Iraq Business Perspectives (Part 2): Iraq’s Untapped Financial Market & Iraqisation


In the second part of our series on Iraq’s business environment and investment climate, we hear more diverse views from two professionals working in different sectors, providing a detailed overview of the challenges and opportunities in Iraq in 2019 and beyond, from the macroeconomic level to local challenges issues.
Our first guest contributor is Bartle Bull, co-founder of Northern Gulf Partners, a frontier market investment bank and Portfolio Manager of their Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) fund Iraq Investment Partners I (IIPI). He extols the potential gains from investing in Iraq, as a vast influx of oil revenue leads to colossal expansion from a low base in sectors such as telecoms and consumer goods.
In the energy sector, Andy Lenihan, Senior Consultant at Turner & Townsend discusses the challenges of delivering services to major international oil companies, in the complex operating environment of southern Iraq. He describes the importance of a solid, long term localisation strategy.
For Patient Investors, Iraq Represents Vast, Untapped Potential
Bartle Bull, Founder, Northern Gulf Partners
Iraq is potentially one of the richest countries on earth, and one of the fastest growing important economies in the world. Iraq is the world’s fourth largest oil producer and number two in OPEC. Of these, it’s the only producer with a realistic likelihood of doubling its production over the coming decade. The inbound investment for this alone will be north of $150b.
Iraq’s greatest resource is its population of 38 million, 65% below the age of 25. Iraqis, famously well-educated, are tough, resourceful, and enterprising. The entrepreneurialism is amazing—we see this sophisticated, globally connected, youthful population designing apps, starting thriving retail businesses, launching IT incubators. Baghdad feels like the…

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