Thurs. AM TNT News Articles 4-7-22



A long-term transition period that extends to Al-Kazemi and Barham, including cabinet and constitutional amendments

Sources spoke to the Obelisk, Thursday, April 7, 2022, about a political movement that is trying to keep Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi in his position with the support of the Triple Alliance in return for Barham Salih, the President .of the Republic continuing in his position as well, and he is supported by the forces of coordination framework

The sources said that this foresight includes making amendments to the cabinet that can pass through the tripartite alliance, which has more than 180 parliamentary seats, allowing it to change some ministers, and also in coordination with the .coordination framework that wants to end the political blockage

The sources say that Iraq is heading for an undeclared emergency with this project, and it could develop into an emergency transitional project during which the constitution will be amended and an election law will be enacted that imposes a new .appropriate mechanism for selecting the president and prime minister

However, the academic in political science, Haider Al-Shuwaili, believes that Al-Sadr wants, after the forty-day deadline, to bypass the issue of electing the president and Al-Kazemi’s resignation, so that his majority go to elect the government .commissioned by Barham Salih, because electing the government does not require two-thirds Academic

Saif Nayef expects that the 40-day period given by Al-Sadr is not enough to make understandings and alliances with .other blocs, which means that Al-Kazemi will remain as prime minister for a longer period And in the event of a cabinet reshuffle, this will include 4 vacant ministries in Al-Kazemi’s government, due to the ministers’ .victory in the recent elections, and the resignations of other ministers

The Ministers of Labor and Immigration, Adel Hashush and Evan Yaqoub, left their posts after taking the constitutional oath Minister of Justice Salar Abdul-Jabbar was assigned the task of managing the first ministry, and Minister of Interior Othman Al- .Ghanimi to manage the second ministry

 Five ministers entered the electoral competition, including Sports Minister Adnan Darjal, while the Ministers of Electricity and .Health resigned last year, due to accusations of negligence  link

Al-Kazemi’s advisor reveals the three-year debts as part of the repayment strategy

Today, Wednesday, the financial advisor to the Prime Minister, Mazhar Muhammad Salih, outlined the strategy for repaying external and internal debts, while revealing the value of Iraq’s public debt.

Saleh said, “The maximum limits of the internal public debt are approximately 70 trillion dinars, or the equivalent in foreign currency of 48 billion dollars, which are the debts imposed by the circumstances and conditions of two successive double crises that affected the national economy in close periods.”

He added, “The first crisis is the financial and security double during the years 2014-2017 due to the war on ISIS terrorism and the liberation of cities, accompanied by the decline in oil prices and the weakness of financial flows to the public budget due to the intensification of government spending in that compelling circumstance.” The other is the dual crisis (financial and health). ) that hit the country throughout the year 2020, the global economy closed due to the Corona pandemic, the decline in oil prices, and the deterioration of the country’s oil revenues by 40% from their rates in 2019, which forced the House of Representatives to issue two borrowing laws in the year 2020.”

He pointed out that “in light of what Advances, the strategy of extinguishing the internal debts goes to repaying the government’s debt instruments held by the government banking system, which is currently in possession of about 98% of that debt, which is represented by treasury transfers, maturing for only one year, and bearing an average annual interest of 3% for various issues. 

And Saleh continued, “The debt repayment was postponed for many years due to the high financial deficit at the time, and the annual interest on it was satisfied by the public finances,” noting that “the strategy of extinguishing the internal debts that was approved will be able to extinguish the internal debt during the period 2022 to 2044, which will enable banks to The government’s commercial efforts to support the elements of its liquidity and raise the value of its investments, as well as sending a good signal of high coordination between the monetary and financial policies, because the Central Bank of Iraq is the highest holder of public debt instruments (treasury transfers issued by the Ministry of Finance) by accepting its deduction based on the banks’ desire (to liquidate them). This is within the scope of open market operations.

Cabinet spokesman Hassan Nazim had confirmed earlier that the Cabinet had voted on a strategy to pay off foreign and domestic debts for the years 2022-2024.

Nazim said in the weekly press conference of the Council of Ministers, which was attended by the correspondent of the Iraqi News Agency (INA), that “the Council of Ministers voted on a strategy to pay off foreign and domestic debts for the years 2022-2024,” adding that “the vote on the repayment of foreign and domestic debts came as a result of high oil prices.”   link

Report: Chinese companies are strengthening their presence in the Iraqi market

Chinese companies have strengthened their position in the Iraqi market, especially in the field of energy, after successive partnerships in this field since Baghdad joined the Silk Road Initiative three years ago, making the oil country the first destination for investments coming from Beijing in the Middle East.

Beijing expanded its investments in Iraq from the energy gate after an alliance of Chinese companies concluded an agreement on Wednesday with Kuwait Energy Company in Basra on a natural gas processing facility project.

