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The formation of an international financial alliance to support Iraq in Britain




22nd October, 2020


Today in London, I announced the establishment of an international financial coalition that includes 7 foreign and Iraqi financial institutions, to provide advice to the Iraqi government to face the stifling financial crisis that led to the state’s inability to commit to paying employees’ salaries on time and resort to internal and external borrowing

According to the British Foreign Office, the financial alliance will be called the "Economic Contact Group" and its goal is to stimulate international support for an urgent economic reform program that will last for 3 years and cost 6 million pounds

According to the statement of the British Foreign Office, which was reviewed by "Economy News", the financial alliance provides global expertise to achieve economic growth and provide international expertise from the public and private sectors to enhance economic stability in Iraq and introduce vital economic changes in order to push the wheel of growth

The International Financial Alliance to support Iraq includes the G7 countries, which are "America, Britain, Japan, France, Germany, Canada and Italy, in addition to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, and from Iraq includes the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank of Iraq and the Parliamentary Finance Committee

After the first meeting of the financial alliance, he issued a statement saying, "Iraq is facing daunting economic challenges that have been broadly overshadowed by two crises, the Corona virus crisis and the decline in oil prices

He stressed, "There is a need to take immediate measures to achieve stability in the economy and create a comprehensive economic environment suitable for the implementation of the reform, as the members of the Economic Contact Group for Iraq agreed to work with the Iraqi government to put an out-of-way way to set the sequence and priorities of reforms in addition to mobilizing international support to implement these reforms

He noted that the Iraq Economic Contact Group will hold its meetings every three months to monitor progress, manage risks and coordinate support effectively, and this includes two annual meetings on the sidelines of the Spring Meetings and the Annual Meetings of the World Bank

She added, "It supports the Iraqi government's vision of reform, not only to ward off current crises, but to create permanent economic opportunities for the Iraqi people that meet their aspirations

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Ali Allawi said that the white paper received absolute support from industrialized countries and international organizations for the first time , indicating that international support and welcoming the white paper is an achievement of the Ministry of Finance

He added, "The international organizations saw that Iraq faces daunting economic challenges overshadowed by the crisis of Corona and the decline in oil prices, and that the White Paper is an ambitious program for comprehensive economic reform, strengthening the growth of the private economy and protecting the most vulnerable groups

He pointed out that the industrialized countries and international organizations announced their support for the Iraqi government's vision of reform not only to ward off the current crises, but to create permanent economic opportunities for the Iraqi people that meet their aspirations


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The Bank, the World Fund and the Group of Seven declare their support for the White Paper

The Bank, the World Fund and the Group of Seven declare their support for the White Paper
10/22/2020 21:21:03
The Bank, the World Fund and the Group of Seven announced their support for the White Paper.


The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance participated in the first meeting of the Economic Contact Group for Iraq, which was hosted by the British Minister of State for Middle East and North Africa Affairs and  chaired the meeting, Iraq and the World Bank, with the participation of members of the Finance Committee in the Iraqi Parliament, and representatives of the G7 member states and the International Monetary Fund. The participants expressed their support for the recently adopted economic reform white paper.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance expressed his appreciation to the United Kingdom for hosting the meeting, and presented a summary of the objectives of the White Paper for economic reform and stressed that supporting the Economic Contact Group will enhance Iraq's ability to face the challenges of the next stage.




Washington looks to support an ambitious reform agenda that promotes a strong economy for Iraq

Washington looks to support an ambitious reform agenda that promotes a strong economy for Iraq
10/22/2020 23:21:47
The US embassy in Baghdad published, on Thursday evening, a tweet about Washington’s participation in the launch of the Economic Contact Group on Iraq.


"The United States was pleased to participate in launching the Iraq Economic Contact Group with Finance Minister Ali Allawi," the embassy said in its tweet on Twitter. 

"We look forward to supporting an ambitious reform agenda to work to promote a strong economy for the Iraqi people," she added.
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Al-Kazemi: Iraq plans to maximize investment opportunities and provide suitable climates for companies




23rd October, 2020


On Friday, Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi affirmed his government's keenness to provide "a healthy environment and a suitable climate" for the investing companies operating in the country, indicating that Iraq plans to maximize and expand investment opportunities

The media office of the Prime Minister said in a statement, which "Al-Iktissad News" received a copy of, that "the Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kazemi, and on the sidelines of his current visit to Britain, met with heads of a number of British companies in various fields and sectors

Al-Kazemi stressed, during the meeting, "the Iraqi government's keenness to provide a healthy environment and appropriate climates for investing companies operating throughout the country

And Al-Kazemi stated that "Iraq is planning today to maximize and expand investment opportunities, in light of the country's actual need for investors to enter into many service and sector projects, which would accelerate the Iraqi economy forward and provide more job opportunities for our people


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Al-Kazemi, walking on a rope between two buildings, dances with snakes, looking for a pipe



23rd October, 2020

The Iraqi Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kazimi, confirmed that he is forced to achieve an impossible balance between the United States and Iran, indicating, "I dance daily with snakes, but I am looking for a flute to control them."

