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Ragheb Belbel: Eager to increase economic growth

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Ragheb Belbel: Eager to increase economic growth

Thursday 18 April 2019 29
BAGHDAD/Suha Al Shekhli

The President of the Federation of businessmen Ragheb Belbel said that the union's programs are focused on increasing economic growth rates in the country, if there are jobs and projects are started, the majority of economic problems will disappear, showing the role of the private sector in the economic process.

"The businessmen's union represents more than 28,000 members and branches in all governorates, as well as the Federation of Industries and Chambers of Commerce, the Union of agricultural associations and the Union of contractors," Belbel told Al-Sabah.

International relations

"The Union has relations with international organizations similar to ours and we have the expertise and the Council of Ministers and participants in most ministries, actively contributing to the plans and strategy of development, and our experience is dedicated to the economy of the country," he said.

Industrial cities

"Our presence will be important to the Iraqi market based on certain information that our country is coming to a period of recovery, stability and international reporting," Belbel said,

and the neighboring countries have come to cooperate with us, demonstrating their keenness to have a foothold in the Iraqi market, and a number of countries have gone Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Kuwait offer attractive offers to enter the Iraqi market and contribute investments, including industrial cities."

Economic cycle

"We now ask all the countries entering the Iraqi market to participate, not just trade deals or monopoly, because this confirms the existence of an economic business cycle within the country to make the welfare work," he said, adding that

"We have laws based in the past and a section of these cities has reached advanced stages of completion, including the cities of Basra and Nasiriyah Anbar and Baghdad, and cities were slated to be built more than 10 years ago, but their implementation is very slow."

"Agreements with Jordan to build an industrial city at the border do not serve us, we want to build industrial cities close to economic activity, markets and city centres to absorb employment, and if they are close to the border, they will serve the interests of their country at the expense of our country's interests," he said.

"Our agreement with Jordan was to build an industrial city at the border, and we hoped that the agreements would be in line with the views of the private sector as it is aware of the reality of the general situation and what the country needs," he said.

"We have unemployment, a stagnant market and an economic cycle that needs reconstruction and rebuilding, and the trends towards economic development must be not just merchandise from this country to increase its exports at the expense of our trade balance," he said.

Common interests

"We have a point of view with neighboring countries and countries of the world, as the agreements must be based on common interests and benefits that take into account the interests of both countries and are implemented seriously and not in the interest of either party, because this will create a defect in the relationship that may not emerge today but will emerge in the future."

"The private sector will make a significant contribution to the international economic delegations, since our recent visit to Iran by the Prime Minister has assured the Iranian side that it is not only to put figures to export their products to Iraq and we have told them that our country is open and that there is strong competition from all countries," he said. The world, especially the neighboring countries."


"There is a need for an active economic movement to provide job opportunities, preferably from within the country, this economic cycle is the one that establishes economic growth and activity, and it is preferable that the raw materials in the industry be local, because this is the norm in all countries of the world," he said.

"Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have offered to invest very large sums in Iraq and the Arar border outlet is the largest in the Middle East between the two countries, and this trend will create a trade climate and lasting relations," he said.

"Saudi Arabia is now focused on projects stragtegic including phosphate, sulphur, large agricultural projects, and cultivating an area between the Samawah desert and Saudi Arabia with animal feed (alfalfa) for its role in soil revitalization," he said.

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