By John Lee.
A recent report has found that Iraq has potential to evolve into a talent supply hub for basic offshore jobs, mainly driven by its cost competitive labor force, operational Special Economic Zones, and low corporate tax rates.
However, critical challenges, including political risks and lagging telecom and physical infrastructures, may threaten the country's outsourcing prospects and lower the workforce's attractiveness.
The study, prepared by Forward MENA in collaboration with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), was aimed at fostering the growth of remote work ecosystems in six developing countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA): Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia.
It finds that Iraq offers many advantages for outsourcing businesses:
- Cost competitive labor seeking job opportunities due to country's job crisis
- Local and regional job matching platforms available to identify and hire labors seeking job opportunities
- Well-established Special Economic Zones providing financial and non-financial incentives for investors
- Strategic location and similarity of country's culture to well-known demand hotspots
- Active involvement of non-profit sector to skill, reskill, upskill, and educate talent on the future of work
- Low corporate tax rates( fixed at 15%)
But it adds that key challenges need to be addressed for outsourcing to reach its full potential:
- High risk of business disruptions due to political instability
- Significant skilling, re-skilling and upskilling needed to prepare workforce for jobs of the future (technical skills, language proficiency)
- Lagging telecom and digital infrastructure requiring significant improvements
- Dysfunctional physical infrastructure with no access to basic needs for many Iraqis
- Weak government investment in incentivizing outsourcing businesses
- Underdeveloped outsourcing ecosystem
- Limited number of co-working spaces offered for freelancers and businesses
- Limited involvement of government and private sector to skill, re-skill and upskill talent in-country
Click here to download the full report with detailed analysis.
(Source: Forward MENA)
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