Iraqi News Highlights and Points to Ponder Saturday AM 3-2-24


Iraqi News Highlights and Points to Ponder Saturday AM 3-2-24

Economic: Electronic Payment Will Reduce The Demand For Foreign Currency In Iraq

Economy | 11:30 – 03/02/2024  Mawazine News – Baghdad  Economic expert Khaled Al-Shammari confirmed that electronic payment will increase investment opportunities by depositing money in banks, while he indicated that the ATM card increased to one million cards during this year.

Al-Shammari said in a televised interview followed by Mawazine News, “The process of switching to electronic payment reduces the cash payment of currency and thus reduces the demand for foreign currency and increases confidence in the local currency.”    

He added, “Only about 15% of Iraqis’ cash is deposited in banks,” noting that “the increase in bank deposits is used for investment purposes instead of disappearing among the citizen.” 

Al-Shammari called for “the necessity of setting benefits for the bank deposit process for the purpose of encouraging citizens,” pointing out that “citizens fear hacking and forgery of electronic cards, so it must be directed to adding security elements such as adopting the iris fingerprint.” 

He stated that “the ATM card increased to one million cards during this year, and this indicates an increase in the rates of implementation of the electronic payment system.”

The Central Bank Announces An Increase In The Size Of Its Reserves To More Than 100 Billion Dollars.. What Is The Relationship With Oil?

Economy News – Baghdad  The Central Bank attributed the increase in the Iraqi dollar reserve to the stability of oil export imports, which it said was reflected in financing foreign commercial activity and supporting the dinar.

Deputy Governor of the Bank, Imad Hamad Khalaf, said in press statements followed by Al-Iqtisad News that the Central Bank of Iraq has recorded an increase in its reserves, currently exceeding 100 billion dollars.

Khalaf added, “The stability of Iraqi oil export imports contributed to increasing the cash reserve and was also reflected in financing foreign commercial activity and supporting the dinar.”

Views 137 03/02/2024 –

The Interior Confirms The Move To Address 3 Crimes Harmful To The Iraqi Economy

Posted On03-02-2024 By Sotaliraq  On Friday, the Ministry of the Interior announced the continuation of its campaigns against the crimes of exchange rate speculation, currency counterfeiting, and commodity monopoly.

Director of the Relations and Media Department at the Ministry of Interior, Major General Khaled Al-Mahanna, said, “The campaigns carried out by organized crime units regarding foreign currencies and the monopoly of goods are focused on two directions. The first is arresting entities, shops, or people who violate the laws and instructions in force.”

He added, “This work aims to combat crimes that harm the Iraqi economy, for example dealing in other than the national currency and the severe damage it causes to the Iraqi national economy. The other axis relates to counterfeiting currency and monopolizing food materials and commodities that affect the economic sector.”

He added, “The Ministry’s campaigns against manipulators, speculators, and monopolists continue throughout Iraq and target those who do not adhere to the rules and instructions of the Central Bank, especially in the field of monopolizing the dollar or trying to sell outside the scope of the market or dealing in foreign currency,” pointing out that “many citizens, companies, and institutions They responded to the instructions and there was more compliance and interaction with these laws that regulate the process of purchasing currency.”

He pointed out that “the Ministry seeks to have a voluntary commitment of citizens to this file in support of the national economy.”   LINK

Iraq’s Oil Exports Exceeded 100 Million Barrels During The Month Of January

Shafaq News/ The Ministry of Oil announced on Saturday that the total oil exports for the month of January amounted to more than 100 million barrels, according to the final statistics issued by the Iraqi Oil Marketing Company “SOMO”.

According to statistics published by the Ministry today, the amount of crude oil exports amounted to (103) million, (508) thousand, and (438) barrels.

The statistics indicated that the total quantities exported of crude oil for the month of January from the oil fields in central and southern Iraq amounted to (102) million and (25) thousand barrels, while the quantities exported from Qayyarah were (1) million and (19) thousand and (132) barrels.

