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Sunday Morning Iraq Economic News Highlights 9-3-23

“The Interest Will Not Be Shared.” 3 Negative Aspects Of The “Railway Link” With Iran – Urgent

Baghdad today – Baghdad  Today, Saturday (September 2, 2023), an Iraqi political movement identified three negative aspects of the railway link between Iraq and Iran.

The Secretary-General of the Bayariq Al-Khair Movement, Muhammad Al-Khalidi, told “Baghdad Today”, that “Iraq’s geographical location allows it to turn into a compass in the birth of international routes for international trade that extend from the Gulf to Europe directly through Turkey through the path of development.”

However, Al-Khalidi considered the “sudden” railway link project with Iran harmful to Iraq, especially with the reports of economists who warned of its repercussions on the country’s development projects.

He added, “There are three drawbacks to the railway link, the most prominent of which is that the benefit will not be shared, especially since the project is being implemented with Iranian funding, which gives Tehran a source of control over it.”

He pointed out that “any railway link project with any of the neighboring countries must adopt the concept of economic feasibility and the extent of support for the national economy,” expressing his astonishment at the neglect of reports by economists who pointed to negative points in the project.

Al-Khalidi added, “Iraq is an extension from sea to land, and it can shift from 10-20% of international trade coming from Southeast Asia to Europe through its territory, which means a huge wealth of investments and development, but the step of rail linkage will reduce the financial benefits.” .

Today, Saturday morning (September 2, 2023), Prime Minister Muhammad Shia’a al-Sudani laid the foundation stone for the railway link project at the Shalamjah port in Basra.

A statement by the media office stated in a statement received by “Baghdad Today” that “the prime minister laid the foundation stone for the railway link project at the Shalamcheh port in Basra, to transport travelers and visitors to the holy shrines, between the Republic of Iraq and the Islamic Republic of Iran, in the presence of Iranian Vice President Muhammad Mukhber.”

And the Iraqi government had confirmed, earlier today, Saturday, (September 2, 2023), that the railway link project (Basra-Shalamja) between Iraq and Iran will be for the transportation of individuals, while it reviewed its most important benefits, in exchange for the registration of objections by popular and political circles.

The government spokesman, Basem Al-Awadi, told “Baghdad Today” that “the foundation stone for the project will be laid in the presence of Prime Minister Muhammad Shia Al-Sudani and a senior Iranian official, according to an agreement between the two countries.”

And he indicated, “The project is to transport travelers only and activate the tourism sector between the two countries, and beyond that, its arrival in the countries of Central Asia, especially in the forty-day visit ceremonies, after the citizens of those countries were among the means of transportation.”

Regarding the economic importance, Al-Awadi said, “The railway connection is one of the pillars of the international economy and in Iraq as well, and it is a project open to all neighboring countries such as Saudi Arabia, Syria and Turkey.”

He stressed that “the railways set for the Shalamcheh-Basra line are intended for the transport of travelers, and most importantly, Iraq does not remain isolated.”

Al-Awadi explained, “The project is implemented equally between Iraq and Iran, and each party implements what is related to it to the convergence borders of the project.”

It is noteworthy that the Council of Ministers approved in its session last week regarding the Basra-Shalamja railway project, the following:

1- The Basra governorate obtains the approval of all concerned departments on the path proposed by it, and it is fixed in the basic design of the governorate, in a way that does not conflict with any future activity or projects.

2- Obtaining the fundamental approvals to allocate the land belonging to the state, through which the track passes, for the purposes of the Basra-Shalamcheh railway project.

3- The Basra Governorate removing all encroachments on the new railway track proposed by the Basra Governorate.

4 – The Ministry of Environment / Department of Mine Affairs to identify the areas contaminated with mines on the new route proposed by the province of Basra.

5- The Ministry of Transport shall determine the expropriation amounts to be included in the project with the Ministry of Planning.

It is noteworthy that the project faces opposition political and popular opinions, given that it will eliminate the ports of Iraq, the most prominent of which is the great Faw, because “the railway link harms Iraq, as it will make ships go to the ports of Kuwait and Iran, which will negatively affect the Iraqi economy.”   LINK

5 Differences Between The Center And The Region Will Afflict The New Draft Oil Law.. What Are They?

Economy  |Today  Baghdad today – Baghdad  Today, Sunday (September 3, 2023), economist Nabil Al-Marsoumi revealed 5 differences between the center and the region that may plague the new draft oil law.

Al-Marsoumi said, in a clarification received by “Baghdad Today”, that “there are several differences between the center and the region that may plague the new draft oil law.”

He added, The first difference is represented by Article 5 of the new draft oil and gas law, which stipulates that the Federal Council shall be established under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister or whomever he authorizes, and includes in its membership each of the Federal Minister of Oil, the Federal Minister of Finance, the Federal Minister of Planning, the Governor of the Central Bank, the Minister of Natural Resources in the region, and the governors of Three oil-producing provinces that are not organized into a region and three experts.

He explained, “Decisions are taken by majority, while the region believes that the Federal Council for Oil and Gas should include in its membership both the federal government (ministers of oil, finance and planning) and the regional government (ministers of natural resources, finance and planning) and governors of oil-producing governorates that are not organized in a region. The presidency is in The council is rotating and decisions are taken unanimously.

Al-Marsoumi continued: “As for the second difference, it concerns (Article 8 First), which stipulates that the Federal Ministry of Oil shall manage the oil and gas-producing fields throughout Iraq in coordination with the region and the producing provinces. As for the vision of the region, it is summarized as follows: The federal government manages the oil and gas extracted from the fields.

