Youth policy dialogue to improve Iraq’s business ecosystem

17 May 2023
ITC News

The International Trade Centre sets forth recommendations for a conducive business environment in which young entrepreneurs can thrive, saying structural changes are needed.

Youth entrepreneurs working in agriculture, business support organizations including start-up incubators, international organizations and government representatives convened in Baghdad to encourage informed policymaking for a stronger entrepreneurship ecosystem in Iraq.

The Youth Policy Dialogue discussed the findings of the Youth Barometer Report published by the International Trade Centre last year, which analysed youth perspectives to employment and entrepreneurship in Iraq. In addition, case studies of young entrepreneurs helped identify policy priorities and actions to address the challenges that young entrepreneurs face when setting up a business.

The participants developed recommendations for improving access to finance, market access, business registration, education and collaboration between the public and private sector. More concretely, they focused on opening bank accounts, cheaper banking services, lower loan interest rates, as well as a streamlining offline and online business registration of small businesses in Iraqi governorates, and regular exchanges on platforms used by all ecosystem stakeholders.

These aspects will be presented and discussed in further detail in the second edition of the Youth Barometer Report, to be published later this year.

The Youth Policy Dialogue was organized under the International Trade Centre's "Strengthening the agriculture and agri-food value chain and improving trade policy in Iraq" (SAAVI) project, funded by the European Union..



The “Strengthening the agriculture and agri-food value chain and improving trade policy in Iraq” (or SAAVI) project focuses on the development and implementation of sector strategies for high-potential products, as well as on defining market-oriented policies to improve predictability and efficiency in the business environment. SAAVI also helps enhance Iraq’s trade policy and supports the country in its WTO accession process.

SAAVI is implemented under the leadership of the Government of Iraq through the Ministry of Planning, Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Trade. The project is part of the Agri-food Business Development Programme, funded by the European Union (EU).