Iraqi News Highlights and Points to Ponder Wednesday AM 3-13-24


Iraqi News Highlights and Points to Ponder Wednesday AM 3-13-24

Parliamentary Finance: We Look Forward To Coordinating With The Central Bank To Increase The Value Of The Dinar

Information/Baghdad..  Today, Thursday, the Parliamentary Finance Committee announced its aspiration to coordinate with the Central Bank to increase the value of the dinar and control the market.

The Media Department of the House of Representatives stated in a statement received by the “Al-Ma’louma” Agency, “The Finance Committee met under the chairmanship of Atwan Al-Atwani, in the presence of its members, with the Governor of the Central Bank, Ali Al-Alaq, to ​​discuss monetary policy, the banking system in the country, and ways to increase the value of the Iraqi dinar.”

At the beginning of the hosting, which was held at the committee’s headquarters, the Chairman of the Committee stressed “the importance of following up on the economic file and monetary policy, based on the supervisory side, and finding appropriate solutions to the obstacles facing the work of the Central Bank.”

The Finance Committee expressed its “aspiration to coordinate with the Central Bank in order to increase the value of the Iraqi dinar and control the market in order to alleviate the burdens of citizens and address the deficit.”

For his part, the Governor of the Central Bank reviewed “the economic and monetary aspect, pointing out” the establishment of basic rules in order to monitor the remittance process and analyze monetary operations, praising “the role played by the Finance Committee in following up on the country’s financial and economic movement.” Ended/25   LINK

Calm Dominates The Currency Market Ahead Of The World’s Largest Economic Data

Economy |Today  Baghdad today – follow-up  A state of calm prevailed in the currency market, today, Thursday (March 14, 2024), with the US dollar holding steady against its major counterparts at a time when traders are awaiting more data from the largest economy in the world in search of indicators about the direction of the Federal Reserve (the US Central Bank) policy. .

The Consumer Price Index data in the United States, which was released last Tuesday, and showed a higher-than-expected rise in US inflation, reignited fears that inflation may continue, which made investors reassess the chances of the Federal Reserve cutting interest rates at its meeting in June, as was expected in the previous.

According to the London Stock Exchange Group’s interest rate move probability app, markets still see a 65 percent chance of a rate cut in June, down from 71 percent earlier in the week. While the probability of reducing the interest rate in July is about 83 percent.

In light of expectations that the US Central Bank will keep interest rates unchanged at its meeting next week, the focus turns to the bank’s updated economic forecasts.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said last week that the bank is “not far away” from gaining the confidence needed to start easing monetary policy.

Markets are awaiting US retail sales data, producer price index (factory door inflation) data, and unemployment claims scheduled to be released later Thursday, searching for further indications of an economic slowdown.

Before the data was released, the dollar index, which measures the US currency against a basket of six currencies, rose 0.1 percent to 102.85.

Against the yen, the dollar rose 0.1 percent to 147.89 yen, as it remains uncertain whether the Bank of Japan will move to abandon negative interest rates at the monetary policy meeting on March 18-19.

Sources told Reuters that the Japanese central bank will discuss ending negative interest rates next week if wage talks between major companies produce strong results.

The preliminary results of wage negotiations are scheduled to be announced tomorrow, Friday, and reports have already stated that many of the country’s largest companies have fully agreed to union demands for wage increases.

The euro fell 0.05 percent to $1.0942, ahead of expected statements by a number of European Central Bank officials on Thursday.

The British pound settled at $1.2792. Data yesterday, Wednesday, showed that the British economy returned to growth in January after entering a recession in the second half of 2023.

In terms of cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin stabilized at $73,092.00 after hitting a record level of $73,678 in the previous session, and Ether fell 0.72 percent to $3,963.70. Source: Agencies   LINK

The American Ambassador Publishes An Article: Why Is The Partnership With Washington Important To The Iraqis?

Posted On 03-14-2024 By Sotaliraq   ]Today, Wednesday, the US Ambassador to Baghdad, Alina Romanowski, published an article in the official Al-Sabah newspaper, entitled “Why is the strategic partnership between the United States and Iraq important for the Iraqi people?”, stressing the work to build bridges between the people of the United States and Iraq that will last for many generations.

The following is the text of the article:

Ramadan Kareem. I hope this opinion piece provides some ideas to consider during this month of reflection with family and friends. With the recent launch of the work of the US-Iraqi Supreme Military Committee, US and Iraqi leaders are conducting negotiations regarding the transition of the work of the international coalition, and specifically the US military presence, which has always supported the Iraqi partners in defeating ISIS.

As Iraqis from across its diverse society watch this important transition closely, many wonder what it means for our overall strategic relationship. Some even wonder why it is important to continue our partnership at all.

I realize that not all Iraqis view our relationship the same way, and that differing opinions about your country’s path is normal and even an indication of a mature democracy.

For this reason, the current moment provides a golden opportunity to reflect on the kind of long-term strategic relationship you want to build with the United States. The risks of answering this question are great, not only for US-Iraqi relations, but also for Iraq’s relations with the world.

