KTFA (Don961 & Samson)

  In KTFA

The GreenTreeMusic:  I am not only framing this article …I have begun
wallpapering my house with it!!!

Ross:  Very exciting.. Fairly sure to be in WTO need RI not program rate. Maybe they will join GCC first ?

Samson:  Iraq is moving to join global trade … and an Arab country: We will facilitate its mission

09/03/2020 10:15:12

Iraq opened the file for its accession to the World Trade Organization.

A statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, of which the Euphrates News Agency received a copy, said: “The Chargé d’Affairs, Minister Plenipotentiary {Abbas Kazem Obeid} met in Geneva the head of the working group on Iraq’s accession to the World Trade Organization, Ambassador Omar Hilal/ Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Morocco to the United Nations in New York, In the presence of the Director of the Accession Department at the World Trade Organization, Ms. Maika Oshikawa, and her assistance at the headquarters of the Organization.

The two sides exchanged, according to the statement, “talking about ways to activate the file of Iraq’s accession to the organization and the importance of continuing work in completing technical documents to complete the requirements for accession and overcome the obstacles and challenges facing the accession process.”

The statement indicated that “it was agreed to prepare training programs for members of the national negotiating team, as well as discuss the importance of setting a new date for the high-level conference on Iraq’s accession to the World Trade Organization, which was supposed to be held in Baghdad for the period 26-27/11/2019.”

Last Thursday, Moroccan state television – Channel 1 – announced that Moroccan Ambassador Omar Hilal, head of the working group concerned with Iraq’s accession to the World Trade Organization, held a series of meetings last week in Geneva with the parties participating in the World Trade Organization. Activating the file of integrating Iraq into this organization.

On the other hand, identical sources indicated that these meetings follow a telephone conversation that Ambassador Omar Hilal held during the month of July with the Minister of Trade, Alaa Ahmed Hassan Al-Jubouri.

The same source added that during the aforementioned meeting, the two sides agreed to activate negotiations, with a view to speeding up the process of the Iraqi Republic’s accession to the World Trade Organization.

Here, it is noteworthy that Ambassador Omar Hilal, Chairman of the Working Group on Iraq’s Accession, had a discussion with the Director General of the World Trade Organization, Roberto Azevedo, and held a working session with the Deputy Director General in charge of accession operations, Alan Wolf, as well as with Mika Oshikawa, Director of the Accession Operations Section, Wolff pledged to work to educate the countries of the World Trade Organization, in order to facilitate the process of joining Iraq.

On the other hand, according to a report by MAP, he highlighted that Ambassador Omar Hilal held bilateral meetings with ambassadors and permanent representatives in Geneva, and the main countries participating in this process, especially the European Union, Switzerland, Russia, China and Saudi Arabia, in their capacity as coordinator of the Arab Group He also had a fruitful telephone conversation with the US representative, who was in Washington.

The report also highlighted that the interlocutors of Moroccan Hilal unanimously express their thanks and praise for Morocco’s tireless efforts aimed at re-launching the process of Iraq’s accession to the World Trade Organization, in the difficult context of the “Covid-19” epidemic.

On the other hand, the aforementioned source added that the Moroccan diplomat held a virtual working session from Baghdad, with Adel Al-Masoudi, Director General of Foreign Economic Relations at the Ministry of Trade and head of the delegation in charge of negotiations, and this meeting constituted an occasion for the Iraqi side, in order to reaffirm his commitment to redouble efforts in order to prepare All documents required to join.

To this end, the Iraqi side requested technical assistance for the benefit of the various ministerial sectors concerned in order to form an effective negotiation team, capable of enabling Iraq to better negotiate its interests during this long and arduous process, and this virtual working session was completed by coordination meetings held with the mission. Al-Iraqiya, with Abbas Kazem Obeid, the Iraqi ambassador to Geneva

In order to mobilize the necessary financial contributions for technical assistance, training and strengthening the capabilities required by the Iraqi authorities, Hilal held a virtual working session with representatives of the World Bank in both Baghdad and Beirut. International to strengthen technical support for the benefit of the Iraqi delegation.

The re-launch of the process of Iraq’s accession to the World Trade Organization comes in a positive context, reinforced by encouraging signs following the formation of the new Iraqi government led by Mustafa Al-Kazemi, as the latter expressed his aspiration to open up to its regional and international surroundings.

Thus, Al-Kazemi aims to fight corruption, and to carry out many reforms in the country, especially at the level of the judicial system, as well as to implement the necessary economic transformation so that oil is not mainly dependent on oil as a main source of Iraq’s GNP, by focusing on diversifying his income through Promote agriculture, livestock, agricultural industries and trade sectors.

On the eve of these preliminary discussions, led by Hilal Maghribi in Geneva, the World Bank published a report on the economic situation in Iraq.

This report stresses the importance of the country’s accession to the World Trade Organization, which will help complete many reforms, through binding international commitments, and enable Iraq to benefit from a multilateral trading system that is transparent, extrapolable, and based on rules.

LINK

Don961:  Will Iraq be the economic heart of the Middle East?

WHERE IS THE TRUTH?

