Sami al-Araji, chairman of the National Investment Commission, told Al-Monitor that the commission is seeking not only to attract Iraqi capital that has migrated out of the country but also Arab and foreign capital for investment. According to Araji, it is doing this through presenting investment offers in the housing, roads, bridges and tourism sectors, as well as in the electricity and oil sectors.
Araji confirmed, "The commission will enact a plan that had been developed previously in coordination with the Ministry of Migration and Displacement, and that is aimed at ensuring the return of Iraq capital from abroad so that it can be used in reconstructing Iraq. This is done through providing bank guarantees, customs facilities and other assistance pertaining to investment work."
For her part, Nora al-Bajari, a member of the parliamentary Economy and Investment Committee, told Al-Monitor, "The tedious routine in reviewing state departments, bureaucracy and financial and administrative corruption all have discouraged investors from investing Iraqi capital in the country."
She added, "[The government] must provide financial and security guarantees as well as incentives that bring specialized companies to invest in the country. The country needs investment projects to revive and develop its infrastructure."
Economic expert Abdul Majid al-Khalidi told Al-Monitor that there a number of consequences resulting from the migration of capital. These include poor economic growth, high unemployment, disruptions affecting the investment of economic resources within the state, depletion of state cash reserves and the instability of the local currency.
Khalidi noted that there are ways to reduce the migration of capital outside of Iraq. This includes issuing laws governing investment and development, developing existing financial and banking apparatuses, refraining from putting restrictions on investment, enhancing privatization programs, doing away with bureaucracy for investment procedures and maintaining clarity and transparency to provide a true image of the investment reality in the country, alongside development of economic information technology.
(Dollars image via Shutterstock)