Day by Day

Saturday, September 27, 2003

Consumerism comes to Baghdad:

When Massoud Mazouri learned that the U.S.-led coalition had ousted Saddam Hussein from power on April 9, he hurried to Baghdad from his home in northern Iraq to set up an electronics business.

Now the 28-year-old Kurdish merchant is selling televisions and satellite receivers at a brisk pace to gadget-starved shoppers. It's among the first signs that Iraq's larger economy is coming to life.

Iraq's new finance minister, Kamil Mubdir al-Gailani, announced sweeping economic changes this week that will allow foreign ownership of companies in every industry except oil and other natural resources. The 25-member Iraqi Governing Council hopes that Iraq's 24 million people will be an attractive market and workforce for global businesses willing to invest in the country.
Influx of goods, cash puts Iraqis in buying mood Hoarded dollars, U.S.-paid wages go for once-unobtainable items


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