Baghdad – “Liberation squares”
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The investment climate in Iraq poses a challenge to US and international investors, US Ambassador Matthew Toler said on Tuesday.
“The Iraqi government must realize that without the prospect of sufficient financial returns, investors’ appetite for financial risks in sectors that require significant capital, such as energy, will be limited,” he said at the Iraqi Energy Forum, which opened in Baghdad today. Improving the business climate is critical to encouraging investment, which is why the United States continues to support efforts to facilitate doing business in Iraq and encourage the government to reach international standards in the areas of visas, customs, taxation and business formation.
He expressed concern that Iraq was moving in the wrong direction in this regard, falling from 168th place in the 2018 World Bank report on ease of doing business to 171st place in the 2019 report.
He said that burning gas in the atmosphere of Iraq more than anywhere else in the world, a process in which wasteful and ineffective and contrary to self-sufficiency of energy in Iraq.
He stressed that this gas must be invested and processed and delivered as feedstocks to provide power stations in Iraq with fuel and provide the Iraqi economy with electricity.