MoU to Boost Private Sector in Iraq

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Iraq and the Iraqi Ministry of Planning (MoP) have today signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will boost the private sector through micro, small and medium enterprises, create job opportunities and support an inclusive growth policy.

The MoU provides a general framework for cooperation between the two parties to conduct a survey of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) funded by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in three Iraqi governorates: Baghdad, Basra and Nineveh.

The survey will build a comprehensive national approach and an understanding of the MSMEs structure, their development trends, and operations, helping stakeholders make informed decisions on how to strengthen and develop MSMEs, and create a sustainable economic base in Iraq,, in addition to identifying the opportunities and challenges. This will be supported by updated and reliable labor market studies and information.

It covers important areas of cooperation, including the exchange of knowledge, data and documents that serve the purposes and scope of the survey, and the provision of the necessary technical support, including survey staff and qualified field staff throughout the survey development stages.

"The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding is clearly articulates the steps required to implement the private sector development strategy launched by the ministry in cooperation with the international partner, the United Nations Development Programme. UNDP has expressed strong commitment and has had a prominent role in the strategy by providing the necessary support to the Central Statistical Organization to implement the survey for small, micro and medium enterprises in both the formal and informal sectors for three governorates as a first phase, followed by the inclusion of the rest of the governorates in the second phase when health conditions improve." said The Minister of Planning, Dr. Khalid Battal Al-Najm in a statement on the signing of this memorandum.

Resident Representative of UNDP Iraq Zena Ali Ahmad, emphasizes, "Micro, small and medium enterprises in Iraq face significant challenges which have been exacerbated by the outbreak of COVID-19. resulting in a reduction of growth potential and employment opportunities. The signing of this memorandum comes at a pivotal time and is an important step towards strengthening the role of the private sector in Iraq and creating much-needed job opportunities."

"This memorandum also emphasises the continued and fruitful cooperation between UNDP Iraq and the Iraqi Ministry of Planning - a key partner across many of our initiatives - as well as the partnership with our generous donors USAID. We are extremely grateful for their support in funding this critical work" she added.

UNDP will provide the necessary technical support to prepare the survey and develop recommendations that can assist stakeholders in establishing development policies for the economic sector.

(Source: UNDP)

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