Al-Kazemi's interview came in an interview with the British newspaper "The Guardian". Al-Kazemi was appointed prime minister, a former British citizen and journalist - after unprecedented protests, and since then he has governed a program to hold early elections, improve security, and prevent the collapse of Iraq's oil-dependent economy. In a press briefing after his meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, he pledged that elections in Iraq would take place on June 6, saying that "the election date is indisputable, and we are committed to it."

A thousand years of debate

Some accuse Al-Kazemi of moving with extreme caution, but he told reporters that patience is better than being drawn into bloody chaos and civil war, adding, "A thousand years of discussion is better than a moment of exchange of fire."

According to the Guardian, Al-Kazemi is trying to walk a compromise between the United States and Iran, saying: "I am on a rope between two tall buildings. I am not required to walk on a rope, but to ride a bicycle on the rope. I dance daily with snakes but I am looking for a flute to control snakes." 

Fears that Iraq would become the scene of a military confrontation between the United States and Iran before the US presidential elections increased when Washington slowly reduced its 5,000 troops in Iraq, and last month threatened to close its embassy unless the Iraqi government curbed militias loyal to Iran. But the militias promised a ceasefire if a timetable for the withdrawal of US forces appeared.

Al-Kazemi said that he was in the process of sensitive negotiations regarding further withdrawals of US forces, and the conditions for their redeployment after the US elections.  He added, "Everyone is looking for an opportunity for dialogue. We are looking for an opportunity to overcome this sensitive issue and its repercussions, whoever is in the White House." Despite this, he noted that ISIS remains a daily threat to Iraq. At the same time, he pledged to bring Iran-backed militias under control, telling reporters, "No weapons outside the control of the state will be allowed."

The Guardian referred to what Iraq witnessed last Saturday, “when loyalists of the Popular Mobilization factions, backed by Iran, burned the headquarters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party in central Baghdad. At least eight citizens in Salah al-Din governorate were subjected to field executions at the hands of militias loyal to Iran, as well. Alleged."

The British newspaper added, "It remains to be seen whether its security forces can put militias, such as Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq, under control, or whether state control will be just talk." Al-Kazemi believes that the lack of jobs, poor health services and corruption are what drives young people to militancy, adding that other countries such as Colombia have found a way to deal with militant groups.  Since coming to power, Al-Kazemi has published the White Paper that aims to reduce public wages from 25 percent of GDP to 12 percent. He added that the country's political class has become lazy through its dependence on oil.  During his tour in France, Germany and the United Kingdom, he described the white paper as a signal to foreign investors that he had a serious plan of three to five years to train Iraq not to be overly dependent on oil.

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Iraqis mock the formation of an international financial alliance: Iraqi competencies are deliberately disabled




23rd October, 2020


A number of Iraqis mocked the formation of an international financial coalition to support Iraq in the current financial crisisdue to resorting to foreign competencies and not relying on Iraqi competencies

And announced yesterday in London, the establishment of an international financial alliance under the name “Economic Contact Group that includes 7 foreign and Iraqi financial institutions, to provide advice to the Iraqi government to confront the stifling financial crisis. The financial alliance will aim to stimulate international support for an urgent economic reform program that will last for 3 years and at a cost of 6 million pound. And providing global expertise to achieve economic growth and providing international expertise from the public and private sectors to enhance economic stability in Iraq and introduce vital economic changes to drive growth

 The International Financial Alliance to support Iraq includes: America, Britain, Japan, France, Germany, Canada and Italy, in addition to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, and from Iraq it includes the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank of Iraq and the Parliamentary Finance Committee

An economics professor at Basra University, Nabil Al-Marsoumi, said that the establishment of this alliance means the ineffectiveness of the advisory body in the Council of Ministers and the economic teams in the Ministries of Finance and Planning and its inability to find effective solutions to the current financial crisis and the Iraqi government having to contract with foreign authorities to import solutions like other commodities. Which we import from abroad despite the government's release of its white paper, which it sees as an important reform recipe to alter the paths of the Iraqi economy

