Iraq Opens for Business

This week's U.S.-Iraq Business and Investment Conference was evidently a little like the Iraqi version of The Apprentice, as engineers, hotel architects, and database managers competed for attention from the governors of all 18 Iraqi provinces in the basement of a Washington hotel. As American troops trickle out of the country, Monocle reports that business ventures—including the construction of several five-star hotels and 500,000 new housing units nationwide—are drifting in. Investment opportunities are also making a comeback: the IMF is nearing a loan deal with Baghdad and the U.S. Export-Import Bank is expected to adjust a pessimistic risk rating, which will allow financing for American companies in Iraq.