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Iraq's big rebuilding project

Damage to the country has been severe. The recovery needs lots of money and willing investors

It has been a brutal 15 years for Iraq since the US-led invasion. Now, as the country heads towards parliamentary elections in May, its politicians believe Opec's second-biggest oil producer is entering a new phase of growth and rehabilitation. Green shoots are cropping up. The IMF, which in 2016 began a string of loans to Iraq amounting to $18bn, says the country's GDP will rise by 3% this year, following a contraction in 2017. Higher oil prices and exports are helping. Iraq's budget this year envisages a $20bn deficit. But its oil-price assumption is a modest $44 a barrel. If international prices hold around the $70/b level reached in early April-and Iraq keeps exporting at about 3.4m bar

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