The Governments of the United States and Iraq Work to Create a Business-Friendly Environment
February 19, 2013
On February 16, 2013, the U.S. Embassy, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and working with the Government of Iraq (GOI) and private sector leaders, launched the second phase of the Iraqi Solutions for Administrative and Regulatory Reform (ISRAR) project at Nahrain University. The Chairman of the Prime Minister’s Advisory Council Dr. Thamer Al Ghadhban, and the USAID Iraq Mission Director, Thomas Staal, attended the event.
ISRAR seeks to create a diversified, competitive economy in Iraq that attracts investment and creates jobs by simplifying and eliminating regulations that hinder economic growth, particularly in the areas of business start-up, construction permits, and import-export licensing. USAID Mission Director Thomas Staal highlighted the importance of ISRAR stating that, “What we see here today is an important step in U.S.-Iraq cooperation to help Iraq create a business-friendly environment that facilitates private-sector economic growth and job creation.” Dr. Ghadhban said, “ISRAR is a national project and all efforts should be exerted to ensure its success and this success will raise Iraq’s economic status in the world.”
In November, ISRAR unveiled a first set of 133 specific recommendations to streamline business in Iraq and in turn improve Iraq’s rank in the World Bank Doing Business Report. The ISRAR recommendations will reduce the time needed to register a business from 74 days to 4 days. The Ministry of Trade began implementing several ISRAR recommendations and eliminated specific unnecessary regulations. ISRAR estimates the Iraqi economy will save over $1 billion over the next five years if all recommendations are implemented. ISRAR is part of the U.S. Embassy’s efforts to help Iraq increase economic opportunity and prosperity for all its people, as outlined in the Strategic Framework Agreement.