Unlocking opportunities in Iraq
Are you a UK company looking to expand your horizons and contribute to meaningful projects?
Iraq is a country with immense opportunity and potential.
For British companies interested in providing services there, there is an especially great chance to gain from the UK Government’s £10 billion loan agreement that was signed in March 2017. Through this loan, UK-based businesses have been given exclusive access to bid on projects and services throughout the country.
Several projects are already underway, as many other nation companies diligently construct homes and infrastructure. However, there remains a significant amount of work to be done.
A favourable climate for UK businesses
The UK government’s loan to Iraq, allocated for financing infrastructure projects, offers an enticing opportunity for British companies.
The loan conditions are strategically designed to prioritise service provision by UK-based businesses.
This exclusive invitation for UK companies to bid on project work is a clear indication of the robust bilateral support between the two nations.
During a hot summer trip to Iraq in July 2023, Proelium Law representatives witnessed first hand the momentum of this partnership, further solidifying our understanding of the situation. We have returned to Iraq recently in November 2023 for our clients and opportunites still pervaid.
Diverse opportunities await
The spectrum of opportunities in Iraq is extensive.
We visited construction sites in Bagdad and Basra, witnessing the significant development projects taking place in both cities. Particularly in Basra, there is a prominent demand for housing and infrastructure, making housing projects especially prevalent. The energy sectors are increasingly attracting investment and the oil and gas sector continues to be the largest industry overall. But the tech, data and cyber industries are also significantly on the up.
In Baghdad, the focus is on enhancing existing infrastructure and introducing visionary projects that promise to reshape the city. The diversity of projects on the horizon underscores Iraq’s determination to move forward and rebuild. Recetnly significant investment and construction fo the roads in Baghdad began with a promise of alleviating the significant traffic congestion within 12 months (as at November 2023).
As the country still emerges from the shadows of its past, UK companies have the opportunity to become integral partners in its resurgence.
UK companies are being exclusively invited to participate in a range of projects, from demining efforts that are vital for safety and development to significant construction projects and infrastructure development and planning, as well as security. You can contact us directly or find more information here:
Tackling landmines and building for the future
Demining efforts also remain a priority, with a substantial area still affected by landmines.
According to the latest available data, Iraq has approximately 1,733 square kilometers of land contaminated with landmines as of the end of 2021.
It is worth noting that Iraq is currently the most contaminated country globally in terms of the total mined area, with millions of mines and explosives scattered beneath the rubble and soil throughout the nation.
This contamination is a result of various factors, including the Gulf War in 1991, the Iraq-Iran War from 1980 to 1988, two decades of internal conflict, and the recent conflict with ISIS since 2014.
Unfortunately, these landmines and unexploded bombs render vast areas of land unsafe and unusable, posing a significant threat to families and communities across Iraq.
Fortunately, thanks to the dedication of both the Iraqi and British governments, this challenge is being met head-on, with demining efforts and construction projects of considerable scale already underway.
However, there is still much to be done to build for its future and make progress towards a safe and prosperous environment.
Navigating Iraq's potential: risks, geopolitical tensions and legal complexity
No less important is Iraq’s security situation.
Despite its low ranking of 172 out of 190 in the World Bank’s “Doing Business” Index, which places Iraq among the bottom 20 countries to do business, paradoxically the country boasts enormous economic potential (5); Iraq is considered to be one of the world’s wealthiest nations that brims with potential for years to come (6)
While there is much potential, there are also many risks associated with doing business in the country that must be taken into account.
We see a myriad of other countries engaging, from Turkey to Korea and of course the UK and US. Geopolitical tensions in the region must be kept in mind, especially with Iran to the east and a complicated relationship with Saudi Arabia, as well as the ongoing conflict in Syria to the west and the Israeli Palestinian conflict never far away.
These factors, along with other geopolitical risks and internal challenges such as the water supply, geopolitical shocks and sectarian tensions pose and in 2023, the move away from the US dollar back toward the Iraqi Dinar creating further challeneges for Iraq.
As opportunities in Iraq beckon, it’s important to address the legal complexities that accompany international ventures.
Proelium Law's legal expertise for UK Companies
Proelium Law stands ready to assist UK companies in navigating the legal landscape of doing business in Iraq.
Combining with our Iraqi lawywers, our expertise extends to areas such as contract negotiations, legal compliance and risk assessment, and security considerations.
We have in-depth experience with the various laws and regulations related to international business ventures as well as an understanding of the geopolitical landscape and its potential risks.
Furthermore, we are experienced in addressing foreign bribery considerations, data protection and transfer, anti-money laundering compliance, trade sanctions and taxation issues.
These skills are paramount when establishing a presence in Iraq; they are a prerequisite for those seeking to capitalise on the opportunity in Iraq.
Proelium Law’s insights into the defence sector provide a valuable resource for companies interested in contributing to Iraq’s security infrastructure, although for the forseeable future, Iraq will struggle to purchase western weapons systems at will whilst sectarian issues remain.
If you are interested in learning more, please contact us.
Unlocking success in Iraq: your comprehensive solution
While we have you covered with our extensive legal support, if you are a company looking for operational security support and critical analysis and decision-making assistance, we can recommend several risk management companies who would be an ideal choice for UK companies looking to expand into Iraq.
With comprehensive security and risk management services compoanies we recommend ensure that businesses operating in Iraq are equipped with the insights, strategies and capabilities needed to succeed in high-risk and complex environments.
Together we can provide a comprehensive approach for UK companies wanting to do business in Iraq, with both legal and operational aspects considered.
With a personalised approach, we will accompany and support you throughout your journey in country, offering guidance and expertise every step of the way.
At Proelium Law, we are passionate about helping UK businesses reach their goals abroad safely and securely. With our expertise in legal matters combined with our partners experience in risk management and security, we are confident that organisations will be able to take advantage of the opportunities offered by Iraq.
We invite you to get in touch and learn how we can help your organisation unlock the potential of Iraq and contribute to its development.