According to a recent report issued by London’s Center for Economics and Business research CEBR and the ICAEW, growth in foreign direct investment FDI to Iraq, Iran, Egypt Lebanon and Jordan is expected to surpass the expansion of flows to the Gulf Cooperation Council by 2019. The report focused on the GCC countries UAE, Bahrain, KSA, Oman Qatar and Kuwait in addition to Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Jordan and Lebanon referred to as GCC+5.
The report highlighted that regardless of their volatile economies, Iraq, Iran and Egypt are attractive mainly due to the large number of potential consumers they represent.
In fact, commodities form more than half of the total goods exports by value for most nations in the Middle East. In Iraq, the total is as high as 99.2%, and several other export industries have been interrupted due to continuous violence. Moreover, despite the ongoing violence, the Iraqi economic growth is forecasted to increase to 6.5% this year and reach up to 8.6% by 2016. Ever since the fall of the Saddam Hussein regime in 2003, western and Asian oil companies have not ceased to compete over profitable energy contracts.