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Economic Growth and Trade

Man giving job skills training to 4 youth in Iraq
Business skills training at the USAID-supported Anbar Small Business Development Center. USAID provides skills training to Iraqi youth to improve their job prospects.
Louis Berger/USAID Tijara Provincial Economic Growth Project

The Iraqi economy is evolving from one controlled almost entirely by the government to one that is more free-market and private-sector oriented. Although the oil sector and the government still dominate the Iraqi economy, broad-based economic growth driven by a strong private sector is vital to creating jobs, alleviating poverty and promoting stability.

USAID works with Iraqi partners to facilitate access to credit to borrowers of all income levels and backgrounds. We work with the government to reform economic and commercial policies that will encourage investment and attract foreign trade. And we are helping to strengthen Iraqi business groups to fortify advocacy for the private sector and improve business education to meet international accreditation standards.

Our impacts in this sector include:

  • Supporting small business development centers that provide Iraqi entrepreneurs with training and referrals to USAID-supported microfinance institutions that have disbursed more than $808 million in microloans in the country’s 18 provinces since 2004.
  • Establishing the Iraqi Company for Bank Guarantees that encourages private banks to lend to small- and medium-sized enterprises by partially guaranteeing the loans they disburse. Sixteen member banks approved and disbursed more than 2,130 loan guarantees totaling $28 million.
  • Helping the Central Bank of Iraq to establish a credit bureau, a training institute for bank employees, a national retail payments system that will allow banks to send funds electronically and establish remote ATMs, and a centralized data repository that collects bank information for the purposes of supervision.


Last updated: March 01, 2016

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