Iraq has historically occupied a pivotal position in the Persian Gulf and Middle East region. It has strategically important ports and airports and can prove to be a cost-effective trading and distribution location.
Iraq’s strategic position, availability of people and competitive cost base make it an excellent location from which to export to the region and to the world. However, given that the majority of goods sold now in Iraq are imported, Iraq’s domestic market of 36 million people offers an obvious opportunity to produce and sell goods and service to provide import substitution.
Iraq offers investors a period of ten years free from all taxes, including corporation tax and fees. This period is extended to 15 years if the project is a joint venture with a majority Iraqi stakeholder. Additional incentives include the right to repatriate investment and profits from investment, the right to employ foreign workers when needed and three years exemption from import fees for required equipment. The Government of Iraq also guarantees that investments will not be nationalized or confiscated.
Even after the generous tax-free period has been completed, investors will continue to benefit from Iraq’s company tax rate of only 15% - one of the most competitive in the region and globally. Both the tax free period and the low ongoing rate help investors to become profitable more quickly and encourages reinvestment
The Iraqi economy boasts a number of established companies, state-owned-enterprises and service providers. As the country continues to refine its investment environment and bring stability to its political, security and economic activities, local partners serve as good option to expedite and navigate the legal, regulatory and physical landscapes of Iraq. Local partners have access to vital market knowledge; navigate regulatory requirements; provide labor and other inputs at competitive rates; utilize pre-established sales network; and maintain other necessary business relationships, i.e. banking, legal, and distribution, which are critical to the success of an operation. While these companies maintain room for growth, many are poised to share in both the investment risk and long-term benefits. These companies and service providers span most sectors, industries and provinces throughout Iraq.
Iraq holds one of the principal hydrocarbon reserves in the world. With proven reserves estimated at 144 billion barrels, Iraq’s undiscovered oil reserve is considered to have the second largest reserve in the world — possibly 300 billion barrels. Iraq also has reserves of gas of 98 trillion cubic meters. Iraq is also rich in other minerals, including Sulphur, phosphate and iron