The clouds of war may have deterred some, but for discerning entrepreneurs and investors, Iraq has become an unexpected portal brimming full of unique opportunities. A rich tapestry of culture, precious resources, and strategic geographic importance make Iraq an appealing destination for many global businesses.

Prospects of Citizenship and Permanent Residence for Investors

Unknown to many, Iraq has been making significant strides in making its economic climate more appealing to foreign nationals. The Iraqi government has been working towards the implementation of laws that allow a foreign investor to apply for citizenship or permanent residence. This move is aimed at stimulating the economy by encouraging investments into the country, thereby providing tangible benefits for those who elect to make a significant commitment to the nation’s development.

Business Laws and Regulations

Iraqi law is inviting towards foreign business and investment. For instance, Law No. 21 of 1997, as amended in 2003, permits foreigners to own Iraqi businesses outright— a significant change from the 1980s and 1990s when foreign investment was all but forbidden.Another vital point for all businesses to bear in mind involves taxes. Corporate tax rates in Iraq are relatively low at 15%, providing a significant incentive for investors. Personal income tax rates are also comparatively low, between 3% and 15%, depending on the income bracket.

Opening a Bank Account and Starting a Business

Opening a bank account in Iraq is a straightforward process, but it requires a residence permit—a rule that applies to both individuals and businesses. The beautiful part of Iraq’s financial space is that it is home to some well-respected banks. The Rafidain Bank, established in 1941, is the largest and oldest bank in Iraq.Starting a business in Iraq has also been simplified. The startup scene is gradually gaining traction, spurred on by programs such as the Iraqi entrepreneurship program, which supports the establishment of new businesses. Company registration is a relatively easy process, ensuring businesses can launch within a reasonable time frame.

Migration Rules

In recent years, Iraq’s migration rules have evolved to become more friendly towards investors and highly skilled workers. While entering the country initially for business purposes requires a valid visa, investors who contribute significantly to the economy are likely to find the process of obtaining permanent residence more straightforward.

A Historic Business Event

In terms of historical business events shaping Iraq’s business landscape, the Basrah Gas Company (BGC) stands out. This is a joint venture between the South Gas Company of Iraq, Shell, and Mitsubishi, and is the largest gas project in Iraq’s history. It is a landmark event showcasing how foreign investment has been leveraged in Iraq to unlock vital resources.

The Future of Business in Iraq

Despite its challenges, Iraq’s business climate is undeniably on an upward trajectory. With the government welcoming foreign investments, the progressive adjustment of migration rules, low corporate taxes, and easy access to essential services like bank account opening, Iraq promises a unique blend of opportunities for entrepreneurs with an eye for untapped potential. As Iraq continues to rebuild and modernize, the scope for investment and business growth is only set to increase.

Iraqi business news


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