Marketing in Iraq Market
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To export a product, it is necessary to obtain the necessary licenses and standards by the laws of each country. In some country, for example, the Trade Development Organization has banned the export of goods to Iraq without affixing a Latin or Arabic label. The Iraqi Standardization Institute has also enacted the same law for sending Iranian goods to this country, like Iran, so that all goods with two Latin and Arabic labels can be exported to this country.
It should be noted that if the exported goods meet the above conditions and are not accepted by the Iraqi customs, the relevant authorities will prevent them from entering the country, which could cause irreparable damage to exporters and producers.
Iran's border with Iraq has several formal and informal gates through which most exports take place. However, part of the exports to this country also come from informal sources as well as informal markets and passages. Some of the country's customs are for the Kurdistan region and others are better for export to central or southern Iraq. Among the important customs in trade with Iraq are the following:
- Bashmaq Customs in Marivan
- Parviz Khan Customs in Qasr Shirin
- Mehran Customs in Ilam
- Arvandkenar Customs
- Tamerchin customs in Piranshahr
- Commercial Customs
- Khosravi Customs in Qasr Shirin
- Shalamcheh Customs
Arabic and Kurdish are the official languages of Iraq, with Kurdish spoken in the north and Arabic in the central and southern regions. Trade with this country requires mastery of one of these two official languages. Eastern neighbor has different subcultures, religions, and denominations. Therefore, raising public information and familiarity with its political, social, and cultural conditions is necessary for Iranian businessmen.
What are the problems of exporting to Iraq?
Although trade with Iraq has always had a significant profit margin for foreign traders, its special circumstances, including instability, ethnic and religious diversity, and special geographical conditions, require it to take steps with a little caution.
In the last fifty years Iraq has been one of the most adversely affected countries in the Middle East from political and economic difficulties. All problems occurred in this period, including several wars causing many confusions based on religion, ethnicity and tribes which become obstacles for sustainable development of the country.
Although Iraq tries to build itself from scratch nowadays and wants to integrate in the world by the help of rich resources, political problems and terror are still crucial problems of the country. Iraq is the second largest export market of Turkey and Turkish construction companies have a proactive role in the reconstruction of Iraq. Moreover both countries have mutually beneficial cooperation on energy for delivering Iraq's rich oil and natural gas resources to world markets.
By the end of the Iran-Iraq war in 1988, Iraqi army attacked Kurdish society in Northern Iraq that supported Iran during the war. The cooperation between Saddam Hussein and PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) against other Kurdish parties such as Kurdistan Democratic Party and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, the protection of Kurdish refugees by Turkey, refusal of Turkey the hot pursuit Iraqi Kurdish militants agreement with Baghdad and the “water problem” of Euphrates and Tigris rivers between two countries were major political problems in 1988. Meanwhile, after the Iran-Iraq war, the general economic situation of Iraq was not good.
The foreign debt was over $80 billion by 1988, foreign reserves were drained, development projects were abandoned, more than 20 percent of the labor force of Iraq was working for the army, oil revenue was at minimum level and all valuable things in the country such as large factories in Construction materials and mineral extraction, food processing and light manufacturing and agricultural lands were sold in a frenzy of privatization and the revenue was spent for the needs of the army (Parker and Moore, 2007). Thus; based on all these political and economic problems, 1988 was the break-down year of Turkey and Iraq trade relations.