TNT – “Tidbits From TNT” Tuesday 4-16-2024

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Tishwash:  Al-Bayati: Al-Sudani’s visit to Washington will resolve these two files

Former MP Jassim Al-Bayati confirmed on Tuesday that the Sudanese visit to Washington will have positive consequences at various levels, especially military, security and economic, pointing out that the visit would resolve the issue of the American military presence inside Iraq and strengthen the dinar against the dollar.

Al-Bayati told Al-Maalouma, “The visit of Prime Minister Muhammad Shiaa Al-Sudani will have positive consequences at all stages, whether activating the strategic framework agreement between the two countries or resolving some economic issues.”

He added, “The visit would resolve the files of some banks that were punished by the Dalil countries, as well as resolve the issue of the lack of liquidity of foreign currency (the dollar) in Iraqi banks and find solutions to ensure its availability.”

He stated that “the visit would strengthen the Iraqi dinar currency against the dollar, and ensure that the parallel exchange rate is close to the official one in the local markets, in addition to emphasizing the withdrawal of American ground forces from Iraq and discussing military and security issues.”  link

Tishwash:  The visit to Washington is 100% technical and will witness the signing of contracts with major companies – Sudanese Advisor

“Different from its predecessors”

Nasser Al-Asadi, Advisor to the Prime Minister for Transport Affairs, confirmed on Monday that the visit conducted by the Prime Minister and his accompanying delegation to the United States is 100% technical, and it differs from all visits of previous prime ministers, indicating that it will witness the signing of contracts with major companies.

Al-Asadi said in an interview with the official agency, followed by the 964 Network , that “the Prime Minister’s visit to Washington is very important and different from all the visits of previous prime ministers to the United States, as it was always concerned with issues of security, the army, and military movements, but this visit is a technical visit 100 %, and will address the topics of health, education, energy, transportation, services, and various industries, pharmaceutical, construction, mechanical, and food, in addition to the presence of a program included in the visit that specializes in democratic pluralism in Iraq, which is represented by population pluralism and the categories of Iraqi society, its components, and their needs,” stressing that “the importance of the visit comes from these topics.” Which is always discussed internally and never discussed externally.”

He added, “Relations with the United States of America are not just security, army, and military relations. There is global expertise possessed by the United States that can be transferred to Iraq, especially in the fields of aviation and transportation management, tourism management, and banking in insurance companies.”

He pointed out that “America is a large country with huge global capabilities and expertise, and Iraq needs to develop the aviation sector in terms of examiners, civil aviation systems, training of pilots and staff in Iraqi Airlines and the Civil Aviation Authority in Iraqi airports, as well as the method of managing Iraqi airports, and therefore it is necessary Transferring this experience and benefiting from it due to our strong relationship with the United States.”

He pointed out that “there are new sectors that have entered the Iraqi market, including the metro transportation sector and the public transportation sector by using multiple methods, and therefore the technology present in the United States must be transferred to Iraq in a modern and advanced manner, and benefit from it through training and developing the relationship with the means of transportation in The United States,” noting that “this is done through transferring technology to Iraq and then managing it and investing in the field of transportation to manage the transportation sector in Iraq.”

He continued: “We had a meeting with the private sector in Iraq, and there are meetings tomorrow and the day after tomorrow with the American private sector, and there must be interaction between the two sectors in order to build an economic revolution inside Iraq,” stressing “the necessity of turning to the private sector and developing it to help the government in Speed ​​up the work”.

He noted that “the government proposed the Baghdad Metro project for investment, and thus involved the private sector in this process, especially since the private sector is the one that develops the country and has the upper hand in expanding investment, and therefore the government must help the private sector and open opportunities for it.”

He pointed out that “hundreds of American companies have contacted the Iraqi embassy for the purpose of meeting with the Prime Minister, in addition to contracts that will be signed with large companies in the United States,” adding: “Now we are heading, through our embassy and the commercial attaché, to open opportunities for American companies to invest in Iraq through the Iraqi private sector.”

He stressed “the necessity of building a partnership between these sectors to develop the banking sector in Iraq, as no investor can enter Iraq with a weak banking sector, so a large space has been allocated to discuss this sector, in addition to insurance companies and intellectual property protection, for the advancement of Iraq.” To the investable countries platform.

He stressed that “the Prime Minister’s visit to Washington, and his intention to expand meetings with multiple groups within the American investment sector, will open a big door for the Iraqi private sector, and we have given the opportunity and priority to develop the important service sectors in the country, including pharmaceutical, construction, and food industries that contribute to developing the economic base in the country.” It provides great job opportunities for Iraqi youth who are currently unemployed.”

He concluded by saying: “The importance of this visit is that it is not an ordinary visit, but rather a 100 percent purely economic and technical visit that opens the way for all Iraqi and non-Iraqi sectors to develop the country economically.” link

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Tishwash:  After 21 years of the dollar auction… Iraq is close to closing the window amid reassurances and warnings

Iraq is approaching the end of the closure of the dollar selling window at the Central Bank – which has been controversial – over the past two decades.

The Central Bank’s management plans to gradually cancel the dollar auction during the year 2024, leading to its complete cancellation by the end of the year, and to maintain it for audit and statistical purposes, in an effort to enable Iraqi banks to establish and establish solid banking relationships with the global and regional banking sector in order to achieve the sobriety of the Iraqi banking sector and full commitment. According to international standards and requirements.

