Doing Business In Iraq: Local Business Partner or International Services Provider?

Posted on 23/07/2017

More international companies doing business in Iraq are turning to an experienced in-country business partner on the ground rather than an international services provider. For multinational companies eager for more efficient processes and to be up and running at optimal production as soon as possible, a local business partner in Iraq is increasingly the go-to option over their international service provider counterparts.


Here are the five main areas where reputable, experienced local agencies excel over non-localised international staffing consultancies:


1. Onboarding of expat employees within Iraq

International organisations operating in Iraq need talent in the right areas to ensure success, which may require mobilisation of non-Iraqi nationals. A local Iraqi business partner with pedigree has the requisite knowledge and experience in the hiring and onboarding process to promptly meet this need.

An international staffing agency is not able to provide 24/7 support from the ground whilst also providing accurate advice when and where needed. They are always more expensive than their local counterpart. Much of this cost goes towards working with a local partner themselves. In addition to all this, there is also the risk that they are not compliant, as they may lack requisite permits and registrations.


2. All in one integrated services provider

Managing mobilisation, including immigration, payroll, travel, insurance and tax compliance can be a minefield for your company without a responsive, knowledgeable partner.

A local, reputable Iraqi agent with experience helping international corporations is undoubtedly best placed to fill this role. They are equipped to comprehensively address all your needs without outsourcing tasks and roles to third parties.


3. On-the-ground in-country support team

Many international staffing agencies do not have a presence within the country, or if they do, it is minimal. An international organisation that wants efficient results benefits greatest from a business partner with a 24/7 support team on the ground in Iraq, preferably with an office in each of the important cities around the country.

This aids in speed of action, turnaround times on every area of business pertinent to company objectives within the country and ease of doing business. By comparison, an offshore international services provider is unlikely to be as responsive, effective or as accurate with advice and information on areas to do with taxes, labour regulations and security updates.


4. Fluent English and native local languages speakers

A first-class local agency is staffed by Iraqi professionals who speak the local languages of Arabic and Kurdish. Not only do they speak the local languages, but they know the colloquialisms and Iraqi country-specific particulars of the languages - something that goes a long way to building strong in-country relationships on your behalf.

The local agent of choice should also offer fluent business English, to ensure smooth communication with you, their client, and with expat workers from other countries who use English as the language of international communication.


5. Intimate knowledge of Iraqi business culture, laws and customs

Local agencies with Iraqi national employees are best placed to offer you an efficient service through an intimate knowledge of local business culture, laws, customs and social mores. This is much more important than many companies consider it to be - a failure to understand “the way things are done” in a specific culture can be a recipe for disaster, or at best, diminished results.

A local business agent in Iraq with Iraqi national professionals acts as the perfect bridge to ensure smooth operations.



Why Choose MSELECT as your local agency when doing business in Iraq?


MSELECT has over six years’ experience helping international organisations to optimize their operations in Iraq.


For international organisations

To name just a few international clients, we work directly with BP, ExxonMobil, Gazprom, Chevron, Weatherford, Schlumberger, Shell and many more international corporations. We deliver solutions in staffing and ground mobility nationwide across Iraq, working from our numerous offices. We are also constantly in close contact with our considerable network across the country.


For international staffing agencies

We also provide support to international staffing agencies who need an experienced, professional local partner to carry out in-country work on the ground.


The Iraqi business landscape is ever-changing and we take pride in our commitment to staying ahead of the curve. This allows us to maintain our commitment to excellence in service.


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