Iraqi News Thursday Morning Iraq Economic News Highlights 5-25-23

Thursday Morning Iraq Economic News Highlights 5-25-23


Iraqi-Saudi Talks On Money And Economics


05-25-2023,   TAYSEER AL-ASADI   Today, Thursday, the Iraqi Ministry of Finance announced the holding of a meeting to discuss the development of mutual cooperation in the field of finance and economy.


The ministry said in a statement, received by the Noon news agency, that Minister Taif Sami met with the Saudi Minister of Investment, Khaled Al-Falih, and discussed with him joint files in the fields of economy, money and investment, and openness towards developing partnership with the Kingdom in various sectors, on the sidelines of the meetings of the Iraqi-Saudi Coordination Council in its session. Fifth, held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.


The meeting witnessed, according to the statement, discussions on consolidating bilateral relations between the two friendly countries, through the development of mutual cooperation in the field of finance and economy, in addition to discussing the activation of memorandums of understanding signed between the two countries, especially with regard to the banking sector and the abundant investment opportunities in Iraq and facilitating the entry requirements of Saudi investors.


Minister Taif reiterated her priority on raising the level of relations with the brothers in the Kingdom, and raising the level of strategic and investment relations to the highest levels, supporting and strengthening them in a way that serves the interests of the two countries and peoples in various fields.


On the sidelines of the session of the Coordinating Council, according to the statement, a meeting of the joint business council between the two countries and the Saudi-Iraqi economic forum will be held, in the presence of a number of businessmen in the two countries.


In 2017, the two countries established the Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council with the aim of strengthening relations and communication between them at the strategic level and raising bilateral relations to new horizons in various fields, including economic, development, security, investment, tourism, cultural and media, as well as coordination on international and regional issues.


Economic Distortions And Taxes.. A New Obstacle To The Budget And Solutions Are Absent


Sumerian special 2023-05-24 | 14:16  Source: Alsumaria News   1,991 views  Report – Alsumaria News   The economic situation in Iraq is witnessing a significant decline, especially after the decline in the value of the Iraqi dinar against the dollar, as well as the distortions that accompany the systems used in managing economic affairs in it and the failure to address new, organized and developed types.


For years, the Iraqi government relied on oil revenues by more than 95% of the total budget, and the budget came with a total proposed expenditure of 197.8 trillion dinars ($152.2 billion). The price of a barrel of oil is about $70 per barrel, with a financial deficit of 63 trillion dinars. ($48.5 billion), according to Prime Minister Muhammad al-Sudani, who indicated that this budget will be repeated in the next two years as well.


The General Budget Law included imposing taxes on many consumables to enhance non-oil revenues, which are very important for reducing the deficit, and also a tool for directing the economy towards economic diversification in the long term to strengthen the economy.


Indicate block head Kurdistan Democratic Party In the Iraqi parliament, Vian Sabri pointed out, “Any step taken by the federal government regarding enhancing federal revenues or that the Finance Committee in Parliament came after extensive studies, we are with it.”


Sabri said in an interview with  Alsumaria News  “We, as an Iraqi state, need to enhance other non-oil revenues, given that the Iraqi budget is completely dependent on oil, so taxes must be collected from electricity, water, fuel, and others,” explaining that “when the Iraqi citizen has economic stability and a real economic structure, such as the revenues of the private sector and projects investment and its rise in the budget, there will certainly be other incomes for the Iraqi individual in general.


And she added, “It is possible to see the matter in a positive or negative way if we want, but in the end the government must strengthen federal revenues because they are very important, and the rents and the federal treasury should not be based solely on oil in the event thatIraqHe owns a lot of goods, and he has agriculture and industry, and we can invest them.”


The budget included the imposition of new taxes of 5% on the revenues of sales of one liter of gasoline, and also 10% on gas or kerosene oil, and a rate of 15% on imported fuel, in addition to 1%. On black oil sales


For his part, a member of Parliament said about the bloc  Kurdistan Democratic Party  Shirvan Al-Dauberdan, in an interview with  Alsumaria News, that “balancingIraqAnd its revenues need to be maximized because of its dependence on oil by 95%, and this matter is very negative for the Iraqi economy in the near future, indicating that “putting a very small amount that does not exceed 70 dinars on fuel does not cause harm to the citizen, with a proposal to exempt taxis from it.” “.