As the United States Ambassador to Iraq, I am honored to work daily with the Iraqi people and their representatives to present the United States’ position on the strategic partnership.

Within the historic 2008 US-Iraq Strategic Framework Agreement that guides our relationship, I see how much Iraq will benefit from our enduring strategic partnership, because I already see the benefits our strong relationship has brought to Iraqis. This is what I see.

We are committed to Iraq’s security, stability, and sovereignty, as we stood shoulder to shoulder with Iraqi partners to liberate Iraq from the scourge of ISIS. As we mark the tenth anniversary of ISIS and the fifth anniversary of its defeat, we must be clear about the threat this group continues to pose to Iraq, from both Iraq and Syria.

We want the Iraqi Security Forces to have the capabilities necessary to confront future threats, which is why, since 2012, the US Congress has allocated more than $3.5 billion to build the capabilities of the Iraqi Security Forces.

The United States provides Iraq with vital sustained support, world-class equipment such as F-16 fighter jets and M-1 Abrams battle tanks, and professional training that enhances the capabilities of the Iraqi Security Forces to be representative of all diverse segments of Iraqi society, accountable to the sovereign Iraqi government, and capable of To defend Iraq and its role in achieving stability in the Middle East.

But we need much more than just a security relationship. We need economic, cultural, educational and people-to-people relationships that build a modern Iraq that is stable, secure, sovereign, prosperous and connected to the world.

The United States remains the largest donor and supporter of Iraq. Over the past 20 years, USAID Iraq has provided more than $11 billion in development assistance to develop local communities. This support has helped Iraqis launch hundreds of new projects, create thousands of jobs, and build 150 schools, 25 health care clinics, and 130 water facilities.

 Since 2014, the United States has provided more than $3.6 billion to support vulnerable communities of displaced Iraqis and refugees and provide them with health care, medicine, safe drinking water, and better sanitation services.

And just since 2017, we’ve invested $157 million in Iraqi-led projects to help provide safe water to more than 12 million Iraqis.

Thousands of Iraqis benefit from our cultural and educational exchange programs. Since the start of our high school and college exchange programs 17 years ago, more than 5,000 young Iraqis have traveled to the United States and returned to do great things for Iraq.

In 2024, an additional 400 Iraqis will visit the United States through our exchange programs, including the prestigious Fulbright Program, the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program, and the International Visitor Leadership Program.

In Iraq, we also provide other programs including English language instruction, teacher training, and empowerment opportunities for job seekers, startups, and climate advocates.

Our programs provide various other initiatives for women and girls to develop their skills, including obtaining certificates in the technology sector from Google and Microsoft.

 Our Embassy in Baghdad and our Consulate General in Erbil issue thousands of visas annually to support the travel of Iraqis, reunite with their families, attend universities, conduct research, establish business relationships, receive medical treatment, or simply enjoy visiting the United States. Our presence makes these connections possible.

Trade between the United States and Iraq means American farmers produce food that feeds Iraqi families. American energy companies provide advanced technology to electric grids to help locate and even avoid blackouts, increase the efficiency of electric turbines while installing new generating capacity, and capture combusted natural gas for use in domestic energy production.

American pharmaceutical companies are providing high-quality vaccines to Iraqis to combat the disease, while other American companies are investing in Iraqi hospitals and clinics by supplying life-saving medical equipment and modern neonatal technology to care for the youngest Iraqis.

We have supported the Central Bank of Iraq in increasing the number of commercial correspondent banking relationships for Iraq, which is a tremendous achievement for Iraq in normalizing global trade relations and conducting its trade safely using the US dollar.

The total deposits held in Iraqi commercial banks have increased by approximately 40 percent over the past two years, which indicates increasing consumer confidence in Iraqi banking institutions as we work together to increase transparency, eradicate corruption and theft, and link the Iraqi banking sector to the competitive global economy.

It is certain that other countries are knocking on Iraq’s door and announcing alternatives to what the United States and our partners are offering. But as US Ambassador to Iraq, I don’t see any of them doing as much for the Iraqi people as the United States does every day. None of them can offer Iraq a true and equal partnership that links Iraq to the world and enhances Iraq’s prosperity. We are working to build bridges between the people of the United States and Iraq that will last for many generations.

When I talk to young Iraqis who represent the future of change in this country, they tell me they want reliable services, better education, greater job opportunities, a better life, and more opportunities. Knowing all we can achieve together through a strong strategic partnership between the United States and Iraq, we can be a part of making their dreams a reality.  LINK

Provoking Points to Ponder on Decisions 

No one knows what he can to do until he tries.  – Publilius Syrus

Of all paths a man could strike into, there is, at any given moment, a best path which, here and now, it were of all things wisest for him to do. To find this path, and walk in it, is the one thing needful for him. – Thomas Carlyle

Decisions, particularly important ones, have always made me sleepy, perhaps because I know that I will have to make them by instinct, and thinking things out is only what other people tell me I should do. – Lillian Hellman

After a battle is over people talk a lot about how decisions were methodically reached, but actually there’s always a hell of a lot of groping around.  – Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher

No question is ever settled until it is settled right.  – Ella Wheeler Wilcox