Sunday, July 06, 2003


They are aided by Mr. Bremer's decision to temporarily eliminate import duties and sales taxes.

Let them experience the miracle of free market policies...
While few import barriers mean "we sell and we put the money in our pocket," says Abu Rivan, "I'd prefer laws. At the moment, anybody can sell, import or buy."

Competition has led him to lower the price of a 20cm Samsung TV to US$180 from US$260 initially.

Lawlessness also hits traders at home. Sherko Abdelrahman, a 32-year-old importer of electrical parts, woke up one night to find his wife in tears as vandals threw stones at his door. No harm was done, but Abdelrahman keeps a gun at home.

Power shortages compound the trouble. While Abdelrahman has sold 350 generators in just 20 days because of the heat -- 45 degrees Celsius at midday, on average -- and boosted their price to US$130 from US$85 amid growing demand, he says he longs for the day when he can go back to selling large electric circuits to factories.

"God willing, electricity will come," Abdelrahman says as he stuffs licenses for the Syrian and Lebanese borders in his pocket.

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