According to statistics, exports to Jordan were (464) thousand and (306) barrels.  LINK

Trade Confirms The Processing Of Files Within Efforts To Join The World Trade Organization

Posted On 03-02-2024 By Sotaliraq  The Ministry of Commerce confirmed the government’s aspiration to join the World Trade Organization, especially after the Saudi representative in the organization, Saqr Al-Muqbel, was named to manage Iraq’s accession file, noting that his recent visit to Baghdad contributed to addressing a number of important files.

The ministry’s official spokesman, Muhammad Hanoun, said, “Iraq has joined as an observer in the World Trade Organization since 2004, and until 2023 this accession faced many problems and challenges, the most recent of which is the failure to pay the dues to join the observer organization.

However, after the announcement of the government program by Prime Minister Muhammad Shia Sudanese began working again on the possibility of Iraq joining this organization, as two sessions took place and a dialogue was held with the organization by the Iraqi negotiating team headed by the Minister of Commerce, Atheer Al-Ghurairi, which included all the relevant Iraqi ministries and bodies.”

Hanoun added, “The World Trade Organization assigned the Saudi representative to the organization, Saqr Al-Muqbel, to manage Iraq’s accession file, and he came to Baghdad on an important visit and met with the Iraqi negotiating team, and many issues were addressed, the most important of which were the goods and services files, as well as the legislation that the Iraqi economic reform team in the Prime Minister’s Office would carry out.”

 By addressing it within the frameworks and legislation within which the World Trade Organization operates.”

He continued, “Joining will achieve many things for Iraq, most notably that it will support the file of Iraqi goods and facilitate their entry into global markets, and secondly, the harmonization of Iraqi laws and regulations with international laws and regulations,” pointing out that “Iraq has today become a major economic player on the world level and needs to harmonize Iraqi laws with international laws.”

He stressed, “Minister of Trade Atheer Al-Ghurairi attended the third session of the World Trade Organization, which was held in the Emirate of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, and met with the Assistant Director-General of the organization.

We believe that the meeting will achieve progress in achieving the government’s aspirations regarding accession in an accelerated manner,” praising “the Saudi efforts in overcoming many special obstacles.” With Iraq’s accession to the World Trade Organization.”  LINK

Iraq Lost $11 Billion In Oil, And Federal Decisions Will Produce These Consequences

Posted On 03-02-2024 By Sotaliraq  A report issued in London by the International Center for Development Studies monitored the consequences of the recent decisions of the Federal Court regarding the Kurdistan region, and shed light on external tensions, most notably Iran’s fears of developing Iraqi gas fields, and Turkey’s demands related to the economy, security, and water sharing.

The report warned that the recent decisions of the Federal Supreme Court would limit the powers of the federal Kurdistan region, harming the promising economic base it has built over the past two decades.

The Federal Supreme Court decided last week to oblige the Iraqi Kurdistan region to hand over all oil and non-oil revenues to the federal government in Baghdad, and to “obligate the localization” of the salaries of all employees of the region in federal banks, and to replace the Supreme Election Commission in the region, in addition to dividing the region. To four regions to hold the expected legislative elections for the Kurdistan Parliament, in addition to a decision that some paragraphs of the Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament Elections Law are unconstitutional.

The report explained that the Kurdistan Region’s non-oil revenues in the first half of last year amounted to 80 percent of non-oil revenues, and the region has attracted a large number of investors in the field of energy, especially with regard to developing gas fields in preparation for its later export.

The Kurdistan Region’s reserves are estimated at 5.67 trillion cubic meters of natural gas, which is equivalent to three percent of the total global reserves, which places the region in an advanced position within the global gas market.

Iraq plans to take advantage of its reserves to generate electricity and dispense with importing energy to fill the shortfall that the country needs, as the Federal Ministry of Oil was authorized in the middle of last year to contract with gas production companies in the Kurdistan region to operate a number of electricity stations.

