Iraq has recorded the highest percentage of economic growth of all Arab economies in the last few years. It has the fourth-largest oil reserves globally, and is attempting to be one of the biggest oil producers worldwide.

Iraq’s Gross Domestic Product reached 10.5 percent in 2012, the highest percentage in the Middle East, and higher than previous expectations. GDP will grow at an average of at least 9.4 percent annually between 2012 and 2016, says the central bank.

Iraq produced 3.2 million barrels of oil per day in 2012, and output is expected to grow. Iraq’s oil minister last year said he expects production to reach 8 million to 8.5 million barrels per day by 2017.

“Iraq will be the fastest-growing country in the world during 2012 and 2013,” Merrill Lynch said in a report last year. The U.S. bank foresees “a steady 9% growth rate in the Iraqi economy between 2013 and 2017,” and “this growth is ascribed in the first place to the increase in the country’s oil production.”

Over the past decade, Iraq has succeeded in moving ahead with development and reconstruction after the war. While it is slated to be one of the most important economies in the world, there are many abnormalities in its growth due to rampant poverty, corruption, and unfair wealth distribution among its people.