Iraq flag Iraq: Economic and Political Overview

Foreign trade figures of Iraq

Foreign Trade in Figures

Iraq, the world´s fifth biggest producer and fourth largest exporter of oil, is relatively open to foreign trade, which represents around 62% of the country's GDP (World Bank, latest data available). 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 95% of Iraqi exports whereas petroleum products make up for the rest. Iraq's primary imports include refined petroleum, broadcasting equipment, cars, jewellery, and rolled tobacco (data OEC, 2022).

According to OEC, the country’s main export partners in 2022 were India (USD 38.8 billion), China (USD 34 billion), United States (USD 10.3 billion), South Korea (USD 8.21 billion), and Greece (USD 6.27 billion); whereas imports came chiefly from the United Arab Emirates (USD 21.2 billion), China (USD 14B), Turkey (USD 13.7 billion), India (USD 2.45 billion), and South Korea (USD 1.15 billion). 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, insecurity, high levels of corruption, fragile institutions, lack of legal protections and poorly implemented structural reforms discourage foreign trade.

The country maintains a structural trade surplus for merchandise, largely attributed to its hydrocarbon exports; nevertheless, it remains highly vulnerable to oil price volatility. In 2022, Iraq exported a total of USD 123 billion against USD 67.1 billion in imports (data OEC).

Foreign Trade Values 20192020202120222023
Imports of Goods (million USD) 72,28354,72250,70787,21695,519
Exports of Goods (million USD) 88,90350,61391,514138,291115,952
Imports of Services (million USD) 22,86513,81615,98622,2470
Exports of Services (million USD) 7,3183,8035,1779,0340

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, 2024. Because of rounding, the sum of the percentages may be smaller/greater than 100%.

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Latest Update: April 2024