GMT 13:12 01.09.2020

Diaa Hassoun

French President Emmanuel Macron intends to make his first official visit to Iraq tomorrow, Wednesday, and reports quoting French government sources indicated that Macron’s visit comes as an expression of standing by Iraq in the face of the crisis afflicting it

Is Mr. Macron looking for a major economic opening with Iraq?

On this topic, the guest of the “Where is the Truth” program on “Sputnik” radio, professor of political thought at Al-Mustansiriya University, Dr. Issam Al-Faily says: “This visit may come as a continuation of the international and regional openness to Iraq, as they realize that they are dealing with a new project for the Iraqi state, represented by the stability in which the country is living and which opens the doors for investment to France.”

” Iraq comes in second place in terms of French interest after Lebanon , and Paris may seek to conclude new agreements with Baghdad, as it wants to strengthen its alliance with countries that have direct contact with Turkey,” al-Faili said.

Faily added, “France may offer solutions to the problems that Iraq suffers. Economic stability will lead to positive results in any international alliances in the field of energy, and there is also a conviction that Iraq is the beating economic heart in the region.”  link

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Samson:  The Kurdistan Region exempts residents from 15% of the debt

3rd September, 2020

The Ministry of Finance and Economy in the Kurdistan Regional Government announced today, Thursday, that citizens borrowing from the government will be exempted from 15 percent of what they owe in terms of money for it.

According to a statement by the ministry, received by Shafaq News, it has issued new instructions to recover the debts owed by citizens, adding that according to those instructions it decided to exempt them by 15 percent of all loans and fines owed by them.

The statement stipulated that the debtor citizens return all their owed in one payment until the first of next November, indicating that the exemption decision includes all loans and advances. The statement clarified that it includes housing advances, water and electricity debts, small debts and marriage advances.

The Kurdistan Regional Government had established years ago a housing loan fund, from which thousands of citizens benefited, and the condition was that they return the amount they received within a period of ten years.

In addition to the housing fund, the government established a small loan fund project, from which about 8 thousand and 136 young people benefited and received a total of 76 billion and 865 million dinars in loans from the government.  LINK

Don961:  Al-Kazemi and the Anti-Corruption Committee … Parliamentary preferences to activate arrest warrants and demands to move towards “ whales ”

2,420 Policy 09/02/2020 16:00  Baghdad Today – Follow-up

The Parliamentary Integrity and Legal Committees said that Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi’s announcement of forming a supreme committee to prosecute corrupt individuals and those involved in wasting public money is welcome, provided that investigations are followed up with “ whales, ” and the matter is not limited to junior employees.

The two committees suggested that the government would investigate tens of thousands of corruption files that have been hanging on the shelves of the Integrity Commission for several years, with the activation of arrest warrants issued against a number of ministers and former deputies accused of corruption.

Last Tuesday, Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi announced, in a televised speech, the formation of a supreme committee to investigate major corruption and exceptional crimes cases, indicating that this committee linked to the office of the Prime Minister and Commander-in-Chief of the forces will grant all the powers required to achieve the prestige of law in society. And restore the rights of the state and the citizen from the corrupt and aggressors.

Member of the Parliament’s Legal Committee, Hassan Fadam, says that “the parliament supports the formation of a supreme committee to combat rampant corruption in all parts of the state,” stressing that “the prime minister will grant this committee broad powers to pursue the large corruption files in the Integrity Commission.” On the thirteenth of last August, press sources revealed a “government plan to chase the corrupt and prevent them from traveling by activating hundreds of arrest warrants issued in previous periods against many corrupt persons involved in wasting public money.”

Fadam added that “the Integrity Commission owns tens of thousands of corruption files in various matters, some of which are administrative offenses related to employee violations.”

The volume of corruption files stored on the shelves of the Integrity Commission is estimated at about (14) thousand corruption files, according to a previous statement by the “Parliamentary Integrity Committee”, stressing that “most of these files are suspended and have not been sent to the judiciary due to red tape, disagreements and the lack of completion of the investigation.”

Over the past years, successive Iraqi governments have failed to curb corruption and waste of public money, despite the formation of several governmental and parliamentary committees to reduce them, the last of which was the formation of the former government of Adel Abdul Mahdi, the Supreme Council for Combating Corruption, which held several meetings, but without any results.

And the deputy from Babil Governorate continues his speech, saying that “the Prime Minister has not announced the mechanism and nature of this committee, nor its head and the names of its members, which will be assigned to investigate the files of corruption.”

In turn, Taha Al-Dafeh, a member of the Parliamentary Integrity Committee, called for “the higher committee concerned with investigating large corruption files to overcome the previous problems, errors and obstacles that occurred with the Supreme Council for Combating Corruption, and that this committee also has the ability and courage to issue decisions against large corruption files.” .

The regulatory authorities estimate the amount of money that Iraq has lost as a result of corruption operations at more than 450 billion dollars, out of the 900 billion dollars that Iraq obtained from oil sales during the past twelve years. “Because of this waste of public money and thefts, Iraq lost a lot of its money,” he added, in a press statement, pointing out that “what we hope from this governmental committee will be its great powers to deal with errors and corruption processes.”

