Vietnam’s foreign ministry welcomes U.S. decision to drop FX manipulator label
Vietnam’s foreign ministry said on Saturday it welcomed the U.S. Treasury’s move on Friday to refrain from formally branding the country a currency manipulator.
“Vietnam will maintain dialogues and consultancy with the U.S. over this issue,” the ministry said in a statement. link
Finance: The budget will go into effect soon
The Parliamentary Finance Committee confirmed that the federal budget law for 2021 will come into effect next week, after its publication in the Iraqi newspaper Al-Waqi’a.
Representative Shirwan Mirza, a member of the Parliamentary Finance Committee, said during a special statement to PUKmedia : The Federal Budget Law for 2021 will enter into force after its publication in the Iraqi newspaper Al-Waqae’i.
He added: The Federal Ministry of Finance has finished drafting most of the budget instructions and will issue it soon, so we believe that the budget law will come into effect during the next week, including the Kurdistan Region’s share.
He explained: According to the federal budget law for the year 2021, the Kurdistan Regional Government must hand over 460 thousand barrels of oil per day and half of non-oil imports to the federal government, including 210 thousand barrels to pay the dues of oil companies and internal use and deliver 250 thousand barrels to SOMO for export Oil, and in return, the federal government pays the Kurdistan Region’s share, which is 13.9% of the budget, or about 11 trillion dinars. link
Iraq is outside the UK’s ranking of high risk countries
Within the framework of the efforts of the Central Bank of Iraq and through the Office of Combating Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing in developing the business environment within the international compliance standards for combating money laundering and terrorist financing, “The British Treasury in the United Kingdom Government Department did not include the name of the Republic of Iraq among the lists of high risk countries according to Resolution No. 392 of 2021. “
The United Kingdom adopted the recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in classifying countries with high risks in terms of applying anti-money laundering and terrorist financing standards, after its exit from the European Union countries, and it promised Iraq committed to keeping pace with and implementing international recommendations.
The fact that Iraq is not included in the list of high-risk countries reflects positively on facilitating business and entering companies between the two countries as well as supporting financial operations between the Iraqi banking sector and the United Kingdom.
Central Bank of Iraq
April 18, 2021 link
Bloomberg: Zimbabwe President Says ‘Fight Still On’ to Fix Broken Economy
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa says the “fight is still on” to fix the broken economy, signaling out the financial industry for resisting the economic turnaround efforts.
“We now know whom we are fighting and who is behind them,” Mnangagwa said on Saturday in an interview with state-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corp. “This helps us to bring about the correct instruments to deal with the financial services sector for it to serve this country and not to serve foreign interests.” He provided no further details.
The government has accused domestic banks, telecommunications operators and other businesses of making excessive profits off the hard currency it makes available at auctions.
The Zimbabwe dollar now trades at 84 to the U.S. dollar after being pegged at parity just two years ago. Many goods and services including fuel are priced in U.S. dollars or greenback equivalents, placing them out of the reach of most Zimbabweans who earn local currency. Teachers who were paid a minimum of $500 three years ago, now earn the equivalent of $213. The incomes of most workers have also shrunk.
Action by the government to penalize the financial industry may hinder efforts by Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube, who went on a global investor roadshow this week to attract investment.
Mnangagwa has previously issued warnings to private companies he blames for undermining his efforts to turn around an economy plagued by annual inflation of 241% and chronic foreign-currency shortages. The November budget projected that gross domestic product will expand 7.4% this year, a rebound from a 4.1% contraction in 2020 that was attributed to the coronavirus, associated lockdowns and a second successive year of drought. The International Monetary Fund expects 3.1% economic growth this year compared with an earlier forecast of 4.2% expansion.
Last year, his government closed the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange for five weeks and singled out the largest mobile operator, Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Ltd., for undermining the nation’s currency through its mobile-money service. Econet denied the allegations.
Zimbabwe hasn’t “done badly” in its efforts to mitigate against the spread of the coronavirus. Without any virus funding from the World Bank and the IMF, domestic resources in excess of $100 million were raised to fight the coronavirus.Relations have improved with the European Union, political dialog and trade activities established with France, Germany and Belgium.The projections of more waves of Covid-19 make the government cast doubt on the Treasury’s GDP forecasts of 7.4%. “With the pandemic which affects economic activity, you cannot again stick to that. We have to revise,” Mnangagwa said.
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