If Iraq can attract foreign investment and revive its petroleum industry, it stands to become the most advanced Arab country, claim Bloomberg editors.
U.S. President Barack Obama and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki had many important issues to discuss yesterday in Washington: the impending withdrawal of the last U.S. troops from Iraq, the fragility of democracy there, the looming presence of Iran on its border and so on.
But an item further down the agenda may well be the most important factor in Iraq's future: oil.
Iraq possesses the fourth largest proven oil reserves on the planet. That treasure once made the country one of the most economically developed in the region. If it can re-energize its petroleum industry, Iraq, with its emerging democracy, can become the most advanced nation in the Arab world.