Iraq topped the lists of corruption in the world after it came in sixth place in the Arab world and thirteenth in the world in the most corrupt countries in the report issued by Transparency International last year, after Denmark and New Zealand ranked first and second, respectively, with the least corrupt countries in the world and the most transparent.

“The names of the head and members of the new governmental committee concerned with prosecuting the most corrupt people are unknown to us until this moment,” the member of the victory coalition points out, believing that “these committees require the presence of judges who have knowledge and knowledge of investigations and following up on corruption files.”

Earlier, the Integrity Commission announced the issuance of arrest warrants against 86 high-ranking officials, including ministers and deputies, on charges related to corruption, including (9) arrest warrants and (81) recruitment orders. ”

They are of their rank, (3) former members of Parliament, (6) current and former undersecretaries, in addition to (5) former governors, (20) current and former directors, and (40) members of dissolved provincial councils.

The deputy from Baghdad governorate believes that this governmental committee needs to take “courageous and bold decisions” to arrest the right of “whales.” He emphasized that “many of the arrest warrants issued against a number of ministers, officials and general managers are suspended and inactive.”   LINK

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Samson:  Minister of Oil: We are working to achieve the highest levels of understanding with international companies to develop fields

09/02/2020 16:23:16

Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul-Jabbar Ismail said, “Work is underway to achieve the highest levels of understanding with international companies to develop oil fields, during a visit to the Al-Ahdab and Badra fields.

The Minister of Oil affirmed the ministry’s keenness to optimally invest the national wealth, in a way that achieves the highest economic return, by exporting crude oil, as well as directly contributing to achieving the requirements of the local need for petroleum products, especially gas fuel in supplying electric power stations, and that the ministry is working To achieve the highest levels of coordination and understandings with international companies contracting to develop oil fields, by providing an appropriate work environment, and engaging local expertise in the world in a way that achieves common goals, and that this visit to Al Ahdab and Badra fields aims to learn in the field the nature of the implementation of work and projects in progress and meet with officials and workers.

Ismail indicated that the ministry will spare no effort in supporting and assigning national and foreign companies operating in Iraq to achieve the planned goals, stressing the importance of making efforts by workers to overcome challenges and advance infrastructure projects, in addition to supporting service and health sectors in the province. The Minister of Oil held a meeting with the Director General of the Central Oil Company and a number of officials and workers in the Al-Ahdab and Badra fields and listened to a review of the stages of project development according to the ministry’s plans presented by a number of stakeholders on the aforementioned fields, then the Minister of Oil toured a number of oil sites in the governorate.   LINK

Samson:  Kuwait, one of the richest countries in the world, is struggling to make ends meet

19:21 – 02/09/2020

The US agency “Bloomberg” revealed that Kuwait, which is one of the richest countries in the world, is struggling to make ends meet.

In a report published by the agency, it mentioned that the Kuwaiti Finance Minister, Anas Al-Saleh, warned in 2016 that the time had come to cut spending and prepare for life after oil was mocked by the people who grew up accustomed to an endless flow of oil revenues.

Four years after the minister’s warning, one of the world’s richest countries is struggling to make ends meet, the report said, as the sharp drop in energy prices raises deep questions about how Gulf Arab states manage their money. With the decline in oil revenues, the Gulf states are facing a moment of economic reckoning, which has sparked a renewed debate about the future of the Gulf states that depend on oil revenues. OPEC has revived oil prices after its historic decline this year due to the economic repercussions of the Corona pandemic, but the price at $ 40 is still very low, in light of the threat of the Corona virus and the shift towards renewable energy.

The confrontation between Parliament and the government

The confrontation between Parliament and the government led to political deadlock, at a time when lawmakers thwarted plans to reallocate government grants and obstructed proposals to pass a public debt law, and the government almost exhausted its liquid assets, making it unable to cover the expected budget deficit of the equivalent of $ 46 billion. Almost this year.

90% of the state’s financial revenues are from oil

Kuwait depends on oil, which accounts for 90 percent of the state’s financial revenues. The total benefits for housing, fuel and food can reach $ 2,000 per month for an average family, and salaries and subsidies withdraw three quarters of the state’s spending. The agency indicated in its report that Kuwait still has money. The Kuwait Investment Authority fund is ranked fourth in the world as the largest fund, estimated at $ 550 billion. Opponents warn that without diversifying the economy and creating jobs, savings will end in 15 to 20 years.

The government borrows

The agency said in its report, that the wealth fund has begun to search for mechanisms to rescue, at a time when Parliament is studying to stop the deduction of 10 percent of the oil revenues that go to the Generations Fund, but it confirmed that all of this is not sufficient to cover the budget deficit. To tackle the financial crisis, the government must borrow for the first time since the issuance of an Eurobond in 2017.

Decline in investor confidence

In its report, the agency pointed to undermining investor confidence in March, as Standard & Poor’s credit ratings agency placed Kuwait’s sovereign rating under negative surveillance. As the International Monetary Fund said that month, “Kuwait’s opportunity to meet its challenges is gradually diminishing.”   LINK