KTFA (Don961 & Samson)

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Don961: Mazhar Saleh: Proposals to Establish a Sovereign Wealth Fund

Tuesday 02 March 2021 Baghdad: Hazem Muhammad Habib

The financial advisor to the prime minister, Mazhar Muhammad Saleh, revealed positive proposals to establish a sovereign wealth fund in which funds equivalent to the current compensation for the Kuwait war would be deposited in a manner consistent with the reform White paper .

In an interview with Al-Sabah, Saleh said: “We have positive ideas and proposals to establish an Iraqi sovereign wealth fund, in which amounts equivalent to the compensation for the Kuwait war are deposited after the payment of these compensation is completed in the coming months, and it is managed like the generational funds,” and considered it “a sovereign investment resource for Iraq.” And in line with the white paper launched by the government to strengthen and reform the structure of the Iraqi economy.

Saleh explained, “There is nothing left of the Kuwait war compensation, but an amount that may be less than 2.5 billion dollars out of 52 billion dollars until the moment, as 3% of the proceeds are still deducted from every barrel of Iraqi crude oil that is exported, through a mechanism and a bank account that the bank takes over.”

The Federal Reserve in New York, according to a subsequent Security Council Resolution No. 1483 in May 2003, “and indicated that” the deductions are currently paid through the United Nations Compensation Fund “UNCC”, expecting that “all the remaining compensation will end within a year or a little more,” According to the development of oil prices and the proceeds of a barrel of Iraqi oil Source”.

It is noteworthy that the United Nations Compensation Committee was formed in 1991, the same year in which the US-led coalition removed Iraqi forces from Kuwait, and mandated the committee to pay $ 52.4 billion (46.8 billion euros) to Kuwaiti individuals, companies, government agencies and other organizations that suffered losses.

 Because of the Saddam regime’s invasion of Kuwait, the compensation money comes from a tax levied on sales of Iraqi oil and its products.  LINK

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Samson:  An expert Calls On Arab Countries To Speed Up The Transition To Expanding “Digitizing The Economy”

1st March, 2021

The economic expert, Shukria Marrakchi, confirmed that in light of the growing role of the digital economy at the global level, the Egyptian and Arab economy in general has become a real need during the current period to move from strategy to expanding the digitization of the economy in order to maximize the return from the digital economy and reduce its potential risks.

She pointed out that “the Arab world possesses all the components it needs to move to the digital future, but despite this, the entrepreneurship of small and medium enterprises is still much less than the potential potential, at a rate not exceeding 8 percent of the potential, which is less than 10 Times from the United States of America ”.

Marrakchi said that global estimates say that during the next ten years, 70% of global gross product will be the result of digital economy activities, stressing that “future growth will depend to a large extent on digitization, as the outbreak of the Corona pandemic has had positive effects on the culture of using digital tools in The daily life of individuals, societies and businesses, especially since the pandemic has been accompanied by an increase in the use of cell phones by 50 percent, and an increase in the use of data via the Internet by about 40 percent.

The economist stressed the inevitability of a common Arab vision for the digital economy that moves from the theoretical stage and academic studies to the implementation stage on the ground and places Arabs on the global map of the digital economy.

She indicated the availability of: “The capabilities, the tremendous resources and the geographical location, and most importantly of all, a generation that aspires for the better, is passionate about technology and has the ingredients for success in software, electronics and modern technologies. The Arab millennial generation has an instinct to know about technology, who, with its peers in the world, will represent about 75% of the workforce by 2025, and we do not want this generation to be a consumer, but rather a producer, innovator, innovator and pioneer in the fields of the digital economy and to take its natural place in the renaissance of its Arab societies and nation.

“The solution is for the Arab countries to develop an integrated vision for the future project and a new joint cooperation agenda beyond the traditional integrated path, so that it includes joint digital projects in vital sectors, leading to stimulating the economy and creating job opportunities for young people, which is what the digital economy platform secures from by diversifying the economy, reducing the cost of trade, increasing trade in goods, increasing services and thus creating new job opportunities.  LINK

Samson:  Iraqi-Chinese talks to implement the oil-for-reconstruction agreement

1st March, 2021

Chinese embassy in Baghdad revealed, on Monday, Iraqi-Chinese discussions on how to implement the oil-for-reconstruction agreement.

The Chinese embassy said, in a statement that Mawazine News received a copy of, that “On March 1, Chinese Ambassador Zhang Tao met with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Ali Allawi, where the two sides exchanged views on how to implement the Chinese-Iraqi agreement on oil in exchange for Ages.”   LINK

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Samson:  An arrest warrant was issued against a former official in Al-Amara for embezzling a large sum

03/2/2021 12:15:01

The Investigation Court for Integrity Cases in Maysan issued an arrest warrant against the former director of Amara Entertainment City in accordance with the provisions of Article 316 of the Penal Code.

The Media Center of the Supreme Judicial Council stated that “the accused embezzled a large sum of the collection sums during his tenure.”

On October 4, 2014, Maysan Governorate witnessed the inauguration of the Entertainment City in front of the Messianic families, after most of the games and infrastructure works in the city were completed on a plot of 100 acres at a cost of 26 billion dinars and includes more than 20 different games for adults and children.

The project included manufacturing, equipping and erecting recreational games by the Italian company Visa, in addition to infrastructure projects such as water, sewage, streets, lighting and sidewalks that were implemented by a local company.   LINK

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Samson:  Lebanon’s currency is losing 85% of its value

16:39 – 02/03/2021

The Lebanese currency plunged, today, Tuesday, towards a level of ten thousand pounds against the dollar, an unprecedented low level for the currency that was damaged by a financial collapse that led to widespread poverty and unrest.

The collapse, which reached a level not witnessed before, resulted in the loss of the Lebanese currency, about 85% of its value, in a country that relies heavily on imports. The prices of many consumer goods such as diapers and pills have tripled. Politicians have failed to agree on a rescue plan since the crisis erupted in 2019 as dollar flows stopped and protests spread across the country.

Two currency dealers in the unofficial market, which became the main source of liquidity after banks stopped exchanging dollars, said that the price of the dollar reached ten thousand pounds today. Three others said the US currency recorded 9,900 pounds. This means that the minimum monthly wage in Lebanon is equivalent to about $ 68.

The currency last hit low levels near 10,000 pounds in the summer of 2020, sparking weeks of protests before a massive explosion in Beirut’s port in August destroyed large areas of the capital.  LINK

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Samson:  A Russian expert identifies a “simple step” to give up the dollar

14:30 – 02/03/2021

An economist believed that the Russian government could achieve its goal of moving away from the dollar through one simple step, which is to drop the tax that it currently imposes on its citizens in exchange for buying gold.

Economics professor Valentin Katasonov said that Russian citizens would dispense with the dollar as a savings tool in favor of gold if the 20% value-added tax imposed on the precious metal was abolished.

The economist pointed out that the selling of the US currency would inevitably lead to a decrease in its exchange rate. But the expert ruled out that the Russian Finance Ministry would cancel the value-added tax on gold, because this would lose the Russian budget some revenue.

Russia has been working for years to reduce its dependence on the dollar due to the sanctions policy pursued by Moscow, and in this context, Moscow has been reducing the reserves of the US currency in favor of gold and other currencies such as the euro.   LINK

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