The Need for Private Industry

The Need for Private Industry

As reported this morning on Iraq Business News, a former Minister for Planning has spoken out about the need to diversify the Iraqi economy away from its current dependence on oil and gas.

Mahdi Al-Hafez told Asharq Al-Awsat that Iraq must adopt “a policy of diversifying the economy and developing other productive sectors such as industry, agriculture, communications and tourism”.

Importantly, he stressed the need to develop the private sector, which currently accounts for only 33 percent of GDP (and much of that 33 percent involves contracting to the government and its agencies).

While it would be naive to suggest that Iraq could ever free itself from dependence on the very important energy sector — at least not while there is oil still in the ground — there is a huge need to build up other successful industries, and to allow private individuals and businesses to flourish outside of state control.

Just another point to be borne in mind in the run-up to the parliamentary elections at the end of the month.

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An Eventful Week in Iraqi Business

An Eventful Week in Iraqi Business

It is surely significant for global oil supplies that within the past two weeks, two of the largest Iraqi oil fields have started production: Lukoil commenced pumping at West Qurna 2 at the end of March, while Shell exported its first crude from Majnoon this week.

As a result, oil production is set to rise sharply, and as our Expert Blogger Mark DeWeaver explains, this is one of the factors that should help to boost Iraq’s stock market, which has been held back by the uncertainty surounding the forthcoming parliamentary elections –  you can find the full list of candidates here.

Meanwhile this week, we have news of everything from new cement factories to new Pizza Hut franchises opening, and from new power stations to new the new Erbil stock exchange.

(Flag image via Shutterstock)

 

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Money Still Flowing into Iraq

Money Still Flowing into Iraq

With just four weeks left to the parliamentary elections, and all the uncertainty and risk that that brings, it is interesting to note that money is still flowing into the country and oil is still flowing out.

On the production and export side, the latest figures look very positive, and Lukoil has just started production at the giant West Qurna 2 oilfield.

As regards investment, we see Abu Dhabi’s TAQA pumping $300 million into its Atrush oilfield, and Samsung signing an $840 million deal at Zubair.

Meanwhile, analysis from our Expert Blogger Mark DeWeaver questions the official exchange rate for the Iraqi Dinar, arguing that “one exchange rate should be enough“.

You can read all about it at Iraq Business News.

(Flag image via Shutterstock)

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APRIL FOOL: IBN Reporter Wins Award

APRIL FOOL: IBN Reporter Wins Award

By Nora Lenderby.

Iraq Business News is pleased to announce that our intrepid reporter John Lee has been honoured with an award from the Goldman-Rothschild Institute for Monetary Efficiency.

Although no formal announcement has been made, we understand that the award relates to the maintenance of monetary stability in Iraq.

At first Mr Lee was reluctant to discuss the award, which was conferred at a private ceremony at the organisation’s underground headquarters deep in the Swiss Alps, but when pressed he said it was given in recognition of his efforts in helping to limit the number of beneficiaries of the recent thousand-fold revaluation of the Iraqi Dinar (IQD).

What people don’t yet know,” he said, “is that the ‘Big RV’, the Global Currency Reset (GCR), has already happened, and the big players have all cashed out. That door is now closed – job done. We’ve turned our billions of dollars into trillions of dollars.

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Our Publisher Retires

Our Publisher Retires

By Padraig O’Hannelly.

As many of our email subscribers will already be aware, our Publisher, Antony Wakeham, will retire at the end of March.

In fact it is not the first time that Antony has retired – having completed a long and successful career in publishing, he was coaxed back to spearhead the development of Iraq Business News, driving it on to become the premier source for business news about Iraq.

On behalf of myself and all at IBN, I would like to thank him for his inspirational leadership, sage guidance and tireless commitment over the past four years, and wish him a long and enjoyable retirement.

I will take up the reins as Publisher following Antony’s retirement.

(Flag image via Shutterstock)

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A Challenge for the Electoral Commission

A Challenge for the Electoral Commission

With just six weeks left to the parliamentary elections in Iraq, scheduled for 30th April, former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi has sais that the elections may not be held due to the security problems in the country.

Addressing a youth organization affiliated to his National Iraqi Alliance, Allawi expressed doubts about the integrity and transparency of the forthcoming elections, citing reports that forged electronic voting cards were being sold.

According to the London-based newspaper Asharq Al Awsat, he has also raised concerns that a number of serving and former Iraqi parliamentarians have been excluded from the elections, including former finance minister Rafie Al-Issawi.

The conditions for an election will not be ideal in the forseeable future, so rather than postponing the ballot, the remaining six weeks must be put to good use. The onus must now be on the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) to ensure that confidence is restored in the electoral process.

(Flag image via Shutterstock)

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Another Week of Progress in Iraq

Another Week of Progress in Iraq

As oil exports from Iraq hit a 25-year high, our newsletter this week highlights a string of successes for businesses, and not just in the oil sector.

In addition to another oil find in Kurdistan and a new pipeline connection at Badra, we have news of a security deal at West Qurna, a Kuwaiti contract to clean up Basra, and a $63 million order for elevators at Bismaya.

And for future deals, check out the new opportunities in our Tenders section — it’s all free of charge to readers of Iraq Business News.

(Flag image via Shutterstock)

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IBN – Home of Iraq’s Best Bloggers!

IBN – Home of Iraq’s Best Bloggers!

We are proud to announce that in our newsletter this week the top four articles are all from our dedicated panel of bloggers:

On our Expert Blogger section (to the right of the home page) you can also find recent contributions from Robert Tollast, Ahmed Mousa Jiyad, Michael Carr, and John Schnittker.

As always, you can count on Iraq Business News to give you the inside track!

(Flag image via Shutterstock)

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