Traditionally, Iraq’s oil sector has been the major contributor to foreign exchange (up to 95%). The country went through a strong financial crisis in the 1980s, during its eight-year war with Iran. The latter destroyed much of Iraq’s oil reserves resulting in strict measures and enormous international loans. The Iraqi economy lost US$100 billion worth of assets during those turbulent times. It was only in 1988 that peace was restored leading to increase in oil exports. New pipelines were constructed and infrastructure was improved to some extent. The economy once again plunged due to a serious financial crisis and the invasion in Kuwait while repaying war debts. In 2004, 80% of Iraq’s $42 billion debt was written off by the Paris Club of creditor nations. Reconstruction efforts are in place with the help of international aid.
GDP (purchasing power parity) fluctuated as follows from 2007 to 2009:
GDP - real growth rate:
5.8% (2009 est.)
7.8% (2008 est.)
1.5% (2007 est.)