He pointed out, “From 3-4 billion dollars annually was spent before  Ministry of Finance  To support the import of fuel,” stressing that “electricity also needs to set real collection, given that so far only 7% of the actual fees have been collected on it, while government departments only if the collection is taken correctly, it reaches 27%, and this is all considered a waste of public money.”


He added , “The government must take a real stance to collect real revenues from (tax, customs, ports, communication companies, fuel and electricity), and the ministries that rely on self-financing must take their fees from their work and not depend on the government,” pointing out that “more than 10 million An Iraqi employee depends on the budget for their salaries on oil, and in the event of a drop in the price of a barrel, the government will not be able to pay it.


Al-Dobardan explained, “Modifying the salary scale of the three presidencies is not equal to anything in front of the tax revenues that the government will put in place, and there is a real review of the federal government for all aspects of the state to reduce expenditures, and there are many ministries that need great support, such as health and education, and we must move away from mobilizing the Iraqi people and go towards industrial and agricultural development.


Observers believe that these taxes will enhance non-oil revenues and raise their contribution rate to 13%, but they will be offset by a rise in the cost of transporting people and goods and a new rise in the prices of goods and services, whether produced locally or imported, and this may lead to exceeding the annual inflation rate specified in the budget. At a rate of 5%, which will have a negative impact on the standard of living of citizens.”


For his part, the independent MP and a member Legal Committee Raed Al-Maliki said, “It is expected at the beginning that the Finance Committee will reduce the percentage of the budget deficit and reduce spending in other ways, but after studying the budget items, the committee found that all the doors that help in this matter are closed,” noting that “what happened is a A transfer from some paragraphs to new ones that have been included in the budget.


Al-Maliki told Alsumaria News “The government insisted on imposing taxes and fees on oil derivatives and assigning this matter to the work of the companies that produce and distribute these derivatives, as well as the refinery companies, and this will have negative effects on the work of these companies, as well as their employees and their financial capacity.”


He added, “This decision came to reduce the percentage of the deficit in the budget, but there is no real guarantee that the matter will not fall on the citizen at the end,” pointing out that “if taxes and fees are imposed on these producing companies, their revenues will decrease and they will increase the prices of products.” Which you sell to the local market even if this is not approved in the budget, given that determining the prices of oil products is not subject to budget laws, but rather to commercial standards.


Al-Maliki concluded his speech, that “the decision is to maximize the state’s revenues, but all the consequences that it will cause on the citizen and the economy, as well as the institutions themselves, must be known.”    LINK


Parliamentary Finance Committee: We Need Five Days Before Putting The Budget To Vote


Posted On2023-05-24 By Sotaliraq  Today, Wednesday, the Parliamentary Finance Committee revealed that there are 5 remaining articles that have not yet been voted on and need further discussion, indicating that they need an additional five days to resolve them.


Committee member Muhammad Nuri said in a press statement, “The committee voted to confirm the contracts before and after the date of 10/2/2019 and included them in the budget, and that there are other paragraphs that will be discussed to include free lecturers and other appendices to the contracts and adapt their financial and legal status.”


He explained that “the remaining paragraphs for discussion within the Finance Committee do not exceed five, including transfers and the region’s budget, and for this the committee needs a period of no more than five days for discussion before presenting the budget for voting before Parliament.”


A member of the Parliamentary Finance confirmed, “There is no disagreement regarding the region’s budget file, but rather there is a need to organize the mechanism of agreement between Baghdad and Erbil in terms of accounts, numbers, agreements, and a mechanism for collecting revenues, as well as scheduling the region’s debts.”   LINK


The Finance Committee Confirms Its Willingness To Send The General Budget Law For A Vote


Thursday 25 May 2023 09:09 | Economical Number of readings: 540  Baghdad / NINA / – The Parliamentary Finance Committee confirmed its readiness to send the general budget law to the Presidency of Parliament.


