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Tuesday Morning Iraq Economic News Highlights 8-16-23

Economists: Solving The Dollar Crisis Needs Long-Term Solutions 

Written By: Social Baghdad  08-14-2023  Economists considered that controlling dollar prices requires time and long-term solutions due to the complete paralysis of the productive sector in Iraq.

Experts explained that the agricultural and industrial productive sector in Iraq is completely suspended, and that Iraq remains dependent on imports will drain the dollar from the Iraqi markets, and the neighboring countries are the biggest winners, in addition to the difficulty of controlling smuggling and speculation mafias by the competent authorities, ruling out the return of the dollar to normal exchange rates quickly – In light of the economic data, it is worth noting that there is a contradiction between government statements, with the assumptions of economists, that the exchange rate of the dollar should stabilize at its current rates in the parallel market.  LINK

Economist: Washington Imposes Its Authority On Iraqi Oil Revenues

Information / Baghdad…Economic affairs researcher Muhammad Al-Saadi explained, on Tuesday, the extent to which it is possible to obtain oil revenues from importing countries directly without placing these funds with the US Federal Bank.

Al-Saadi told Al-Maalouma that “China, India and other Asian countries import Iraqi oil in large quantities, but Iraq receives revenues through the US Federal Bank, which makes Washington an authority over those revenues.”

He added, “The dollar, as an American currency that is prohibited in some countries, Iraq can benefit from such a procedure by selling oil in exchange for goods, goods, and raw materials needed by the Iraqi industry, or introducing companies from those countries and engaging them in the field of construction, construction, and project implementation.”

And he indicated that “the continuation of selling oil in exchange for obtaining dollars may not be a good idea, as it is possible to obtain projects, goods and goods instead of oil revenues in dollar currency.”

He pointed out that “Iraq has large reserves of hard currency with the US Federal Bank.” LINK

Parliament Excludes The Passage Of The Oil And Gas Law Because Of Its Preoccupation With The General Amnesty

Economy   2023/08/15 Number of readings: 174 Baghdad-Iraq today:  The Parliamentary Legal Committee ruled out passing the oil and gas law in the current legislative term of the House of Representatives, while confirming the current preoccupation of the political blocs and parliamentary committees with the amnesty law.

A member of the Legal Committee, Omid Muhammad, said in a press interview, “The oil and gas law is one of the topics that were voted on in the ministerial curriculum of the Prime Minister, Muhammad al-Sudani.”

Muhammad added, “There is a political agreement between the political blocs to pass the law during this session, and today we notice the start of work on forming specialized committees regarding the law, and writing the draft is evidence that there is a serious intention by the government and parliamentary blocs within the Iraqi parliament to legislate the law.”

He pointed out that “accelerating the legislation makes the results negative,” stressing that “the committee supports the legislation of the law, but with good formulation and accuracy by the specialized committees, because the file of the region and Baghdad is a small part of the problems within this draft law.”

He pointed out that “there are many problems between the oil-producing provinces, such as Kirkuk and Basra, so its drafting will be more important than its legislation,” stressing “the need for time to draft the law and write the draft.”

He stressed that “there will be no oil and gas law during the current legislative term, especially as we are now before the provincial council elections, in addition to the fact that decisions have been sent regarding the general amnesty law,” pointing out that ” the council needs time to legislate the general amnesty law.”

And he continued, “During the current legislative term, committees will be formed to draft and audit the draft, and it is possible that the draft will be read in the first and second readings, and its approval will be transferred to the next legislative term.” in the coming year, because the parliament will be preoccupied with the general amnesty law, as well as some other laws included in its agenda. ” LINK

Parliamentary Finance: There Is No Scarcity Of The Dollar And Merchants Are Reluctant To Leave The Electronic Platform

Economical  2023/08/15: Al-Sabah,  a member of the Parliamentary Finance Committee, Mueen Al-Kazemi, said yesterday, Monday: that merchants are reluctant to enter the electronic platform for buying and selling dollars and resort to the black market, which raises the prices of the dollar in the local markets.

Al-Kazemi explained that “the central bank’s basic sales of foreign remittances, which range daily between 150-200 million dollars, have some complexity on the part of the US Federal Bank.”

He added, “There is a reluctance of merchants to enter the electronic platform to buy dollars and resort to the black market to buy dollars, which increases the demand for dollars and thus an increase in its prices until the exchange rate of $100 reached more than 150,000 dinars.”

Al-Kazemi continued, “There is no scarcity of dollars in the central bank, but rather the problem lies in the central bank’s procedures and the complications of obtaining dollars for merchants and preventing the transfer of money to countries prohibited by the US Federal Bank, which prompts the merchant to resort to the black market and collect dollars to buy consumer goods and foodstuffs.” from abroad.”

