The macro-economic situation in Iraq is positive for international investors. The country's tax and legal regime is liberal and modern, with companies subject to a flat 15% profits tax and no limits on foreign ownership (apart from banks and real estate) or repatriation of profits. Inflation is in the 4-7% range; the Iraqi dinar is the only free-floathing currency in the Gulf and since 2003 has strengthened against the US dollar, underpinned by increasing oil exports; the country's foreign currency reserves and dollar-denominated development funds are valued at nearly $48 billion; and GDP growth is among the highest in the world at approximately 6%.

Oil is Iraq's main industry. At 115bn barrels Iraq's current proven reserves rank the third largest in the world, behind those of Saudi Arabia and Iran. Iraq's reserves are subject to dramatic upward revision in coming years as significant exploration recommences after a hiatus of almost thirty years. Existing fields will become much larger with the application of the technological advances of the last generation, and large parts of the country that have never been explored are now believed to possess very meaningful reserves of oil. At US$2 to US$4 per barrel, the cost of extraction in Iraq is among the lowest in the world. Currently, Iraq produces a little more than two million barrels per day and has ambitious plans to increase production within a decade to a level of 6 million bbl per day or more. Additionally, Iraq boasts gas deposits of between 275 and 300 trillion cubic feet. Because of underinvestment in gas infrastructure, about 60% of the natural gas being produced in Iraqi fields is currently flared. With technical expertise and capital investment, the opportunity to increase output and associated revenues rapidly is immense.