On the other hand, the economist, Dr. Maytham Laibi said, the Al-Kazemi project is an international American project, unfortunately, not a national project, and it is a project against the Iranian threat, explaining economically Al-Kazemi presented his reform paper, which is a paper of international institutions subject to its requirements, and a paper that needs financial support that can be it is obtained from an international coalition established for this purpose by agreement of a group of superpowers and their institutions, according to a medium-term schedule of 3-5 years.  He explained, "The man (Al-Kazemi) is planning to stay, and he will remain dependent on the opponents’ plans in the coming months, which could be plotted against him in order to bring him down

Laibi expected that the economic reform will continue without "tangible" changes in the exchange rate or "sharp" deductions for employees' salaries ... as these sharp and tangible changes could undermine the stability required to implement the reform package

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Central Bank of Iraq: Returning Iranian funds to Iraq "is not possible"

Economy  ,   2020/10/23 19:12  



Baghdad - Iraq today:


The director of the media office of the Central Bank of Iraq, Yasser Jabbar Aflouk, said that officials in the Iranian banking sector had visited Iraq, accompanied by a representative from the Iranian government, and had asked Iraq to transfer Iranian money in Iraq into the Iraqi dinar and return it to Iran, but officials of the Iraqi Central Bank said explicitly that “ The money will not enter Iran directly. "

The Iraqi official’s statements come days after the visit of Abdel Nasser Hemmati, head of the Iranian Central Bank, to Iraq and the announcement of the imminent return of nearly $ 5 billion of Iranian funds frozen in Iraq against the backdrop of US sanctions imposed on the Iranian banking sector.

Yasser Jabbar Aflouk added that, before the US sanctions were imposed on it, Iran used to take the money it obtained from trade with Iraq in the form of dollars and take it from Iraqi banks.

It seems that the recent US sanctions have closed the limited financial outlets that existed between Iran and Iraq, which further exacerbates the economic situation of Iran, as Tehran viewed Baghdad at this stage as the lung it breathed from and the only way to obtain foreign exchange.

The Iranian government and the Central Bank have been trying for some time to recover Iran's frozen funds in Iraq, and it has tried to do so through Iraqi government banks, as well as non-governmental banks, and even with the help of Iranian banks in Iraq, but the director of the media office of the Central Bank of Iraq, Yasir Jabbar Aflouk, said in this context that This is not possible.

The Iraqi official emphasized that the Iraqi Trade Bank (TBI) is the only institution that can make a decision regarding Iranian funds in Iraq, however, this bank should also seek permission from the central bank that has restricted its activity with Tehran due to US sanctions.



Edited by DinarThug
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Wednesday 15 October 2020

The current financial situation and the call to reduce the exchange rates


The economic file in Iraq did not receive appropriate attention throughout the years following the year 2003, as the oil sector monopolized the engine of growth and economic stability in the country during the past years in the absence of serious government policies to diversify the national economy.

The successive Iraqi governments have been keen to maintain the pattern of growth related to oil despite the risks of mortgaging the national economy to the boom and bust cycles that the oil markets are constantly witnessing. Despite the severity of the crises that affected the Iraqi economy as a result of fluctuating global oil prices, the most recent of which was the 2014 crisis and the collapse of prices to less than (25) dollars per barrel, but the implementation of economic reform policies remained far from the circles of interest in the corridors of decision-making in order to preserve the interests of the political system holding power and resources in Iraq.

In 2020 as is the year 2015 and 2014, oil prices fell sharply, leading all economic sectors towards economic recession due to the fact that the budget and the economy are linked to the oil resource significantly. In light of the unjustified inflation of public spending in recent years, the recent decline was more damaging to the economy due to the exacerbation of the public budget deficit, which is estimated in the 2020 budget of more than (81) trillion dinars compared to (27) trillion dinars, a deficit planned in 2019.

As a result of the Corona pandemic and the large closure it imposed on most advanced and emerging economies, oil prices fell sharply, approaching $ 20 last April. Despite the relative recovery of prices and reaching a barrier of (40) dollars during the past weeks, the reduction of Iraqi oil exports by more than one million barrels per day, in compliance with the OPEC Plus agreement to control production, did not significantly improve the Iraqi oil revenues, which remained ranging around (3) billion dollars until Last September, compared to (6) billion dollars achieved in January of this year.

