Iraq: Growth recovery despite structural woes

Date: Aug 2019

New Country Views

Iraq:

Growth recovery despite structural woes 

  • Higher oil output should boost growth, but structural vulnerabilities, particularly high unemployment and a growing population, are being left unattended by the absence of any major legislative action.
  • The faltering of the Southern Iraq Integrated Project (SIIP) with US energy giant ExxonMobil reflects some of Iraq’s problems that need to be addressed.
  • Leaders in Baghdad and the Kurdistan regional capital Erbil have opened a fresh round of talks to resolve disputes over oil and territory, as new administrations in both cities look to reset their relationship.

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New Country Views

Can Tunisia turn a corner

under a new president? 

  • The death of Tunisia’s first democratically elected president, Beji Caid Essebsi, has brought forward elections to 15 September. These should cement the country’s status as the only democracy to remain from the 2010-2012 Arab Spring revolts.
  • Many political conflicts are unresolved, stifling economic reform. These include a vacant Constitutional Court and debilitating political tensions among the country’s three largest parties.
  • The first task of the new president should be to put the brakes on a potential economic crisis of declining GDP per person. Dinar appreciation and slower growth in Tunisia’s main trading partners are likely to weigh on the outlook, despite higher tourism and FDI.

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