Iraq modern labor law and private sector development

Chamber Trade had a unique opportunity to do a seminar and workshop in Baghdad the first week of September, with its partner, the Private Sector Development Center (PSDC) and its members. It was an impressive crowd of chamber and business representatives which came from many regions in Iraq to Baghdad to join in the seminar, which was hosted at the Swedish Embassy. Needless to say, the private sector in Iraq is suffering at the moment, but it is determined to rise and create jobs and growth outside the oil sector.  One important focus of the seminar was on labor market regulation which is of special importance for the growth of small businesses in the private sector. Small business will not dare to employ if it is too bureaucratic and costly. In Iraq there are at the moment more immediate critical issues which hinder private businesses to grow like security, availability of skilled labor, access to finance and the public sector crowding out the private. The Iraq parliament is however drafting a new labor law for the private sector and thus the urgency for the business in Iraq to give input to a future efficient labor law. Our workshop also focused on building economic and market intelligence services. It was especially encouraging to have several talented business women participating in our seminar. In fact, Iraq women may have the potential to become the backbone of diversifying the economy and private sector development, complementing the oil industry.

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