By John Lee.
The Governor of Iraq's Central Bank, Abdulbasit Turki, has said that Iraq’s financial capabilities are stronger than any challenges the country might be facing.
Speaking at a celebration to mark the 10th anniversary or Iraq’s Commercial Bank, he said
"The near future will be a surprise … our potentials are greater than any challenges we are going to face."
According to a report from Azzaman, Turki took over the Central Bank’s administration almost 10 months ago following a period in which the bank’s former leadership was alleged to have pursued policies detrimental to the country’s economy and the exchange rate of its national currency, the dinar.
Central Bank’s coffers are reported to be brimming with hard cash with reserves estimated at more than $70 billion.
Turki said the short period in which he has been at the helm of the country’s most influential financial institution has provided him with evidence that Iraq will overcome its economic difficulties with great leaps forward in the near future.
He did not elaborate, but hinted that his bank was negotiating with international banking institutions to open branches in the country and at the same time encourage foreign investment.
“We have met delegations from some of the world’s largest banks who are willing to start operating in Iraq,” he said.
Turki said his institution wants to turn Iraq into an arena for investment, particularly by foreign firms and entrepreneurs to rebuild its infrastructure.
“Iraq is open to all investors willing to invest in it and reconstruct its institutions,” he said.