And the media department of Parliament stated: “The Finance Committee, headed by Atwan Al-Atwani and the presence of its members, held a meeting yesterday evening that lasted until late hours of the night in order to put technical notes on the federal budget law .”


The committee proceeded to complete all the remaining matters of the budget items, and the numbers are listed in the tables;In order to make transfers between amounts on spending units, according to need and population ratio, as well as the importance of increasing financial allocations in the governorates in implementation of the government program.


The committee renewed its readiness to send the budget to the Presidency of the House of Representatives to proceed with the legislation of the law as soon as possible./ Ended 7[/rtl]


The American oil giant reveals the reasons for its withdrawal from Iraq


Posted On2023-05-24 By Sotaliraq   2023-05-24  The American “ExxonMobil” oil company confirmed, on Wednesday, that its exit from the “West Qurna Phase One” field was not due to costs.


And the company (Standard & Poor’s) S & P Global Commodity Insights quoted John Ardell, vice president of “Exxon Mobil” for research and exploration, as saying that “the recent moves taken by Exxon Mobil to withdraw from countries such as the West Qurna field in Iraq and Equatorial Guinea are not costly.” He pointed out that such entrances and exits are a natural part of the excavation work.


We cannot do everything everywhere, and what drives us to do it on a very active basis is to manage our investment portfolio,” Ardel said, noting that “the company will come out of places like Equatorial Guinea, like West Qurna and will grow very quickly in other countries as part of Consistent high scores.”


Exxon Mobil seeks to sell its 32.7% stake in the West Qurna / 1 field, while it recently sold part of its stake to the Indonesian company Pertamina, which owns a 10% stake in the field.


The other partners in the field are the Japanese Itochu (19.6%), the Indonesian Pertamina (10%) and the Iraqi State Oil Exploration Company (5%).


Iraq wanted to replace Exxon Mobil with another American company of no less weight and weight than it, which is seeking to get out of the field or for the Basra Oil Company to buy its share in the field.


During the year 2010, Iraq signed several contracts with international companies to develop its oil fields within the first and second licensing rounds. Those fields were mostly concentrated in the southern fields. Exxon Mobil was one of the companies that won the contract for the West Qurna field in the first phase, within a consortium of several companies.


The West Qurna field is one of the large oil fields in Iraq, and oil was extracted from it for the first time in 1973, and it is estimated that it contains oil reserves of 24 billion barrels.  LINK


A Member Of Parliamentary Finance Reveals The Latest Developments In The Budget


Political | 09:18 – 05/25/2023  Baghdad – Mawazine News, a member of the Parliamentary Finance Committee, Haitham Al-Zahwan, revealed today, Thursday, the latest developments in the draft budget law.


Al-Zahwan said, “The items that have not been approved or voted on are the expenditures and schedules that have not yet been resolved, and if things go smoothly and without obstruction, it is possible that the end of (today’s Thursday) will be completed so that the draft budget and the committee’s report will be sent to the Presidency of Parliament.”


And he continued, “The region’s share impeded voting on the budget, as the political blocs are still entering into negotiations in this regard,” ruling out that “it will be sent to parliament during the coming hours, in addition to the transfers and allocations that need a day as well.”


Al-Zahwan added, in a statement followed by Mawazine News, that “the issue of the provincial funds that were received from the government has been passed, and the funds that have been added have not yet been voted on.” Ended 29/N33


Al-Halbousi: Next Saturday Is The Date For Voting On The Budget


Political | 12:57 – 05/25/2023  Baghdad – Mawazine News  Parliament Speaker Muhammad al-Halbousi announced that next Saturday will be the date for approving the federal budget.


Al-Halbousi told the parliament’s media department, “The budget is in its final touches, and the Finance Committee is ready to hand over the budget today, Thursday, to Parliament.”


He pointed out, “The budget law is important and includes many investment projects that will reflect positively on the service reality.”


He continued, “The Finance Committee amended some items on the budget to serve the state’s view in general, and also to strengthen the role of government institutions in carrying out reforms and governance in some joints.”   Al-Halbousi confirmed, “The budget will be passed next Saturday.”