The Chinese Engineering Company (CIMC) said in a statement that a consortium of companies led by it “signed a contract worth 412 million dollars” with the Iraqi company, a branch of the Kuwaiti parent company, which was established in 2005 “to develop the project.” It did not specify the exact date of its implementation.

This partnership comes several weeks after the Iraqi Oil Ministry signed a contract with China’s Sinopec to develop and produce gas in the Mansouriya field, east of Baghdad, with a production capacity of 300 million cubic feet per day, which is the second largest field in the country after the Akkas field in Anbar Governorate.

The field, which is located in Diyala province, includes a gas reserve of more than 4,500 trillion cubic feet on an area of 150 square kilometers, and is the second largest natural gas field in the country after Akkas field in Anbar province.

According to official statistics, Iraq’s gas reserves amount to about 132 trillion standard cubic feet, but it has not been optimally utilized until today. These two partnerships are tangible evidence of the extent of the Chinese interest in investing in the Iraqi market, regardless of the conditions or nature of the business climate in order to achieve their goals.

Analysts believe that Baghdad’s ambitions with China’s broad participation in a comprehensive economic renaissance appears to be achieving success despite weak security stability and the spread of corruption, in addition to the escalating tension between the United States and Iran, whose repercussions are reflected in the Iraqi arena.

While Iraq seeks to promote investments in gas fields, which may grant it independence from Iranian supplies to produce electric power and as a main source for other petrochemical and refining industries, China is working to embody the New Silk Road initiative in a realistic way.

The accelerated Iraqi shift towards Beijing comes while many countries are racing towards the Chinese model, which promises giant infrastructure projects without political agendas, as is the case with previous experiences with European countries, which did not achieve their great promises.

China is taking advantage of the reluctance of Western companies to invest in Iraq due to the fragile political and security situation, and has succeeded in concluding wide partnership agreements that included infrastructure and energy projects. It is estimated that Chinese investments in Iraq amounted to about $20 billion by the end of 2019, i.e. before the pandemic. There is no information about its size now.

Since 2003, the oil country, the second largest oil producer in OPEC after Saudi Arabia, has witnessed a significant growth in the participation of Chinese companies in its projects, as they invest in the development of oil fields, most notably Halfaya field, Maysan field group, Al-Ahdab field and eastern Baghdad.

Chinese companies also play a key role in laying oil pipelines, in addition to the fact that they import daily up to 800,000 barrels of Iraqi crude oil. In addition, the two countries are cooperating to build an airport, a solar power plant and other projects.

In September 2019, the Iraqis joined the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative, which seeks to revive the historic fire route, and focuses on strategic projects to link sea and land trade routes in about 65 countries.

In the following month of the same year, the two countries signed a multilateral agreement at the conclusion of talks between two delegations in Beijing, headed by Adel Abdul-Mahdi, then Iraqi Prime Minister, and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.

The agreement includes exchanging oil revenues for the implementation of projects in Iraq, by opening a credit account in a Chinese bank, to deposit oil revenues amounting to 100,000 barrels per day for disbursement to Chinese companies that implement those projects.

The agreement extends for twenty years, and focuses on infrastructure projects such as hospitals, roads, electricity, sanitation and schools, and is determined by the Ministry of Planning, in coordination with the Council of Ministers.

The Belt Initiative, announced by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013 and consisting of a wide package of development and investment projects extending from East Asia through the Middle East to Europe, is one of the most important soft power tools that Beijing is betting on to enhance its global influence.

This initiative raises concerns for the Americans and their Western allies, especially since this initiative constitutes a great temptation for many countries that seek to benefit as much as possible from Chinese technology and from strengthening relations with the second largest economy in the world.

Iraq is one of the most important stations through which the new Silk Road passes, which explains the great Chinese focus on strengthening relations and ties with Baghdad, which in recent years has gone beyond the economic dimension to include various aspects.

A recent study conducted by the Center for Green Finance and Development at Fudan University in Shanghai, China, showed that Iraq ranked first in terms of construction contracts under the initiative during the year 2021, followed by Serbia in second place and Indonesia in third place.

And Iraq, in which the United States ended its military operations last year, became the third largest partner in initiating energy projects after Pakistan and Russia. In total, China’s investment in the 144 countries covered by the initiative amounted to $59.5 billion last year, unchanged from $60.5 billion in 2020.

However, it is noteworthy that investments in Arab countries and the Middle East increased last year by 360 percent, and construction projects by 116 percent, on an annual basis. Reuters quoted Christoph Nedobel Wang, director of the Center, as saying that “the researchers were surprised by the large volume of Chinese investments in the Middle East and Arab countries.”

He added, “We thought that the focus would be much more on Southeast Asia, including infrastructure, but in fact it was particularly driven towards Iraq, and it is witnessing a strong shift towards Africa and the countries of the Middle East.”   link

Source: Dinar Recaps


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