IMF Staff Concludes Virtual Visit to Iraq
End-of-Mission press releases include statements of IMF staff teams that convey preliminary findings after a visit to a country. The views expressed in this statement are those of the IMF staff and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF’s Executive Board.
The economy is recovering from last year’s sharp contraction, helped by higher oil prices and easing of the containment measures.
Non-oil real GDP is expected to rebound by 12 percent in 2021 while the fiscal and current account balances are expected to improve significantly.
Higher oil revenues present the opportunity to tackle Iraq’s significant vulnerabilities, strengthen resilience, and achieve durable and more inclusive growth. The IMF stands ready to support Iraq toward these ends.
Washington, DC: A staff team of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) led by Tokhir Mirzoev held a virtual mission with the Iraqi authorities during November 28 – December 2 to discuss recent economic developments and outlook as well as policy priorities in the period ahead.
At the end of the mission, Mr. Mirzoev issued the following statement:
“The Iraqi economy is recovering from last year’s sharp contraction, helped by the increase in oil revenues and easing of the COVID-19 containment measures. In recent weeks, new COVID-19 infections have declined significantly, and the vaccination rate has been gradually improving. Real non-oil GDP is expected to expand by 12 percent in 2021 and oil output is projected to gradually increase in line with the OPEC+ agreements. Inflation has reached 7.2 percent in September and is projected to ease in the coming months.
The fiscal and external current account balances are expected to improve significantly in 2021 from double-digit deficits in 2020, mainly due to higher oil prices. The recovery is expected to continue in the medium term albeit subject to considerable downside risks, most notably related to the oil market volatility and the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Higher oil revenues present an important opportunity to tackle Iraq’s significant underlying vulnerabilities, strengthen resilience to future climate and other challenges, and advance key socio-economic priorities. Achieving these goals will require strengthening public finances, while creating the fiscal space for much-needed investment and social safety nets and promoting private sector development.
To this end, key priorities include a civil service reform aimed at increasing public sector’s efficiency and containing the wage bill, reducing inefficient energy subsidies, diversifying fiscal revenues, stemming losses in the electricity sector, strengthening governance. Improving the coverage and targeting of social assistance will help better protect the most vulnerable.
And restructuring large state-owned banks and strengthening their governance will be critical to revitalizing the financial sector and ensuring private sector’s access to finance. The IMF stands ready to support Iraq in these endeavors.
“The IMF staff team would like to thank the authorities for candid and productive discussions during this mission.” ink
Iranian currency records a new collapse
On Saturday, the Iranian “riyal” recorded a new collapse after reports of the failure of the nuclear talks that concluded Friday, its sessions between Iran and international powers regarding reviving the nuclear agreement.
Local news websites and centers concerned with foreign exchange affairs in the Tehran Free Market reported that the riyal recorded a collapse against foreign currencies.
The exchange rate of the US dollar against the Iranian riyal amounted to 301 thousand and 700 riyals, while the exchange rate of the euro against the riyal amounted to 342 thousand and 250 riyals, and the exchange rate of the British pound reached 400 thousand and 450 thousand Iranian riyals.
The failure of the nuclear talks between Iran and the “4+1” group in Vienna, which began last Monday, amid talk of Tehran and Washington’s lack of optimism about this round, affected the price of coins in Iran.
“The dollar exchange rate in the market today hit a record high in 14 months,” Mohammad Kesheti Arai, deputy head of the Tehran Gold Association, told the Iranian “Tijara News” website.
However, the Iranian government-run “IRNA” news agency wrote in response to the dollar’s rise that pessimism about the outcome of the talks was “a line drawn by the enemies” and called for government intervention to balance the market.
It is not yet clear to what extent the dollar exchange rate in Iran will continue to rise, but in September of last year, the price of the dollar reached its peak at 320,000 riyals, after which the Central Bank was able, by injecting a huge dollar into the market, to reduce this figure to less than 210 thousand Iranian riyals.
The seventh round of talks to revive the nuclear deal concluded in Vienna on Friday. In this round of talks, Iran presented two drafts that Western countries described as exaggerated and unacceptable.
It was not clear when the eighth round of the Vienna talks would take place, but Western diplomats said: “If Iran does not show the necessary flexibility in the talks, the talks will fail.”
It is expected that the dollar exchange rate will continue to rise and the Iranian currency will depreciate, while the country’s inflation rate has exceeded 50%.
Last October, Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi called on the Central Bank and the Ministry of Economy to stop the growth of the exchange rate and devalue the riyal. link
Source: Dinar Recaps
Biotechnology and the Iraqi economy
Biotechnology is one of the very important scientific developments that humanity has reached in the current era. Biotechnology is defined as the application of science in the fields of biological systems and living organisms in order to reach their use for industrial purposes. That is, it is a process of merging between biology and technology.
The use of this technology has begun to expand in many fields, especially in the fields of agriculture, nutrition, food science and medicine. With the use of biotechnology, many great results can be achieved for consumers.
Perhaps the most important uses of this advanced technology are in the fields of agriculture and food industries, which contributes to doubling and improving agricultural production and achieving great economic gains in the event of expanding and developing the uses of this technology.
As well as the pharmaceutical industries that can be developed by the pharmaceutical industry. Perhaps the uses of biotechnology in the agricultural fields are among the most important of these uses. Through this advanced technology, the quantities of agricultural production can be doubled and the production of biofuels that compensates for fossil fuels that pollute the environment, which represents an invaluable achievement in order to preserve the environment from pollution factors and access on sustainable sources of energy.
Through this technology, it is possible to reach the production of types of plants that can withstand high temperatures, by transferring some genes that enable them to adapt to these high temperatures.
Thus, it is possible to expand the agricultural production of some agricultural crops that may not be compatible with the environmental conditions in their current state, before the genetic developments that can be introduced to them by biotechnology. Some estimates state that biotechnology will be among the most growing industries in the world, especially in the pharmaceutical industries, which will be relied upon in this field by more than 60%.
The interest in biotechnology is a very important matter for every country in the world, so it is necessary for the competent authorities in our country to pay attention to this important technology because it will bring great benefits to the Iraqi economy, as it can achieve sustainable development for the agricultural sector and the pharmaceutical industry as well as industries It works to fill the shortfall in agricultural production in our country and to expand the cultivation of various agricultural crops.
It is possible to seek help from the efforts of researchers and specialists in various scientific fields, especially in the field of agricultural sciences and sciences in its various specializations, in order to start establishing specialized factories for this technology and to provide the materials and supplies you need. Experts from developed countries can also be used to develop the reality of this technology in our country and work to encourage investments.
Foreign and local companies and start setting up factories with all their specializations in the fields of biotechnology.
The interest in this advanced technology is enough to develop the economic reality of our country due to the vital areas that can be developed and which will benefit our national economy link
Source: Dinar Recaps
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