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Formerly part of the Ottoman Empire, Iraq was occupied by Britain during the course of World War I; in 1920, it was declared a League of Nations mandate under UK administration. In stages over the next dozen years, Iraq attained its independence as a kingdom in 1932. A "republic" was proclaimed in 1958, but in actuality a series of strongmen ruled the country until 2003. The last was SADDAM Husayn. Territorial disputes with Iran led to an inconclusive and costly eight-year war (1980-88). In August 1990, Iraq seized Kuwait but was expelled by US-led, UN coalition forces during the Gulf War of January-February 1991. Following Kuwait's liberation, the UN Security Council (UNSC) required Iraq to scrap all weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles and to allow UN verification inspections. Continued Iraqi noncompliance with UNSC resolutions over a period of 12 years led to the US-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 and the ouster of the SADDAM Husayn regime. US forces remained in Iraq under a UNSC mandate through 2009 and under a bilateral security agreement thereafter, helping to provide security and to train and mentor Iraqi security forces. In October 2005, Iraqis approved a constitution in a national referendum and, pursuant to this document, elected a 275-member Council of Representatives (COR) in December 2005. The COR approved most cabinet ministers in May 2006, marking the transition to Iraq's first constitutional government in nearly a half century. In January 2009, Iraq held elections for provincial councils in all governorates except for the three governorates comprising the Kurdistan Regional Government and Kirkuk Governorate. Iraq held a national legislative election in March 2010 - choosing 325 legislators in an expanded COR - and, after nine months of deadlock the COR approved the new government in December 2010. Nearly nine years after the start of the Second Gulf War in Iraq, US military operations there ended in mid-December 2011.


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Economy - overview
An improving security environment and foreign investment are helping to spur economic activity, particularly in the energy, construction, and retail sectors. Broader economic development, long-term fiscal health, and sustained improvements in the overall standard of living still depend on the central government passing major policy reforms. Iraq's largely state-run economy is dominated by the oil sector, which provides more than 90% of government revenue and 80% of foreign exchange earnings. Since mid-2009, oil export earnings have returned to levels seen before Operation Iraqi Freedom. As global oil prices remained high for much of 2011, government revenues increased accordingly. For 2012, Iraq's draft budget forecasts oil exports of 2.6 million barrels per day (bbl/day), a significant increase from Iraq's average of 2.2 million bbl/day in 2011. Iraq's contracts with major oil companies have the potential to further expand oil revenues, but Iraq will need to make significant upgrades to its oil processing, pipeline, and export infrastructure to enable these deals to reach their economic potential. Iraq is making slow progress enacting laws and developing the institutions needed to implement economic policy, and political reforms are still needed to assuage investors' concerns regarding the uncertain business climate. The government of Iraq is eager to attract additional foreign direct investment, but it faces a number of obstacles including a tenuous political system and concerns about security and societal stability. Rampant corruption, outdated infrastructure, insufficient essential services, and antiquated commercial laws stifle investment and continue to constrain growth of private, nonoil sectors. In 2010, Baghdad signed agreements with both the IMF and World Bank for conditional aid programs designed to help strengthen Iraq's economic institutions. Iraq is considering a package of laws to establish a modern legal framework for the oil sector and a mechanism to equitably divide oil revenues within the nation, although these reforms are still under contentious and sporadic negotiation. Political and economic tensions between Baghdad and local governments have led some provincial councils to use their budgets to independently promote and facilitate investment at the local level. The Central Bank has successfully held the exchange rate at about 1,170 Iraqi dinar/US dollar since January 2009. Inflation has remained under control since 2006 as security improved. However, Iraqi leaders remain hard pressed to translate macroeconomic gains into an improved standard of living for the Iraqi populace. Unemployment remains a problem throughout the country. Encouraging private enterprise through deregulation would make it easier for both Iraqi citizens and foreign investors to start new businesses. Rooting out corruption and implementing reforms - such as bank restructuring and developing the private sector - would be important steps in this direction.

Gdp (purchasing power parity) World Ranking: 62
$129.3 billion (2011 est.)
$117.6 billion (2010 est.)
$116.6 billion (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp (official exchange rate)
$115.4 billion (2011 est.)

Gdp - real growth rate World Ranking: 7
9.9% (2011 est.)
0.8% (2010 est.)
4.2% (2009 est.)