Iranian fears of developing Kurdistan gas?

According to the report, the Kurdistan region’s investment of these quantities of gas in generating electricity raises Iran’s fears of Iraq’s energy independence, causing it to lose an important market that provides it with billions of dollars.

He added, “Iran views the issue of gas exports from the Kurdistan region as a real threat. Tehran was and still aspires to export gas to Europe, and it rejects the region being able to achieve that, or transforming it into an influential force in regional politics in the future.”

The report indicates the negative impact of the recent Federal Court decisions on both Baghdad and Erbil alike, as they complicate many pending issues between the two parties, such as the dues of foreign oil companies operating in the region and the cost of oil production, which threatens to disrupt work in the region’s oil fields and cause major financial losses. For the Iraqi economy in general.

In light of the cessation of the region’s oil exports through Turkish ports and the inability of non-oil revenues to cover all expenses, Baghdad will have to bear a large portion of the salaries of the region’s employees, which adds a new burden to the federal budget.

The report notes that since late March 2023, Iraq has lost more than $11 billion due to the cessation of the Kurdistan Region’s oil exports through Turkish ports, and despite the lengthy negotiations in both Baghdad and Ankara and the latter’s promises to return the region’s exports, nothing has happened.

The British report talks about great pressure being exerted by Ankara on Baghdad and Washington to cooperate in the files of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party and the “Syrian Democratic Forces” (SDF), which Turkey considers to be terrorist organizations.

Ankara demands that Baghdad classify the Kurdistan Workers’ Party as a terrorist organization and remove it from areas that threaten its national security. It also strongly opposes the United States’ arming of the SDF and its cooperation with it.

]The British report indicates Turkish support for the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Muhammad Shia al-Sudani regarding some projects that Ankara considers strategic for it, such as the “development road” linking the port of Al-Faw on the Arabian Gulf and the Turkish border towards Europe in the north, which Turkey demanded to accelerate work on, and established joint offices. In a number of Iraqi governorates to start it as soon as possible.

According to the Center’s report, the issuance of the recent Federal Court decisions coincided with the ongoing controversy in Iraq over the fate of the coalition forces, as there are major parties who do not support this idea, while a broad spectrum of the pro-Iranian coordination framework insists on it.

The federalism of Iraq is a benefit to the region’s economy.

Iraq, according to the British report, is Iran’s economic lung in light of the presence of sanctions. As for Turkey, Iraq is the fifth largest importer of its goods. Turkey and Iran also aspire to benefit from the plans of the Sudanese government aimed at making Iraq an important commercial link between… East and West, so any weakening or undermining of the federal experience in Iraq will have effects on these countries and negative consequences on their economies.

The report of the International Center for Development Studies recommends the need to think about drafting legislation that enhances the delegation of powers between Baghdad and Erbil, instead of reducing it through centralization of authority, which requires effort at the local level in the Kurdistan region itself through dialogue between all Kurdish parties, as well as developing new frameworks for cooperation.

Between all parties on the basis of trust and partnership, without imposing wills and destabilizing the political and economic stability that has been achieved, even to minor degrees.   LINK

Provoking Points to Ponder on Decisions 

Many of life’s circumstances are created by three basic choices: the disciplines you choose to keep, the people you chose to be with, and the laws you choose to obey.  – Charles Millhuff

You don’t get to choose how you’re going to die. Or when. You can only decide how you’re going to live. Now.  – Joan Baez

Look for your choices, pick the best one, then go with it.  – Pat Riley

Rules of society are nothing; one’s conscience is the umpire.  – Madame Dudevant

No matter how lovesick a woman is, she shouldn’t take the first pill that comes along.  – Dr. Joyce Brothers

Form the habit of making decisions when your spirit is fresh … to let dark moods lead is like choosing cowards to command armies.  – Charles Horton Cooley