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Iraq economy has ‘opportunity’ after war and recovering oil prices

Sarmad Khan writes for The National:

While war-torn Iraq has turned a page after battling ISIS and a recovery in oil prices from a three-year slump provides impetus to move forward, the country still needs to address economic challenges, according to the International Monetary Fund.

The near-term vulnerabilities in Iraq subsided last year with a build-up in central bank reserves but the postwar reconstruction is limited and control on spending will curtail the country’s economic growth markedly, said the IMF.

“The end of the war with ISIS and a rebound in oil prices provide an opportunity to rebuild the country and address long-standing socio-economic needs. However, the challenges to achieving these objectives are formidable,” said IMF’s Gavin Gray, who led a consultation to the Iraqi government. “Combating corruption is critical to promote the effectiveness of public institutions and to support private-sector investment and job creation.”

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