Ports Achieve Half A Trillion Dinars In Eight Months

Economical  2023/08/15   Batool Al-Hassani  The Ministry of Transport revealed that revenues exceeded half a trillion dinars were achieved within 8 months.  The ministry’s media director, Maitham Al-Safi, told Al-Sabah: “The General Company for Iraqi Ports managed during the eight months of this year to work on implementing the paragraphs of the government program by completing giant projects to supplement the national economy, as the grand welcome yard was opened in the port of Umm Qasr, which operates under the system Electronic automation, which contributed to reducing the time from three days to less than two hours, eliminated manipulation and corruption, and reduced truck congestion and delays in shipping goods.

He added, “Advanced rates have been achieved in the five berths project in the large port of Faw, reaching 70 percent, after it was not more than 19 percent eight months ago. Casting of the concrete wall for this project has been initiated, in addition to achieving advanced completion rates in the submerged tunnel project.” The port projects, which are completed according to the latest international technical designs.

Al-Safi added, “Excavation work is continuing in the navigational channel linked to the large port of Faw and other navigational channels, in addition to continuing work on the highway linking the large port of Faw and the submerged tunnel, with advanced completion rates. 56 approaches to the submerged tunnel have been completed from both sides of the ports of Faw and Umm Qasr.”

Pointing out that “the ports achieved revenues amounting to half a trillion Iraqi dinars, and exceptional financial revenue rates during the first half of this year.”

And he indicated that “the completion rates in the container yard project amounted to 57 percent, and the ports opened 12 concrete tanks for grain storage at Berth No. 2, with a capacity of 12,500 tons per tank.”

The Stability Of Exchange Rates Is On The Rise In The Local Markets

Economy  |Baghdad today – Baghdad   Today, Tuesday (August 15, 2023), the exchange rates of the dollar against the Iraqi dinar have stabilized, on an increase, in the local markets.

The “Baghdad Today” correspondent said, “Today, the selling price amounted to 154,000 dinars per 100 dollars, while the purchase price amounted to 152,000 dinars, per 100 dollars.”

The exchange rates of the dollar are witnessing a remarkable rise, since the imposition of US sanctions on 14 Iraqi banks.   LINK

Parliamentary Committee: Completion Of The Draft Oil And Gas Law Within Two Weeks

Posted On2023-08-15 By Sotaliraq  A specialized parliamentary committee expected to complete the drafts of the oil and gas law within two weeks, pointing out that it includes about 40 articles.

The deputy head of the Oil and Gas Committee in the House of Representatives, Nehru Rwandzi, said, “Prime Minister Muhammad Shia al-Sudani decided to form a committee of three ministers of the Iraqi federal government from the three components, Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds, to resolve the matter of the draft oil and gas law.”

Two draft laws were prepared by the Iraqi federal government in the years 2007 and 2011 and submitted them to the House of Representatives, but differences between the political parties prevented a vote on any of them.

According to informed sources, the main point of disagreement regarding the draft oil and gas law is between the Kurdistan region and the Iraqi federal government over the powers to produce oil and gas, the method of managing joint fields, and the interpretation of Article 11 of the permanent Iraqi constitution, which says that oil belongs to all Iraqis in all regions and governorates.

And the first meeting was held in Baghdad on (August 5, 2023) to discuss the issue of the draft oil and gas law, with the participation of the delegation of the Kurdistan Regional Government, the federal ministers of foreign affairs and oil, representatives of the oil and gas producing provinces, and the prime minister’s advisors.

Rwandzi continued, “Opinions were divided on two fronts, one for the provinces that produce oil in abundance, such as the province of Basra, and its opinion is close to the opinion of the Kurdistan region, which calls for granting them a special status and relying on the constitution in dealing with this issue, and another front for the provinces with little production of oil and gas, which is closer to the call for centralization.”

The sixth paragraph of Article 13 of the Federal General Budget Law stipulates that dealing with the oil of the Kurdistan region will take place in accordance with the budget law until the issuance of an oil and gas law, and the most prominent articles of the budget in this regard require that the Kurdistan region hand over 400 thousand barrels of oil per day to the federal government in order to obtain its financial dues .

The ministerial platform of the government headed by Muhammad Shia’ al-Sudani, which was voted on in the House of Representatives on (October 27, 2022), provides for authorizing the federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government to negotiate the oil and budget files to prepare the draft oil and gas law in accordance with the constitution and within six months of the new government assuming its duties.

The six months have passed and the draft oil and gas law, which is the key to resolving the differences between the Kurdistan region and the federal government, has not been prepared.

For his part, a member of the Parliamentary Oil and Gas Committee, Ali Al-Lami, stated that the number of articles in the draft oil and gas law will exceed 40 articles, while the number of articles in the previous two drafts was less, indicating that the draft will be drafted by taking into account the opinions of the oil-producing governorates and in accordance with political agreements.

Al-Lami expected that “the agreement will obtain a draft oil and gas law within the next two weeks, and it will be voted on in the Council of Ministers to be submitted to the House of Representatives for the purpose of approval.”   LINK