Iraqi growth to beat mainland's
SHEEL KOHLI in London
China has been beaten by Iraq in forecasts for which will be the fastest growing country this year.
The Middle East country is expected to benefit following the lifting of sanctions on oil exports.
According to the Economist Intelligence Unit's World Outlook 1997, China is forecast to grow by 9.3 per cent, in contrast to 30 per cent growth estimated for Iraq.
The increase for Iraq is from very low levels but has been boosted by agreement at the United Nations to allow a food-for-oil deal.
Under the UN deal, which was agreed in November, US$2 billion of Iraqi oil can be sold over six months to buy food and medicine.
China will see its growth pick up from last year, but gross domestic product growth for Asia and Australasia, excluding Japan, is forecast to slow to 6.5 per cent.
World economic growth is set to stabilise, averaging 2.9 per cent, the same as last year.