The current financial crisis in Iraq is a reflection of the weakness of reform policies and economic diversification, and the consequent serious distortion of the right of the public budget in both its revenue and spending levels during the years following the year 2003. On the revenue side, the excessive dependence on oil undermined the chances of stabilizing government revenues, especially with the weak government efforts in Maximizing and mobilizing non-oil revenues and the acquisition of oil for more than 90% of government revenues. As for government expenditures, they continued to balloon outside the limits of the government's financial ability, without achieving significant returns in investment, services and infrastructure. Operating expenses increased in favor of unjustified government employment policies and unjustified consumption expenditures.

With regard to the current financial situation in Iraq, the figures of the Ministry of Finance indicate that Iraq has achieved total revenues of approximately (53) trillion dinars, of which (33) trillion dinars are oil and non-oil revenues, in addition to the revolving balance from the year 2019 to 2020 of (5) trillion dinars and a loan The Ministry of Finance, according to the Internal and External Borrowing Law No. (5) of 2020, amounting to (14.5) trillion dinars. Whereas, financing expenditures for the same period amounted to approximately (51) trillion dinars allocated to salaries, retirement, social protection network, debt premiums, interest, ration card, wheat, operational expenses for security departments, presidencies, health departments, medicines ... etc. An amount of (380) billion dinars for investment projects, according to work achievements. Thus, the remaining amount is approximately 1.8 trillion dinars until mid-September.

Iraq has not had the opportunity to establish stabilization funds capable of absorbing shocks in the oil market and bridging the financing gap, as is the case in the Arab Gulf states. This makes the options for financing public spending in Iraqi dinars limited to the value of crude oil sales to the central bank, and non-oil revenues such as taxes, fees, corporate profits, and sales of government assets and property, which annually cover no more than (3%) of total public spending. And finally, internal loans from the banking system, which are re-deducted with the central bank, so that the latter would indirectly finance the federal government’s debts, given the inability of the Central Bank, according to its law (56 of 2004), to directly finance government loans.

Despite the shortcomings of borrowing in general, the financial and economic situation in the country makes it imperative for the government to adopt an expansionary fiscal policy partly funded by internal public borrowing to compensate for the economic recession caused by the decline in oil prices and the Corona pandemic in most economic sectors in the country. Especially with the increase in unemployment rates as a result of the decline in public and private investment projects and the shrinking of private sector activity, which increases the role of government spending (salaries and government purchases) in continuously moving the productive and service sectors.

In recent times, the option of reducing the value of the Iraqi dinar has been proposed to achieve financial goals (maximizing government revenues) and economic goals (supporting the national product). In fact, all these calls fail to realize the naturalness of the economic, financial and social costs resulting from this policy in comparison to the returns that may be realized. Resorting to lowering the Iraqi dinar to finance the financial resources gap is not an appropriate option at the present time, and for several reasons, the most important of which are:

1- Weak government revenues generated from this option, estimated at (600 billion dinars) per month, if the exchange rate of the dinar is reduced to (1500) dinars against the dollar instead of (1182) dinars against the current prevailing dollar.

2- The high exchange rate of the dollar in a country that depends on imports to feed the domestic demand for various types of goods and services means generating spiral inflationary pressures that erode the cash incomes of the middle classes and seriously crush the poor classes.

3- The central bank’s foreign dollar reserves are still within comfortable ranges ($ 53 billion), which makes the domestic borrowing policy possible even with the widening gap between the Ministry of Finance’s sales to the central bank and the latter’s sales of the dollar to the private sector.

4- The devaluation of the Iraqi dinar at this stage cannot be considered a necessity to raise the capacity of the national product for several reasons, the most important of which is the lack of productive capacities and national goods capable of competing in international markets for the purpose of supporting them by reducing the exchange rate.

5- It is very likely that the procedure to reduce the value of the Iraqi dinar will lead to strong speculation on the dinar by transferring the cash balances (hoarded and saved) from the dinar to the dollar in order to preserve the real value of those assets, which leads to an increase in the demand for the dollar and the transformation of local exchange systems towards dollarization, as happened. In Lebanon.

* Researcher at the Al Furat Center for Development and Strategic Studies / 2004-2020


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Sunday 28th September 2020

The frozen dollar: a thriving money laundering business


Spread on various social networking sites propaganda leaflets for many unknown people promoting the sale of dollars (anonymous), most of the time half or a third of the real price of the dollar is placed on them, so that every $ 100 is sold for $ 50 or less !, or I buy $ 10 thousand at a value Only 5 thousand dollars! Do these dollars have a specific source? Why are they sold at half their real value? And who is behind promoting this trade?

