turn. But to do so is a perilous path which Iraqis may long live to regret because once the land, air and water are degraded and Iraqis rare species are gone, it is very expensive and possibly impossible to turn back the clock. So in addition to the many other good suggestions, we would recommend that Iraq needs to properly address problems in the following 3 sectors:

    1. Water - Wake up! Oil is important but Turkey is building the Ilisu Dam and Iran is also building dams on all the tributaries that lead into Iraq. Everyone inside and outside the country is on a dam-building frenzy ... the losers will be everyone downstream and the rivers themselves. Also pollution from oil development, sewage and garbage is only going to get worse. This is a problem that can't be ignored and the health of the country is rooted in it.

    2. Land & Air - Chronic pollution to land and air; desertification ... this issues make any possibility of "sustainable" development in Iraq nothing but a pipe-dream. Of course, Iraq's going to develop its oil ... even we environmentalists know that. But one day that oil will run out and what sort of country will we be left with then?

    3. Biodiversity - We are in the midst of a massive species extinction. Iraq has signed on to the Convention on Biological Diversity but must implement it to have any hope of protecting its biological resources.

  10. Raju Sreedharan 22nd February 2013 at 02:38 #

    1) Open up Free zone business opportunities
    2) Amend immigration and naturalization rules to issue easily Entry permits / Business visas to the business community.
    2) Settle the dispute with KRG

  11. Ameer 22nd February 2013 at 05:24 #

    One thing i should say to Banking site, Iraqi currency is very cheap against Dollar, and that lowers the Foreign currency Reserve of $, not a single country around the glob carrying their currency value that cheap like Iraqi Dinar! One of the largest oil reserve country, should have their people's heads up, feel proud to be Iraqis, now a days, people buying $, the safe investment, gradually, Dinar should raise its value and create economy boom, in flow of Dollars, selling Oil, would create BOOM in Iraq-God Willing-Ameer.

  12. Mohammad 22nd February 2013 at 13:00 #

    Take zero off the currency and make it beleivable. make guns illegal, focus on areas other than oil and build their industry by taking advantage of their oil. build lots of research universities for future growth

  13. Lina 22nd February 2013 at 15:31 #

    Definitivamente lo unico que necesita Irak es educar la gente de la gran oportunidad internacional que tienen, y sobre todo que pueden ser un potencia mundial en todos los aspectos economia, turismo, infraestructura y en todo lo que quieran y demostrar que se puede escribir una nueva y buena historia.

  14. Bradley Richner 23rd February 2013 at 03:11 #

    The most important thing Iraq could do to become
    the richest nation in the world is.....1. Become a
    family and treat each other as such with love.
    2. Revalue their money.The dinar valued @ .00085, U.S
    is totally stupid when looking at the debt the USA is in.

  15. Mohammad 23rd February 2013 at 05:07 #

    And yes most improtantly stop killing each other

  16. Mohammed Mostafa 23rd February 2013 at 13:27 #

    I am others nationality and open the company in Kurdistan,Erbil.I feel there is strong security and growing business and increasing tourist
    visit,but i feel for more comfort visitors and business,here should be open International Bank and more ATM facilities,mastercard/visa card
    facilities.We hope it should be increase in future.Regards.

  17. Mark 24th February 2013 at 03:38 #

    first priority: Settle the disputes, compromise, and vote in the needed laws and regulations to settle the disputes and get the economy moving. No investor wants to put his money into a failed democracy, republic or whatever..are you people nuts.

    second priority: Do what it takes to activate as they always said the private sector, if it's dropping the zeros, infusing billions into agriculture, industry, private business loans etc. Then as fast as possible, build government housing and give the people places to live that have had their houses and life's possessions blown up or stolen by thieves, terrorists and thugs. TAKE CARE OF THE PEOPLE.

    third priority: build or get immediate housing for widows and children and especially the mother/fatherless children left without parents who are living in the streets and poor areas. These priorities need to all be initiated at once! Stop the torture, unfair discrimination, corruption, imprisonment, brutality and so forth of the people.

  18. Fabio 24th February 2013 at 05:46 #

    1)Stop tribal and religious clashes
    2)Improve education, schools and university
    3)Stop corruption
    4)The government should increase public works and decrease unemployment

  19. Vineet Mathur 28th February 2013 at 15:50 #

    Dear Sirs

    The core issues in Iraq are:

    Unified Custom Duty Procedure are necessary. Different point of entries apply different duties The staff is not competent and corruption is rampant. Umm QAsr must become the port of choice and not a port full of hassles and security issues. This will increase trade.

    Banking: Banks are still in nascent stage. Commercial Banking, Trade Finance, Reasonable interest rates, all are needed to drive the private sector to exoand its business capability.

    Unified Visa policy: KRG issued visas are not valid in Iraq. This is not a goo situation. A foreign businessman should be able to visit the whole country on the strenght of a single visa, which should be processed in shortest possible time.

    All these suggestions are good for promoting business and placing Iraq on the bsuiness friendly map.

  20. noor 3rd March 2013 at 21:16 #

    I suggested at the beginning to solve personal problems between political and sectarian because of the existence of these problems will not make Iraq a step to a better future

  21. Greg From USA 10th March 2013 at 17:39 #

    1. Educate the people. No matter who is in power the only ticket to future prosperity is education. Educated people will solve your problems. But only if they are free. This means internet freedom and protection of civil liberties. Use the Bill of Rights as a model to get started.
    2. Use Oil to improve your competitiveness. The West needs oil. You need technology and manufacturing. Partner with the west to get it now for oil later. Use oil revenue to foster business - use oil money and small government to keep taxes low or zero. Small government means less corruption too. Build infrastructure - you could use it to fund a peaceful thorium nuclear electric grid. Partner with another country to start your own hybrid car manufacturing. Using oil for direct payments to the people makes you weak. Look at how weak Venezuela is. No nationalizations, renegotiations! Honor your contracts if you want people to trust you. Oil is not candy for the poor. A good job and steady pay is what you give the poor. Oil is an economic drug that must be respected and used carefully to avoid dependence. Avoid the oil curse.
    3. Nationalism. Meet with your political enemies and tell them you see a Iraq as the future economic powerhouse. The japan of the mideast. Iraq has more resources than Japan did after WWII. Tell them you love Iraq and you love them because they are Iraqis. Tell them anyone who loves Iraq must fight for Iraq first and against each other second. You owe it to your children to leave them a better Iraq. It is too late to photocopy the US Constitution and make it your own, but it is not too late to appeal to love of country. If Saddam can do it, why can't you?