IFC's strategy in Iraq focuses on supporting the development of the nation’s private sector, with a special emphasis on increasing trade and improving access to finance for micro, small, and medium enterprises. Over the next few years, IFC is planning to step up its investment and advisory services in the country. We expect to invest $100-130 million per year, depending on the security situation, in priority sectors such as infrastructure and financial markets.
IFC's investments in Iraq focus on developing the banking, logistics, telecom and hotel sectors. Between 2011 and 2012, our commitments reached almost $500 million, including mobilization of $245 million. Those were largely in the in manufacturing, infrastructure, and financial markets sectors. Our current investment portfolio stands at $255 million. IFC investments in Iraq include:
A $50 million loan to Lafarge, a cement and construction material supplier, to support its cement subsidiary in Northern Iraq. The loan will help increase the supply of quality cement and reduce the acute domestic supply gap.
A landmark $400 million, seven-year debt facility for Zain Iraq, the country’s largest mobile phone operator. It will encourage economic growth and expand access to telecommunications services in Iraq.
A $45 million loan Gulftainer to support the development of infrastructure and logistics projects in Iraq.
IFC Advisory Services
IFC is active in providing advisory services to local businesses. We have:
Launched a $38 million multi-donor facility (involving the United States, United Kingdom, Spain, and Japan) to support capacity building in the banking sector, promote public-private partnerships in collaboration with the World Bank, and provide management training to the leaders of small and medium enterprises, especially women.
Helped Relief International scale up its outreach to micro and small business entrepreneurs in Iraq.