The frozen dollar

The term "frozen dollar" appeared for the first time during the second Gulf War, after Saddam Hussein's army invaded into Kuwaiti territory, millions of dollars were seized from Kuwaiti banks, and in order to prevent the circulation of stolen dollars, their serial numbers were frozen by Western financial systems, which means preventing their circulation In any of the government banks due to the fact that it lacks its real value in the commercial markets, the frozen dollar is not considered counterfeit at all, just like any other dollar, and it cannot be separated from the correct dollar, except that it is not working for a period, and it is not spent in official banks, so it is pumped into the black market By virtue of the lack of awareness of the exchange owners of these frozen numbers, which means that the fraud and fraud operations through it may be very easy, but not every green paper can be a dollar, so it is completely different from a sound dollar, and the process of buying and trading it may be a participation in the laundering and re-circulation of that money .

Brokers and gangs

Gangs and large networks of money laundering and returning the value of what was stolen from the banks, millions of dollars were stolen from the conflict areas, to reach the pockets of the Arabs in one of the largest operations of fraud and fraud, so no one will be able to officially enter these currencies into government banks, and to re-exchange them must enter illegally Legally, they are not fraudulent or 100% valid, but no one can buy them anything except through the black market!

To exchange this frozen dollar, specialized brokers are deployed for this purpose in Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and other Arab countries in which the global financial digital system is somewhat weak, which facilitates the process of trading these currencies, fraud and fraud through them with great ease.

What is its source?

The sources of the frozen dollar are many, but the most widespread in the Arab world comes from the conflict areas in the region, and according to economic analysts, Libya is the most prominent source of the frozen dollar. With the fall of Muammar Gaddafi's regime in Libya after the revolution that toppled his regime in 2011, former US President Barak signed Obama ordered an executive order to freeze all the assets of Gaddafi and his family, in addition to senior figures in the Libyan government at the time and with them the Central Bank and the country's sovereign wealth funds, which led to the accumulation of millions of dollars in the Libyan treasury, and with the deterioration of the security situation in the country, these funds were smuggled into a number of countries Arabia to be discharged at less than its real price.

While some of that money goes back to Iraqi banks, after the US invasion of the country in 2003, when large quantities of dollars were stolen from government banks, which in turn informed Washington in order to freeze them so that no one would benefit from being spent or entered into second bank accounts, in addition to Moreover, some specialized sites mention that some of that money comes from Iran and Venezuela, which are subject to the US administration's sanctions, and huge accounts have been frozen with them, which led to the accumulation of large amounts of frozen dollars.

The capital of the frozen dollar

The capital of the Turkish state, Istanbul, has turned into the capital of the frozen dollar in the world, where the sale of those dollars flourishes for many years, after it was the seat of stolen Iraqi funds and other countries of conflict, and with the outbreak of tension in Libya and Turkey's intervention in the Libyan scene and after its transformation into an ally of the Government of National Accord Affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, that trade flourished strongly in the Turkish capital, especially after the economic crisis that struck the country recently, and some sources from Libya mention that after the economic crisis that struck Turkey this year, which led to the contraction of the Turkish economy by 9,9% in the second quarter of this year and the collapse of the Turkish currency in a big way, some Turkish businessmen tended to transfer large amounts of money from Libya, but that money was frozen before it reached Turkish territory, it turned it into money without a real value for it, and instead of pumping it into The Turkish Central Bank was pumped into the black market to dubbed Istanbul after that as the fridge of Libya's money, turning it into a thriving market for Libyan funds, amid a great government's neglect of buying and selling operations, so is all this done under the supervision of the Turkish government? Or is it unable to control this flourishing trade? .

Iraq and money laundering

Despite the warnings of the Central Bank of Iraq to prevent the circulation of the frozen dollar on the black market, the weak souls of unknown persons may be supported by merchants who continue to publish ads on social networking sites to encourage people to buy these dollars at a price less than their real value, and because Iraq is considered one of the Countries that suffer from crimes of money laundering and cross-border currency smuggling, and gangs are involved in this, taking advantage of the rampant rampant financial corruption, to put their goods on the Iraqi exchange market. Will this money be controlled in Iraq and its promoters and workers held accountable?

* The Future Center for Strategic Studies / 2001-2020


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