Gdp - per capita (ppp) World Ranking: 162
$3,900 (2011 est.)
$3,700 (2010 est.)
$3,700 (2009 est.)
Note Data are in 2011 US dollars

Gdp - composition by sector
Agriculture 9.7%
Industry 60.5%
Services 29.8% (2011 est.)

Labor force World Ranking: 53
8.9 million (2010 est.)

Labor force - by occupation
Agriculture 21.6%
Industry 18.7%
Services 59.8% (2008 est.)

Unemployment rate World Ranking: 147
15% (2010 est.)
15.3% (2009 est.)

Population below poverty line
25% (2008 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share
Lowest 10% 3.6%
Highest 10% 25.7% (2007 est.)

Investment (gross fixed) World Ranking: 148
10.1% of GDP (2011 est.)

Revenues $69.2 billion
Expenditures $82.6 billion (2011 est.)

Taxes and other revenues World Ranking: 10
60% of GDP (2011 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) World Ranking: 202
-11.6% of GDP (2011 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices) World Ranking: 143
5.6% (2011 est.)
2.4% (2010 est.)

Central bank discount rate World Ranking: 47
6% (December 2011)
6.5% (31 December 2010 est.)

Commercial bank prime lending rate World Ranking: 139
14.13% (31 December 2011 est.)
6% (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of narrow money World Ranking: 45
$53.52 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$44.22 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of broad money World Ranking: 66
$61.81 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$51.61 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Stock of domestic credit World Ranking: 138
$1.779 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$1.727 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares World Ranking: 93
$4 billion (9 December 2011)
$2.6 billion (31 July 2010)
$2 billion (31 July 2009 est.)

Agriculture - products
Wheat, barley, rice, vegetables, dates, cotton; cattle, sheep, poultry

Petroleum, chemicals, textiles, leather, construction materials, food processing, fertilizer, metal fabrication/processing

Industrial production growth rate World Ranking: 68
4.8% (2010 est.)

Electricity - production World Ranking: 49
48.96 billion kWh (2010 est.)

Electricity - consumption World Ranking: 44
55.66 billion kWh (2010 est.)

Electricity - exports
0 kWh (2011 est.)

Electricity - imports
6.7 billion kWh (2010 est.)

Oil - production World Ranking: 9
2.642 million bbl/day (2011 est.)

Oil - consumption World Ranking: 26
694,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - exports World Ranking: 7
2.17 million bbl/day (2011 est.)

Oil - imports World Ranking: 43
231,200 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - proved reserves World Ranking: 5
115 billion bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural gas - production World Ranking: 62
1.3 billion cu m (2010 est.)

Natural gas - consumption World Ranking: 86
1.3 billion cu m
1.48 billion cu m were flared (2010 est.)

Natural gas - exports World Ranking: 117
0 cu m (2010 est.)

Natural gas - imports World Ranking: 207
0 cu m (2010 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves World Ranking: 11
3.17 trillion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current account balance World Ranking: 19
$21.76 billion (2011 est.)
$2.096 billion (2010 est.)

Exports World Ranking: 47
$82.77 billion (2011 est.)
$51.76 billion (2010 est.)

Exports - commodities
Crude oil 84%, crude materials excluding fuels, food and live animals

Exports - partners
US 23.3%, India 19.2%, China 14%, South Korea 12.2%, Japan 5%, Netherlands 4.5% (2011)

Imports World Ranking: 53
$53.93 billion (2011 est.)
$43.92 billion (2010 est.)

Imports - commodities
Food, medicine, manufactures

Imports - partners
Turkey 25%, Syria 18.1%, China 11.5%, US 7.3%, South Korea 4.6% (2011)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold World Ranking: 31
$58.96 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$48.61 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Debt - external World Ranking: 57
$50.79 billion (31 December 2011 est.)
$52.58 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Exchange rates
Iraqi dinars (IQD) per US dollar -
1,170 (2011 est.)
1,170 (2010 est.)
1,170 (2009)
1,176 (2008)
1,255 (2007)

Fiscal year
Calendar year


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  Iraq (Baghdad):

  GPS points from Iraq (Baghdad)

Kolitan-e Khwaru Muhafazat As Sulaymaniyah

`ati Haji `alwan Muhafazat Al Qadisiyah

Mahmudi As Sulaymaniyah

Gird Goran Muhafazat Arbil

Mashir Al Mazhar Muhafazat An Najaf

Al Bu Hubail Maysan

Khuran As Sulaymaniyah
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