TNT – “Tidbits From TNT” Sunday 4-7-2024

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Tishwash:  Signing a strategic partnership contract with Kuwait to pass international communications traffic to Europe via Iraq

 The General Company for Communications and Informatics, one of the formations of the Ministry of Communications, signed a strategic contract, today, Sunday, to pass international communications traffic to Europe via Iraq via Turkey through temporary transit (transit) with the Kuwaiti “Zajel” company.

Minister of Communications, Hiam Al-Yasiri, said in a statement today that the signing of the contract comes to strengthen Iraq’s strategic position in the region and maximize financial revenues in implementation of the government program and the general federal budget law.

She indicated that this contract is the first of a number of contracts and projects for submarine and transit cables to pass communications traffic from the Gulf countries and the countries of South and West Asia to the continent of Europe through Iraqi sea and land ports, passing through Turkey.

Al-Yasiri added that this project and other similar projects that are currently under procedures will make Iraq a safe land corridor that competes with the only international sea corridor in the region that passes through the Suez Canal, and these projects will contribute to enhancing the security stability of the country due to the presence of commercial interests and joint work with the rest of the countries of the region and the world. In addition, it will fill an important part of the countries’ growing need for large and large Internet capacities.

The minister indicated that the ministry will sign other similar contracts soon, including with Saudi Arabia to land a third submarine cable for Iraq in Al-Faw, in addition to the existence of initial approvals to connect the UAE to Al-Faw and to pass its capacity through Iraqi territory, and there are other measures with Oman and the Kingdom of Bahrain, as all the Arab Gulf states want By passing its missions through Iraq to Europe. link

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The Prime Minister’s visit to Washington… developments and expectations

 Political circles in Baghdad are awaiting the visit of Prime Minister Muhammad Shia al-Sudani to Washington, scheduled for mid-April, which is considered the first of its kind for al-Sudani after he assumed the presidency of the government a year and a half ago.

The two sides expect that the visit will address important issues, including scheduling the foreign military presence in Iraq, supporting the government’s economic reforms, in addition to the relationship between Baghdad and Erbil, which is suffering from an ongoing crisis.

The political researcher, Mujasha Al-Tamimi, explained that the Sudanese visit will focus on “only two issues,” noting that the visit will focus on activating the strategic framework agreement signed with the United States in 2008, and requesting economic support for Iraq while providing guarantees to combat corruption and money laundering.

Al-Tamimi added that the visit will witness broad participation from businessmen and experts in the fields of economics and finance, with the aim of attracting more American companies to invest in the Iraqi market.

For his part, the academic and political researcher, Abdul Aziz Al-Issawi, confirmed that the visit will focus on scheduling the foreign presence in Iraq, and said that it comes at a very important time with the escalation of demands in this regard.

Al-Issawi added that the primary goal of the visit is to initiate actual steps for dialogue with the United States and the international coalition to schedule the foreign presence in Iraq, in addition to strengthening bilateral relations in the fields of economy, investment, education, culture, and energy.

The Iraqi Prime Minister’s visit to Washington comes in light of increased political sensitivity, especially with the approaching US presidential elections, which may affect bilateral relations between the two countries

The visit is expected to witness further developments and fruitful talks, and may pave the way for strengthening relations between Baghdad and Washington in the near future. link

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Tishwash:  Iraqi Fintechs Shine in Forbes’ Top 50 Middle East Ranking

Iraqi fintech companies, Iraq Wallet (ZainCash Iraq) and NEO Pay Iraq, have clinched spots in Forbes’ prestigious Top 50 Fintech Companies in the Middle East, underscoring the burgeoning creativity within Iraq’s financial technology sector.

The Iraq Wallet, powered by ZainCash Iraq, secured the 6th spot regionally, while NEO Pay Iraq landed at 35th in the Middle East. Iraq Wallet has emerged as a go-to platform for financial solutions, offering a comprehensive range of financial services including local and international money transfers, bill payments, cash-in/out services, mobile recharge, and QR payments. It boasts 1.2 million app downloads and a network of 10,000 agents strategically positioned across Iraq.

Under the leadership of Yazen Altimimi, ZainCash’s broad acceptance underscores its relevance to various stakeholders, from individuals and SMEs to major corporations, government entities, and humanitarian organizations.

Similarly, NEO Pay Iraq has garnered acclaim for its innovative digital payment processing. Led by Zaid Fawzi Ibrahim, the platform facilitated $400 million in transactions in 2023 alone, with 100,000 active users and 300,000 app downloads by December 2023, indicative of its rapid growth.

NEO Pay introduced a Visa platinum business card tailored to Iraqi merchants and professionals, a move that gained significant traction. Forbes reports an anticipated issuance of 208,000 cards by March 2024.

The inclusion of Iraq Wallet (ZainCash Iraq) and NEO Pay Iraq in Forbes’ esteemed list highlights the transformative impact of fintech on Iraq’s financial landscape.   link