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    The Unfulfilled Promise of Oil and Growth : Poverty, Inclusion and Welfare in Iraq 2007-2012
    (Washington, DC, 2014-12-01) World Bank
    Iraq appears to have firmly entered the ranks of upper middle-income countries in 2012, having experienced strong economic growth following the establishment of a civilian elected government in 2005-06. In 2012 the years of growth culminated in a per capita GDP of 2472 constant 2005 US$. This three-volume poverty and inclusion assessment provides the first in-depth analysis of Iraq's economic and social development during the period of 2007 to 2012. Volume 1 is an overview of the economic climate in Iraq, providing brushstroke descriptions of its poverty reduction plans, labor markets, public health data, and education focal points. Volume 2 is a nine-chapter report on the years between 2007 and 2012, a period of relative stability in Iraq. 2007 marks the end of sectarian violence, which lasted until 2012, prior to the militancy and insurgency in the northern governorates of the summer of 2014. The country has been a nexus of conflict and fragility since the early 1980s, and has experienced multiple types of conflict: insurgency, international war, sectarian strife, persistent terrorism, regional fragmentation, and spillovers from conflict in other countries. What should have been a promising endowment of natural resources of land, oil and gas, as well of human capital, did not provide the foundation for poverty reduction and shared prosperity. The realization of potential was confounded by war and repression. A key priority of the Government of Iraq since 2005-06 has been to fill the huge knowledge gap in terms of a deeper understanding of the state of the economy and of a range of socioeconomic indicators of welfare with the objective of building a strong evidence base for effective policy making. The rich analyses presented in this report go well beyond counting the poor. It gives an incisive understanding of the multi-layered development challenges faced by the nation, which serves as a testament to the commitment of the Government of Iraq, the staff of the Central Statistics Office, and the Kurdistan Region Statistics Office. It will form the basis for a new strategy for Iraq's development and ensure broad-based welfare improvements for the population. Volume 3 consists of nine annexes and nine references in the forms of tables, boxes, and equations used in the methodologies.
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    Iraq Investment Climate Assessment 2012
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012) World Bank
    Despite decades of war and instability, Iraq's abundant natural resources, strategic geographic location and cultural history endow Iraq with tremendous potential for growth and diverse economic development. Driven by windfall oil revenues in recent years, the Government of Iraq has invested heavily in rebuilding the infrastructure of the country, and its abundant oil reserves ensure that progress can continue steadily. This report was initiated at the request of the Iraqi government to assess the local investment climate and identify those high priority factors which most significantly impede private sector development in Iraq, in an effort to prioritize the recommended investments, institutional and regulatory reforms which would most significantly contribute to sustainable private sector growth and increased productivity.
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    Republic of Iraq: Financial Sector Review
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2011) Nasr, Sahar
    This report was initiated at the request of the Iraqi government to get a better understanding of the overall financial sector in Iraq. The main objective of the report was to develop a comprehensive assessment of the financial sector. This report takes a first look at the overall financial system of Iraq with a forward looking approach. Key findings of the report are: 1) Iraq's financial sector is dominated by the banking system, with most assets held by state-owned banks; 2) many private banks are in the process of developing modern banking practices, but still need further strengthening and consolidation; 3) other financial markets are concentrated at the Iraqi stock exchange but capitalization is low, and few instruments are traded; 3) the insurance sector is small, dominated by state- owned enterprises, and is not supervised; 4) weak financial infrastructure is a clear impediment to access to finance; and 5) Small Medium Enterprises (SME) and microfinance is not well developed.