Restoring Balance in a Post-Conflict Society
Chapter 12: International trade and finance
Iraq’s international trade and capital flows exhibit four salient characteristics. First, reflecting its long history as a major trading route between Europe and Asia; the Iraqi economy is dominated by international merchandise trade. Combined with its $53.9 billion in merchandise imports, Iraq’s $73.4 billion in merchandise exports produced an estimated 2011 foreign trade to GDP ratio of 117 percent. There are few countries in the world at any level of economic development whose economies are so dominated by international merchandise trade. Since they exclude smuggling, the official statistics understate the actual value of trade. Second, Iraq is more dependent on the export of a single natural resource than any other country in the world. Oil accounted for almost 99 percent of the country’s 2011 estimated $78.4 billion in merchandise exports.
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