TNT – “Tidbits From TNT” Tuesday 4-9-2024

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Tishwash:  Advisor to the Prime Minister: Government measures put Iraq at the forefront of countries in foreign investment

The financial advisor to the Prime Minister, Mazhar Muhammad Salih, revealed today, Tuesday, government measures that put Iraq at the forefront of countries in foreign investment, while indicating that the development path and the Al-Faw port have strengthened the government’s vision in encouraging foreign investments. 

Saleh told the Iraqi News Agency (INA): “The Iraqi economy is characterized by two basic features that help give it preference in foreign investment. First, cash flows in foreign currency are reflected in the current account of the balance of payments relative to the gross domestic product, which is estimated by international economic and national centers at a surplus estimated at (positive). 7%) Iraq also ranks second in OPEC oil production and fifth in the world in that production.

He added: “As for the second advantage, there is a wide range of investment opportunities available provided by transportation, digital communications, housing and construction activities, which end with encouraging partnership between the state and the private sector in the manufacturing industry and various technological fields, the latest of which was the Cabinet’s adoption of the facilitating instructions in its last meeting that encourages the existing partnership between…

The state and the private sector, which is based on the principle of mutual win-win and is an attractive signal for foreign direct investment,” pointing out that “the investment law frames the provision of an attractive investment environment for investors, especially the economic surplus trends of the countries of the region and their orientation towards profitable investments in Iraq in the industrial, agricultural and other fields, which… It gives a positive signal to international investment in general to be attracted to Iraq and investigate promising opportunities there.”

He stressed that “the Development Road Project, as a development strategy that adopts the idea of ​​development-leading projects, constituted the central call for international companies to participate, starting from the port of Al-Faw and ending with the Turkish border, for economic connection with Europe, which… This means that the state’s economic vision is based on encouraging direct foreign investments in development activity in Iraq, whose natural resources are abundant in the ground.

He explained, “Iraq is ranked ninth in the world in terms of natural resources in the ground, and ranked first in reserves per square kilometer of investable natural resources such as (phosphate, sulfur, and other important reserves).

A study conducted by the FDI Intelligence website, which specializes in foreign direct investment affairs, stated that “Iraq was ranked fourth among ten countries in the latest classification, and this classification was evaluated based on several criteria, including growth in gross domestic product, the inflation rate, growth in capital spending in foreign direct investment, and the growth rate in foreign direct investment projects.”

The study indicated that “the growth rate of Iraq’s gross domestic product reached 2.9%, while the inflation rate reached 3.6%, and the growth rate in capital spending in foreign direct investment witnessed an increase of 371%, and the growth rate in foreign direct investment projects reached 95 percent.” %,” indicating that “these numbers reflect the noticeable improvement in the investment climate in Iraq and the efforts made to strengthen the economic sector and attract more foreign direct investments.”  link

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Tishwash:  Iraq’s financial revenues exceed 11 trillion dinars within a month

The Ministry of Finance revealed, on Tuesday, that the volume of Iraqi revenues in the federal budget during a month exceeded 11 trillion dinars, confirming that the oil contribution to the budget had decreased to 89%.

Shafaq News Agency followed the data and tables issued by the Ministry of Finance in April for the January accounts of the current fiscal year, which showed that oil is still the main resource for Iraq’s general budget, reaching 89%, which indicates that the rentier economy is the basis of the country’s general budget.

The financial tables indicated that the total revenues in January amounted to 11 trillion, 527 billion, 453 million, 587 thousand and 580 dinars, indicating that the total expenditures with advances amounted to one trillion, 252 billion, 731 million and 419 thousand dinars.

According to the financial tables, oil revenues amounted to 10 trillion and 275 billion and 776 million and 460 thousand dinars, which constitute 89% of the general budget, while non-oil revenues amounted to one trillion and 266 billion and 307 million and 956 thousand dinars.

The Prime Minister’s Advisor for Financial Affairs, Mazhar Muhammad Salih, confirmed in an interview with Shafaq News Agency in March 2021 that the reasons for the economy remaining rentier are due to wars and the imposition of the economic blockade on Iraq during the past era and the political conflicts we are witnessing today, which led to the dispersion of… for economic resources.

The Iraqi state’s continued reliance on oil as the sole source of the general budget puts Iraq at risk from the global crises that occur from time to time because oil is affected by them, which makes the country tend every time to cover the deficit through borrowing from abroad or within, and thus indicates the inability to Managing state funds effectively, and the inability to find alternative financing solutions.  link

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Tishwash:  Government spokesman: We have adopted the principle of productive borrowing and integration into the international economic cycle

Government spokesman, Bassem Al-Awadi, said on Monday, April 8, 2024, that the government has followed the principle of productive borrowing and integration into the international economic cycle.

Al-Awadi issued a statement, seen by Ultra Iraq, which came as “an emphasis from the government on transparency in economic work, and informing public opinion and the national and international media of Iraqi economic performance.”

He added: “In light of the Council of Ministers’ approval of the recommendations of the Diwani Order Committee 23942, related to regulating external borrowing and structuring Iraqi public external debt, the government took a series of executive measures and adopted a package of financial decisions, which ended in reducing external public debt by more than 50%. The debt will decrease from $19.729 billion in late 2022, to $15.976 billion in 2023, reaching approximately $8.9 billion in the current year.”

Mazhar Muhammad Salih, the Sudanese advisor, spoke about “Iraq’s regularity in paying its external debts due annually, of which only approximately 20 billion dollars remain.”

Al-Awadi said, “These financial steps, (which included halting a number of borrowing operations due to their delay and unproductivity, organizing and managing debts and auditing them, and restructuring some debts and directing them to create strategic projects), aim to prevent the Iraqi economy from mortgaging obligations that may affect, in the future, the political decision.” Or in the path of national development, which coincides with an urban renaissance and infrastructure reconstruction, which opens the way to a promising future and a revitalized economy, in which our current and future generations perform best and obtain the greatest opportunities.

In its latest report , the International Monetary Fund  warned  of the doubling of debt in Iraq, through an increase in the deficit, as it expected “the public finance deficit to reach 7.6% in 2024 and to expand further after that with the expected gradual decline in oil prices in the medium term.” Leading to “a near doubling of public debt from 44% in 2023 to 86% by 2029.”

Al-Awadi pointed out that his government “organized the process of financing cooperation with the international community in specific contexts, including direct productive borrowing, providing sovereign guarantees to ensure the production of projects undertaken by the private sector for the benefit of the government, and sovereign guarantees provided by the government for the benefit of institutions that finance the Iraqi private sector importing production lines from In order to build factories inside Iraq.

He explained, “These steps pave the way for our country’s further integration into the international economic cycle, and for the government to adopt the principle of productive borrowing only, which effectively leads to an increase in domestic product, and the financing of national service and productive projects with economic returns, in a way that ensures their completion and is not delayed.”

He concluded by saying: “With these firm steps, the government renews its determination to continue making a qualitative shift in the Iraqi economy, in parallel with tangible development in the services, infrastructure and social care sectors, which are all the pillars required to meet the aspirations of our people throughout Iraq, and implement the government program with its priorities.” And its targets.

Iraq’s external debt in 2021 amounted to about $13 billion, and it arose while financing the war on ISIS after 2015, as the government advisor stated 3 years ago.  link