Membership tenders are considered the top cause of

Membership in Business Associations
on Par With Other Countries



Respondents tend to feel that the
business group of people at large can be effectual in influence administration
policies, and an rising proportion trust business organizations or chamber of
commerce to stand for their interests or give services for their member. As in
many other countries, business family members are affected by the problem. Many
businesspeople in Iraq benefit from business friendship activities and support
without having to join for myself.

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Fourteen percent of the overall
example says they belong to a business organization, similar to association
levels in other countries where business association membership is voluntary,
including ,  Bulgaria , the Philippines,
Poland and the United States. Most Iraqi businesses that report membership
belong to provincial chambers of commerce, followed by the Federation of
Industries, the Iraqi Business Union, and others.

There has been a marked increase
from 2004 and 2007 in the percentage of businesspeople who believe there are
active business associations in Iraq that have a significant role in
communicating the needs of the Iraqi business sector to the Iraqi government
(from no more than 10 percent to 25 percent today). This percentage is even
higher among registered businesses (35 percent) and in areas that are better
integrated economically and politically in the new Iraq, such as Baghdad and
Basra. Businesses in Unbar province are the least positive in their views.


See Many Roots of Corruption


A majority of businesses names
corruption as the most important factors hinder the enlargement of the Iraqi
business sector, followed by communications weakness, lack of narrow
enforcement, and difficulty in obtain loans. A weak legal system, and weak role
for public opinion and the media in confront corruption, a lack of clearness
underdevelopment in government regulations, and government participation in
bribery and special tenders are considered the top cause of dishonesty.

While businesspeople are worried
about dishonesty, they do not seem to think it is a lost cause. A majority says
that it is a important problem and more needs to be done to combat it. Eight
percent say it is a problem but Iraqi businesses can become accustomed. A
quarter feels that it is such a serious problem that there are no adequate
procedures to combat it.

Government contracting is one area
where businesses perceive a high level of illegal activity. A majority says the
previous government lacked transparency in contract grant, and a plurality
expects the new government will behave the same way.

Seven in 10 name the High charge for
Integrity and the medium as the two bodies best located to address corruption,
followed by the creation of a shade government and pressure from foreign
governments. Very few think that business relations are able to effectively
address dishonesty.


Conclusions and Recommendations


While an enhanced security situation
is helping to stimulate optimism among Iraqi businesses, sustained problems
with basic services, communications, corruption and a technical regulatory
system are obstacle to future development.

Most businesspeople lack
self-assurance in government efforts to assist business development and promote
Iraqi business interests. To turn this sight around, the government should
address shortcoming in the enforcement of regulations, help to advance
international trade, take measures to combat corruption and improve service


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