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How does Iraq plan to invest the financial surplus from selling oil in economic development?

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How does Iraq plan to invest the financial surplus from selling oil in economic development?

Investigations and Reports Yesterday, 10:23

The compass of the Iraqi economy is heading towards development with deliberate steps, after oil sales achieved a financial surplus, which was confirmed by Minister of Finance Ali Abdul Amir Allawi, who indicated that

"Iraq will have a surplus of the difference in selling oil in the range of 20 billion dollars," stressing that

"in With the current financial abundance, it is unlikely that we will resort to borrowing."

The steps taken by the government, through the white paper that it announced after its formation, have clearly reflected on economic development, which was expressed by Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi, who said:

“The government succeeded during two years of its work in achieving the highest rate of economic growth at the level of Arab countries, according to International Monetary Fund reports that expected the economic growth rate in Iraq to reach 9.5% during 2022 and 2023.

Economists stress that Iraq needs to invest the financial surplus in the completion of large development projects, but with a delay in approving the budget for 2022, the investment of this money remains suspended.

In turn, the financial advisor to the Prime Minister, Mazhar Muhammad Salih, told the Iraqi News Agency (INA):

"The important investment accelerators are linked to the budget law for the year 2022, through the new investment spending doors and new investment programs, and not with the disbursement of 1/12 of the actual current expenditures in the year 2021."".

And he indicated that "the average oil revenues for the year 2022 will increase by no less than 60% of the revenues of oil exports for the year 2021, which means that

there will be a large financial reserve available to the state at the end of the year that may exceed 40 billion dollars,"

noting that "Iraq has been placed at the forefront His priorities, which seek to enter the prospects of development and accelerated development, are to transcend the stage of the rentier economy or the mono-economy, as crude oil still constitutes the largest weight in the components of the gross domestic product.

Saleh explained that "the five-year and ten-year economic and social development plans are the ones that determine the sectoral and overall growth rates in order to bring about a fundamental change in the contribution of the vital productive sectors other than the crude oil sector to the gross domestic product, which is what is called diversifying the production structure of the overall economy."

The Prime Minister’s advisor pointed out to “the importance of changing production patterns and their components in employing labor and investing in national capital for the benefit of the real vital sectors,

starting from maximizing the role of the agricultural sector in the gross domestic product and ending with the manufacturing industry and digital services, without forgetting that there is a major limitation on that diversification represented in by coherently undertaking investment in physical and institutional infrastructure.

He stressed that "the growth in the various sectors increases by a double rate whenever the rates of investment in the infrastructure of the economy increase, especially the six sectors:

    education and

Thus, nations progress on the basis that development management is joint between state programs and private sector programs in an integrated manner."

Saleh suggested the establishment of a fund or account concerned with the stability of the budget and fed annually with a percentage of the surplus oil revenues, to hedge against the risks of price fluctuations.

Finance Minister Ali Allawi confirmed, "Increasing the cash reserves with the Central Bank to 90 billion dollars by the end of this year," noting that

"the devaluation of the Iraqi dinar led to the preservation of foreign currency reserves with the Central Bank of Iraq after the low and critical levels that reached in the late year 2020".

He added, "It is expected that the continued recovery of oil prices will increase these reserves to more than 90 billion dollars by the end of 2022, which is a record level for Iraq," noting that

"the depreciation of the Iraqi dinar against the US dollar in December 2020 contributed to the decline in demand." On the US dollar, while the current demand for the dollar is higher than the declines seen in 2020, it is much lower than the period before 2020.”

He pointed out that "the continuation of the Ministry of Finance's sales in US dollars reflects the increase in oil revenues, and the increase in the government's provision of goods and services to citizens," stressing that

"the increase in the Ministry of Finance's sales of US dollars in exchange for a decrease in the demand for the dollar will lead to an increase in foreign currency reserves with the Central Bank."

And on the commercial debt of Iraq, the Minister of Finance said, "The only real commercial debt of Iraq is two of three Eurobonds with an interest rate of 5.8% and 6.72%, while the third at an interest rate of 2.149%, which is guaranteed by the US government.

And all other debts are on very concessional terms. Pointing out that "the external debt does not include the debts of the former regime, which amounted to 57.8 trillion dinars, or the equivalent of 39.9 billion dollars, which have been frozen since 2003 without interest or repayment as part of the Ministry of Finance's work to reduce debts."

And Allawi stated, "The ministry has reconfigured all local debts as follows: The balance of all local debts has medium or long-term terms, after the government agreed with the Central Bank and public banks in 2020 to convert all current treasury transfers (bonds) into loans for 10 years and for 20 years.", with repayment of installments starting from March 2021 and an interest rate reduced to 2%,”

while the total external and internal debts amount to more than 99 trillion dinars.

"Oil is supposed to be directed to areas where the Iraqi economy suffers from a lack of funding, the most important of which is bridging the deficit gap in the general budget, and that it is directed to development purposes and improving the situation of the citizen, especially the health file, especially with the outbreak of the pandemic and the existence of phenomena suffocating hospitals, as well as providing expenses to meet the needs of the ration card and improve its quality.”

Sumaisem added, "There is an important issue represented in the economic vision, benefiting from these funds, and cautioning against their loss and loss of control and transparency, as there are no reports regarding the final accounts provided by the Financial Supervision Bureau, as well as waiting for Parliament to approve the 2022 budget."

In turn, the economic expert, Tariq Al-Ansari, told the Iraqi News Agency (INA):

"The rise in oil prices can be called (the oil market uprising) due to three cases or problems that occurred in the oil market, which is the

    increased demand for fuel in Europe due to the decrease in European stocks by 11%, the

    withdrawal of the strategic oil stock by the United States of America, and the

    decline in exports to Kazakhstan, which is a member of OPEC.

Al-Ansari added that "this increase represents successful and good indicators of reviving the Iraqi economy if it is properly and properly utilized within the economic engineering of Iraq's oil policy,

leading to the absorption of unemployment and the reduction of loans, which has become a burden on the Iraqi economy, the public budget and the Iraqi citizen in particular

He stressed that "this increase should follow the example of what some countries did by placing them within the strategy of supporting generations, as economists in oil policy tended to directly strengthen the sovereign fund of their countries,"

stressing "the need to take the right and proper measures in oil policy and achieve an increase in the economic system." In Iraq, as it is a fragile system, it does not adopt standards on how to employ these increases so that they will be reflected on the Iraqi economy and citizens.”

He pointed out that "the importance of there being a

    return to all government performance of economic activities,

    restructuring the oil policy,

    achieving a balance between financial, monetary and investment policies, and

    working to activate the sovereign fund, as we call it, the Generation Fund, and

building it in a way that guarantees a solid and sober economy because opportunities in the economy do not always come in circumstances." The usual, but it always comes in difficult circumstances."

For his part, the economic expert, Nabil Jaafar, told the Iraqi News Agency (INA), that "there is a new wave of rising crude oil prices, and

it is possible to invest this to break the financial constraint that prevents real economic development, and to invest large sums that can be allocated to activate the aspect." investment and the

establishment of some strategic projects that generate goods and services and have an impact on achieving a qualitative leap for the Iraqi economy

He pointed out, "The importance of working to establish a sovereign fund and a financial and economic buffer, because the rise in oil prices will not continue, and

we will face in the coming years factors of a decline in prices,

so this fund is important to maintain to ensure the future for future generations

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