With vast oil and gas reserves, a large well-educated workforce, and about $450bn of major projects planned or underway, there is no doubting the huge potential of the Iraq market for anybody looking for new project opportunities in the Middle East. The reality however is that the country’s vast potential has been undermined for decades by war, insurrection and sanctions, leaving it facing major political, economic and capacity challenges.
An improvement in Iraq’s security situation in 2018 following its “liberation” from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (Isis) in December 2017, combined with an improving economic outlook, gave Iraqis hope that perhaps they could look forward to a period of stability during which they could start rebuilding their country.
But the joint issues of Covid-19 and falling oil prices have created a fiscal crisis as the government struggles to meet its financial commitments. Projects have had to be delayed as Baghdad prioritises social expenditure. At the same time, crude prices around $40 a barrel and OPEC quotas on production have meant that the Oil Ministry has asked the various international oil companies to slow down project expenditure and pare back output, further limiting the projects market.
Like elsewhere in the region, falling state revenues have placed a greater emphasis on bringing greater private sector participation in the projects market either through public-private-partnerships (PPPs) or attracting direct foreign investment in projects.
However, the political and security situation and lack of regulations make the successful implementation of PPP projects extremely challenging no matter what the support. Instead, the projects that are more likely to proceed are those which have funding support from international development banks and funds. Recent successful major projects like the Basra refinery upgrade project are examples where direct foreign funding can provide a way forward for much needed infrastructure development in the country.
Iraq Projects H2 2020 is the update to this year’s popular H1 report. Focused on data, it is aimed at helping companies create strategies for targeting and growing the market. It uses almost exclusively data from www.meedprojects.com, the region’s leading online projects tracking service. With 15,000 active projects tracked and more than 35,000 in total in the database, MEED Projects makes it possible to quantify current, historical and future trends in the projects market in the region.
This analysis module will cover:
- Opportunities and challenges in Iraq’s projects market
- Analysis of the pipeline of planned projects and contract awards
- Key policies and drivers shaping the outlook for projects in Iraq
- Political and economic background
- The barriers and challenges that may arise
- Sector-by-sector breakdown of future project plans
- Key drivers of projects in each sector
- Iraq’s most valuable key projects and major project sponsors