Baghdad, USAID Agree on Economic Balance

A new report jointly compiled by the Iraq Prime Minister’s Advisory Commission and the U.S. Agency for International Development warns that over dependence on oil revenues has the potential of creating significant economic and market distortions.

According to the report, released at an October 4 conference in Baghdad’s Al-Rashid Hotel, rapid expansion of oil wealth, together with the other ingredients of an undeveloped market system and the legacy of decades of a planned economy are “a recipe for political and economic chaos” should a power struggle develop for the control of the government that dominates the economy and disburses billions of dollars in salaries and subsidies.

The Revision of Iraq’s Economic Priorities Conference was co-hosted by PMAC and the USAID-Tijara Provincial Economic Growth Program and brought together Iraqi leaders from the executive branch, the Council of Representatives, businesses, labor unions, and academia.

Thamir Ghadhban, chairman of PMAC, stressed the need for a clear vision for economic policy and a timeframe for the execution of its goals, pointing out that: "the transition from totalitarian regimes to pluralism, accompanied by the transformation of the state-controlled economic system to a market economy, is difficult and lengthy.”

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