Iraq flag Iraq: Economic and Political Overview

Foreign trade figures of Iraq

Foreign Trade in Figures

Iraq, the world´s seventh biggest producer and exporter of oil, is relatively open to foreign trade, which represented more than 62% of the country's GDP in 2021 (World Bank, 2023). The Iraqi government’s new trade policy aims to integrate the country’s economy into regional and international markets and consequently the country has very few trade barriers. Crude oil accounts for more than 90% of Iraqi exports whereas petroleum products make up for the rest. Gas and other gaseous hydrocarbons are among Iraq's main items of import, followed by tubes and pipes, as well as electrical transformers and cars. The country's main export partners are the United States (25% of total exports), India (14%), China (12%) and South Korea with 9% (Trading Economics, 2023). Others include: Italy, Japan, France and Syria.

Iraq imports was reached 50,706 million USD in 2021, down from 54,723 million USD previous year. Exports from Iraq  reached 78,260 million USD (Knoema, 2023), resulting in a trade balance of + 23,537 million USD. The Iraqi government implemented new laws to strengthen trade and has more recently sought to build a highway between Baghdad and Cairo via Amman to boost trade relations between Iraq, Egypt and Jordan. Iraq has also invested in strengthening its hydrocarbon export capacity, primarily by building a port located in the Persian Gulf. However, on the top of the COVID19 pandemic, insecurity, high levels of corruption, fragile institutions, lack of legal protections and poorly implemented structural reforms discourage foreign trade.

Foreign Trade Values 20182019202020212022
Imports of Goods (million USD) 56,87672,28354,72250,70787,216
Exports of Goods (million USD) 92,83188,90350,61391,514138,291
Imports of Services (million USD) 18,00022,86513,79515,98623,379
Exports of Services (million USD) 5,5717,3183,8035,1776,371

Source: World Trade Organisation (WTO) ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Indicators 20172018201920202021
Foreign Trade (in % of GDP) 59.865.869.057.762.1
Trade Balance (million USD) 25,37447,48432,1685,90238,363
Trade Balance (Including Service) (million USD) 15,15035,05516,620-4,09027,554
Imports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) 10.416.628.4-23.97.7
Exports of Goods and Services (Annual % Change) -
Imports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 25.925.030.930.024.4
Exports of Goods and Services (in % of GDP) 33.940.838.127.837.7

Source: World Bank ; Latest available data

Foreign Trade Forecasts 20232024 (e)2025 (e)2026 (e)2027 (e)
Volume of exports of goods and services (Annual % change)
Volume of imports of goods and services (Annual % change)

Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook ; Latest available data

Note: (e) Estimated Data

International Economic Cooperation
Given its oil potential, Iraq seeks a larger role in Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and to strengthen its ties with its Arab neighbours.
Iraq is a member of the League of Arab States and the Great Arab Free Trade Agreement. In 20013, Iraq ratified a Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) and Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with the European Union in 2012.

To go further, check out our service Import Export Flows.


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Source: United Nations Statistics Division, 2023. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

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Latest Update: December 2023

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