Membership in Business Associationson Par With Other Countries Respondents tend to feel that thebusiness group of people at large can be effectual in influence administrationpolicies, and an rising proportion trust business organizations or chamber ofcommerce to stand for their interests or give services for their member. As inmany other countries, business family members are affected by the problem. Manybusinesspeople in Iraq benefit from business friendship activities and supportwithout having to join for myself.Fourteen percent of the overallexample says they belong to a business organization, similar to associationlevels in other countries where business association membership is voluntary,including , Bulgaria , the Philippines,Poland and the United States. Most Iraqi businesses that report membershipbelong to provincial chambers of commerce, followed by the Federation ofIndustries, the Iraqi Business Union, and others.
There has been a marked increasefrom 2004 and 2007 in the percentage of businesspeople who believe there areactive business associations in Iraq that have a significant role incommunicating the needs of the Iraqi business sector to the Iraqi government(from no more than 10 percent to 25 percent today). This percentage is evenhigher among registered businesses (35 percent) and in areas that are betterintegrated economically and politically in the new Iraq, such as Baghdad andBasra. Businesses in Unbar province are the least positive in their views. BusinessesSee Many Roots of Corruption A majority of businesses namescorruption as the most important factors hinder the enlargement of the Iraqibusiness sector, followed by communications weakness, lack of narrowenforcement, and difficulty in obtain loans.
A weak legal system, and weak rolefor public opinion and the media in confront corruption, a lack of clearnessunderdevelopment in government regulations, and government participation inbribery and special tenders are considered the top cause of dishonesty.While businesspeople are worriedabout dishonesty, they do not seem to think it is a lost cause. A majority saysthat it is a important problem and more needs to be done to combat it. Eightpercent say it is a problem but Iraqi businesses can become accustomed. Aquarter feels that it is such a serious problem that there are no adequateprocedures to combat it.Government contracting is one areawhere businesses perceive a high level of illegal activity.
A majority says theprevious government lacked transparency in contract grant, and a pluralityexpects the new government will behave the same way.Seven in 10 name the High charge forIntegrity and the medium as the two bodies best located to address corruption,followed by the creation of a shade government and pressure from foreigngovernments. Very few think that business relations are able to effectivelyaddress dishonesty.
Conclusions and Recommendations While an enhanced security situationis helping to stimulate optimism among Iraqi businesses, sustained problemswith basic services, communications, corruption and a technical regulatorysystem are obstacle to future development.Most businesspeople lackself-assurance in government efforts to assist business development and promoteIraqi business interests. To turn this sight around, the government shouldaddress shortcoming in the enforcement of regulations, help to advanceinternational trade, take measures to combat corruption and improve servicedelivery.