Iraq is virtually a greenfield market for franchisers. Demand for US products and services continue to rise as GDP increases steadily. Per capita GDP increased by 7% in 2011, and national GDP is expected to increase by 10% through 2016. In the northern region of Iraq, the forecast is even brighter: GDP per capita increased by 40% as compared to the national average. With increased disposable income throughout the country, and improved commercial laws and regulations, Iraq is an up and coming market ripe with franchise opportunities.

Major public and private infrastructure projects continue to drive Iraq’s growth and investment potential. Newly constructed shopping malls, commercial centers, and residential buildings have opened new opportunities for private sector expansion. The existence of franchises in Iraq like Pizza Hut, Ace Hardware, Carrefour, Fatburger, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, and Chester Chicken are paving the way for future franchisers as well as non-food products from Levi’s to Ford cars. There is a large and growing Iraqi/American community in both countries and a shared history with a keen interest in US products. Wealthy private sector investors in Iraq are eager to be involved in these opportunities.

Iraq’s National Investment Commission, in cooperation with the Department of Commerce (US Commercial Service and the Commercial Law Development Program), invite US companies looking to expand to Iraq to meet with potential franchisees. Take advantage of this opportunity to discover the franchising potential of Iraq, one of the Middle East’s most exciting franchising markets. Through the support of the National Investment Commission, US Franchisors will be provided meals, lodging and ground transportation in secure locations. Along with VIP treatment courtesy of the Government of Iraq, some of the many benefits of the franchising program include:

  • Attend customized one-on-one meetings with key partners and potential franchisees;
  • Assess the culture and market opportunities first hand;
  • Connect with Iraq’s premier private sector
  • Provided free meals and lodging

Join the Department of Commerce and the National Investment Corporation of Iraq on a franchise trade mission:

Where: Baghdad, Iraq with spinoff to Erbil on March 20,21

When: March 18-19, 2014

Why: To discover partnership opportunities with potential investors and key partners.

Cost: The National Investment Commission will sponsor all lodging, ground transportation, security, program fees, and provide exclusive treatment for participating businesses in the secure International Zone of Baghdad, Iraq. Participants must make their own flight arrangements to Baghdad, Iraq and obtain a valid Iraqi Visa.

Application Deadline: February 7, 2014

For more information, and to register your interest in the program, please fill out the form here.

If you have additional questions please contact Elizabeth Graham at Elizabeth.Graham@trade.gov; 817-684-5350 or Jennifer Loffredo at Jennifer.Loffredo@trade.gov; 248-452-2254.