Iraq relies on the platform for selling currency directly to local banks and companies, which was previously known as the daily dollar auction, as one of the mechanisms for preserving the value of the Iraqi dinar and combating speculative operations in the parallel market.
The visit of Prime Minister Muhammad Shia Al-Sudani to Washington provided a strong impetus in closing the Central Bank window and moving towards direct commercial banking transactions.

According to the joint statement of the Iraqi-American discussions headed by Al-Sudani and President Joe Biden, the latter “discussed Iraq’s advanced efforts to reform the financial and banking sectors, which help link Iraq to the international economy and increase trade while protecting the Iraqi people from the harmful effects of corruption and money laundering, and what was achieved during the years 2023 and 2024.” “With banks in Iraq expanding (correspondent relationships) with international financial institutions to enable trade financing.”

The statement notes that “the majority of trade financing operations are now carried out through these channels.”
Iraq and the United States pledged their commitment to “strengthen their cooperation to achieve greater transparency and cooperation against money laundering, terrorist financing, fraud, corruption, and sanctioned activities that could undermine the integrity of the financial systems in both countries.”

The two countries expressed their commitment “to support the Central Bank of Iraq in ending the electronic auction platform for international financial transfers by the end of 2024, through direct dealing between licensed banks in Iraq and approved global correspondent banks, to achieve this transformation that will connect Iraqis and Iraqi companies to the international economic system.”

In this regard, the financial advisor to the Prime Minister, Mazhar Muhammad Saleh, confirmed to {Al-Furat News} that the agreement of Iraq and the United States to end the electronic platform of the Central Bank of Iraq for selling the dollar at the official price means the cancellation and end of the foreign currency window that was established since 2003.
Saleh said, “It is not One of the functions of the central banks in the world is to carry out financing operations for foreign trade in their countries. Central banks are banks that work on monetary stability as they are banks that issue the national currency, as well as the function of supervising banking activity and ensuring its safety and stability.

He added, “But Iraq’s rentier conditions, and because of the foreign cash flows entering the country through which foreign exchange reserves originating from oil export revenues are created, such a necessity was imposed in financing foreign trade for the private sector through the establishment of the foreign currency window (auction) a month ago.” October 2003, during which this window played a dual role in the work of the Central Bank of Iraq’s monetary policy, both in controlling local liquidity levels (monetary sterilization) and the so-called open market process, which requires exchanging the dinar for the dollar for the purposes of external transfer related to financing domestic trade. In addition to achieving the goal of controlling the stability of the Iraqi dinar exchange rate at the same time.”

Saleh noted that, “In order to return to the principles of financing trade through the commercial banks themselves directly by opening documentary credits with correspondent banks abroad, their external accounts opened with their correspondents from foreign banks will be fed with their requests for foreign currency through the Central Bank of Iraq in order to enable them to… Opening documentary credits to finance foreign trade to the private sector in a more transparent manner and at the same time subject to international compliance rules through the role that these international banks with high credit ratings will play.”

He explained, “What practically means canceling the auction or the foreign currency window that was established in October 2003 and its expected lifespan was two years, but unfortunately it continued for more than twenty years!”

He continued, “Based on the above, the efficiency of using foreign currency will undoubtedly increase through continued control of local liquidity levels and the imposition of stability in the Iraqi dinar exchange rate, but in a different way that is consistent with the new banking applications fully approved in the year 2024.”

On the other hand, specialists warn against stopping the platform for selling the dollar, especially with the continuing delay in Iraqi banking systems and the failure to activate Iraqi commercial banks’ dealings with international banks, because this will lead to a monetary disaster that will ravage the Iraqi market.
But Abdul Rahman Al-Mashhadani, the economic expert, downplayed the seriousness of these warnings.

He told {Al-Furat News}, “The subject of the agreement with the American side does not mean that the currency auction will end, but rather it will return to work according to the old mechanism for enhancing balances. However, the Iraqi banks that will be entitled to external transfer must be linked to solid correspondent banks.”

He stated, “The mechanism will not change. Rather, the Iraqi Bank will be transformed into a correspondent bank, and its balance will be enhanced by the Central Bank.”

Al-Mashhadani ruled out, “The exchange rates in the markets were affected because they are not directly related to these matters. Rather, the decline and rise are due to trade with the sanctioned countries, for which there are no solutions because they are financed from the parallel market, and without solving them, there cannot be stability in exchange rates.”
Another economic expert believes it is necessary to tighten control to prevent the “leakage” of the dollar.

Bassem Jamil Antoine told {Al-Furat News}, “When the dollar crisis is addressed scientifically, economically, and financially, there will be a floatation of the currency through supply and demand, so that the citizen will obtain the quantities of dollars to the extent he wants, as the scarcity is now in the dinar and not in the dollar from which it is received.” On a daily basis, no less than 300 to 400 million dollars.”

He stated, “This process goes to the financial stability of the country, as the import is through correspondent banks that transfer money amounts, and this process requires follow-up, time, and knowing the fate of the money.”

Antoine explained that “the process of floating the currency must be under conditions, and Iraq differs from other countries because its financial imports in dollars are very large, and there must be control over the process, stopping the leakage of the dollar, and not leaving it floating under the freedom of speculators.

 There will be difficulty in achieving balance, and this matter needs a rule.” Productivity away from imports, creating job opportunities and ending unemployment, and this process requires more time and strict oversight to stop the currency auction, which has greatly destroyed the country,” he said.  link