The current (which was extracted, developed, and commercially produced before the constitution expired in 2005) with the regional government and the producing governorates that are not organized in a region. commercial production after the expiry of the constitution).

And he added, “While the third disagreement is about Article 11 of the new draft oil law, as it states that the Federal Council is the one that gives approval to oil licensing contracts, while the region sees that it is the competent authority on exploration, development and production contracts or any other contracts with the contractor that The choice falls on him and does not require the approval of the Federal Council.

He pointed out that “the fourth difference is in Article 16 of the draft law, which stipulates that the ministry is the supreme authority responsible for the obligations of the contractors, while the region believes that the competent authority in the region is responsible for the obligations of the contractors in the contracting areas within the region,

and the fifth difference is in the article 24 of the draft law that the main pipelines are owned by the federal government, while the region says that the federal government, the regional government, and the producing provinces establish and own pipelines to transport oil and gas.

He concluded by saying that “the sixth difference is that the new draft oil law did not include any article indicating the marketing of oil and the party responsible for it, but as is currently in force and confirmed by the Federal Court, the Ministry of Oil represented by SOMO is the only party responsible for marketing all Iraqi oil regardless of Its production site, while the region sees that the Federal Council sets marketing and sales policies, and the sale process is carried out by marketing companies belonging to the regional government or producing governorates that are not organized in a region.  LINK

6 Points Of Contention Between Baghdad And Erbil May Plague The New Draft Oil And Gas Law.. What Are They?

Policy  09-03-2023 | Source:  Alsumaria News  1,530 views  Alsumaria News – Politics  Today, Sunday, September 3, 2023, economist Nabil Al-Marsoumi revealed 6 differences between the central government of Baghdad and the Kurdistan region that may plague the new draft oil law.

Al-Marsoumi said in a post that I followed  Alsumaria News  The first difference:

Article 5 of the new draft oil and gas law states the following:

First:  It establishes  Federal Council  It is chaired by the Prime Minister or whomever he authorizes, and includes in its membership the following:

  1. Federal Minister of Oil
  2. Federal Minister of Finance
  3. Federal Minister of Planning
  4. Governor of the Central Bank
  5. Minister of Natural Resources in the region
  6. Governors of three oil-producing provinces that are not affiliated with a region
  7. Three experts

Second: Decisions are taken by the majority while the region sees that For oil and gas, it should include in its membership:

First: It shall include  Federal Council For oil and gas, each of:

  1. The federal government (ministers of oil, finance and planning)
  2. The regional government (ministers of natural resources, finance and planning)
  3. Governors of oil-producing governorates that are not affiliated with a region

Second: The presidency in the council is periodic

Third: Decisions are taken unanimously

Expert, “The second difference: The bill stipulates in Article 8 first the following:

The  Federal Ministry of Oil Management of oil and gas producing fields in the pan Iraq In coordination with the producing region and governorates.

As for the vision of the region, it is summarized as follows:

The federal government manages the oil and gas extracted from the current fields (which were extracted, developed and commercially produced before the constitution ran out in 2005) with the regional government and the producing provinces that are not organized in a region.

The government of the producing region or provinces shall have the authority concerned with managing oil and gas in the current and future fields (which are the fields from which oil and gas have been extracted, developed, and produced commercially after the constitution runs out). Federal Council

He is the one who grants approval for oil licensing contracts, while the region considers it the competent authority for exploration, development and production contracts, or any other contracts with the contractor who is chosen, and this does not require approval Federal Council.

He also pointed out that “the fourth difference: in Article 16 of the draft law, the ministry is the supreme authority responsible for the obligations of the contractors, while the region believes that the competent authority in the region is responsible for the obligations of the contractors in the contracting areas within the region.”

Al-Marsoumi explained, “The fifth discrepancy: In Article 24 of the draft law, the main pipelines are owned by the federal government, while the region says that the federal government, the regional government, and the producing provinces establish and own pipelines to transport oil and gas.”

He added, “The sixth difference: Although the new draft oil law did not include any article referring to the marketing of oil and the party responsible for it, but as is currently in force and confirmed by the Federal Court, the Ministry of Oil is represented by SumoIt is the only party responsible for marketing all Iraqi oil, regardless of the location of its production Federal Council  He sets marketing and sales policies, and the sales process is carried out by marketing companies belonging to the regional government or the producing governorates that are not affiliated with a region.

Despite the economic importance of the Iraqi Oil and Gas Law, which has been awaiting legislation in parliament since 2005, which stipulates that the responsibility for managing the country’s oil fields should be entrusted to a national oil company, which will supervise it.

Baghdad However, the dispute over the issue of managing the fields of the region Kurdistan Iraq Oil has prevented it from being voted on for many years, as the law was passed many times during previous parliamentary sessions and was not included in parliamentary laws and legislation.

The stalled oil and gas law in the Iraqi parliament since its first session, in 2005, is one of the most prominent points on which a preliminary agreement was reached between the two governments. Baghdad and territory Kurdistan.

On February 15 of last year 2022, the Federal Supreme Court issued a ruling that the oil and gas law of the regional government of 2007, which regulates the oil industry and its extraction in the region, was unconstitutional. This ruling came after the regional government concluded contracts with foreign oil companies. Provincial government refused Kurdistan Federal Court decision, relinquishing control over oil exports.  LINK