The National Investment Commission: Basra has economic components that make it a magnet for investors
The head of the National Investment Commission, Suha Daoud Najjar, confirmed today, Friday, that Basra Governorate possesses economic components that make it a destination for investors, as it is characterized by a strategic location, mineral wealth and great human energy, which makes it a fertile land for investment, as well as the market’s need for investment projects in various sectors.
Najjar said during an extensive press conference held during its opening Friday, 6/8/2021, four investment projects in the industrial sector in Basra Governorate, “These projects that specialize in the petrochemical industry contribute to the employment of manpower in the city and supply the Basra market in particular and the Iraqi local market in a better way.” General with industrial products of standard specifications.
She referred to “the position of the National Investment Commission, which is technically and administratively supportive of all investment commissions in the governorates to encourage investment in them.”
The head of the National Investment Commission arrived in Basra this morning, Friday, accompanied by a high-level delegation from the Commission, where its two-day visit will witness a meeting with the heads of investment authorities in the provinces and participation in the International Conference on Investment in Basra, which will be held tomorrow, Saturday. link
The second within hours.. an explosion targeting a convoy of the coalition in Iraq
On Thursday, unknown persons detonated an explosive device in a convoy of the International Coalition in the central province of Babylon, in the second attack of its kind within hours, according to a security source.
In a telephone conversation with “Anatolia” correspondent, Lieutenant in the Babylon Police Ali Al-Samer said that an explosive device planted on the side of the road exploded on a convoy of trucks carrying logistical equipment of the International Coalition on the highway in Babil Governorate.
Al-Samer added that the attack caused damage to a number of the wheels of one of the trucks, without causing any casualties, noting that the authorities opened an investigation into the accident.
This attack is the second of its kind within a few hours, after a bomb exploded on another convoy in the southern province of Diwaniyah, causing damage to one of the trucks, according to a security source to Anatolia.
The new attack is also the seventh of its kind within a week, after similar attacks that took place in the governorates of Diwaniyah, Dhi Qar (south) and Babil (central).
In recent weeks, attacks by missiles, drones and improvised explosive devices targeting the US embassy and coalition forces, led by Washington, have escalated across Iraq.
Washington accuses Iraqi armed factions linked to Iran of being behind the attacks targeting its embassy and bases where American soldiers are deployed in the country. link
Iraq knocks on the door of the IMF, requesting a loan of up to 4 billion dollars
The Ministry of Finance has started the draft budget for 2022, assuming the oil price is at $50 per barrel
Iraqi Finance Minister Ali Allawi said yesterday, Thursday, that Iraq recently resumed talks with the International Monetary Fund to obtain a loan of between 3 and 4 billion dollars, after it had earlier halted such efforts to secure liquidity.
Talks between the International Monetary Fund and Iraq began last year, amid the pandemic-related demand shock that caused oil prices to fall, but the discussions were postponed as energy markets and the country’s foreign exchange reserves recovered. The government is now proactively looking forward to help cover its budget deficit.
“I don’t think we will reach an agreement with the International Monetary Fund before the end of this year,” Allawi told reporters in Baghdad. “With the October 10 national elections approaching, the government and parliament will be sidelined.”
The Ministry of Finance started the draft budget 2022 with the assumption of the oil price at $ 50 a barrel, considering that this level is not fixed.
The Iraqi Minister of Finance announced that the 2022 budget, which the ministry began preparing a few days ago, will have a reformist dimension, as it is “different from previous budgets” and reflects “the reality of Iraq’s obligations.”
He explained that the ministry will seek to submit this new budget to Parliament before the early parliamentary elections scheduled for October, adding that it will be a “reform budget, but it may be politically difficult.”
The minister is likely hinting at the difficulty of passing the new budget due to the high value of the deficit in it, as happened in the previous budget. In the proposed 2021 budget bill, which the government submitted to Parliament, the value of the deficit was estimated at 49 billion dollars. However, the deputies made up the difference by canceling debts and dues from the state, especially dues for Iranian gas and energy, and other payments for infrastructure.
The value of the deficit in the 2021 budget, as approved by Parliament, amounted to $19.8 billion, compared to $23.1 billion in 2019, knowing that Iraq did not approve the 2020 budget due to political tension.
The total value of revenues in the 2021 budget amounted to about 69.9 billion dollars, calculated based on the export of crude oil on the basis of a price of 45 dollars per barrel, and an export rate of 3 million and 250 thousand barrels per day. As for the value of the 2021 budget, it amounted to $89.7 billion, about 30% lower than the last budget approved in 2019.
The Minister of Finance explained that the price of a barrel in the new budget will be 50 dollars, which is an adjustable figure. However, the value of a barrel of oil in the market is currently much higher.
Iraq, the second largest oil producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, is going through its worst economic crisis. The poverty rate in the country has doubled during 2020, and 40% of the population of 40 million is classified as poor according to the World Bank, while the Iraqi dinar has lost 25% of its value.
Corruption, which has cost Iraq twice as much as its gross domestic product, or more than $450 billion, is the main concern of Iraqis who suffer from a lack of electricity, hospitals and schools.
However, the minister said that Iraq’s financial situation has improved this year due to “the rise in the price of oil and the change in the exchange rate of the dinar.”
With regard to oil, Allawi believes that the current price levels are good for producers and balanced for consumers. Looking ahead, he predicts that the next battle in OPEC will not be over prices, but over who exports more, and if all members boost exports, prices will surely suffer.
The minister lamented ExxonMobil ‘s withdrawal from the country’s energy projects, but said he agreed that the company should stick to its policies.
Iraq is expected to sign an agreement with Total Energies SE before the current government’s mandate expires, although the completion of the contract may extend to the next administration, according to Allawi.
On July 25, the Iraqi Council of Ministers agreed to award Total Energies SE a contract to develop a natural gas field, allowing it to help boost oil production in the country. The French energy company aims to collect and process 600 million standard cubic feet of gas per day from the Ratawi field, according to the government.
As for the agreement Iraq signed with Lebanon last month to export one million tons of heavy fuel oil annually – the price of which is paid through services and goods – Allawi said that Iraq will look to benefit from the Lebanese expertise in the fields of banking, education and tourism. link
Source: Dinar Recaps
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