In TNT 

Harambe: Iraq Business News: IMF Predicts Strong Recovery for Iraq in 2021

In its latest World Economic Outlook (WEO), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has forecast a sharp slowdown in Iraq’s economy this year, followed be a strong recovery in 2021.

It says:

The COVID-19 pandemic is inflicting high and rising human costs worldwide, and the necessary protection measures are severely impacting economic activity. 

“As a result of the pandemic, the global economy is projected to contract sharply by -3 percent in 2020, much worse than during the 2008-09 financial crisis.

Following a 3.9-percent increase in Iraq’s real GDP in 2019, it predicts a fall of 4.7 percent this year, and growth of 7.2 percent next year.

Consumer price inflation is expected to be 0.8 percent in 2020 and 1.0 percent in 2021.

Full IMF April 2020 report here.

Tishwash:  Explosives-laden drone targets U.S. forces at Iraq’s Erbil airport -Kurdish officials

ERBIL, Iraq (Reuters) -A drone dropped explosives near U.S. forces stationed at Erbil airport in northern Iraq late on Wednesday, Kurdish officials said, with no immediate reports of casualties.

It was the first known attack carried out by an unmanned aerial drone against U.S. forces in Erbil, amid a steady stream of rocket attacks on bases hosting U.S. forces and the embassy in Baghdad that Washington blames on Iran-backed militias.

The interior ministry of the autonomous Kurdistan regional government, based in Erbil, said in a statement the drone was carrying TNT which it used to target the U.S. forces. It said no one was hurt in the attack.

A group that Western and some Iraqi officials say is aligned with Iran praised the attack, but did not explicitly claim it.

A barrage of rockets hit the same U.S.-led military base in the Erbil International Airport vicinity in February, killing a non-American contractor working with the U.S. military.

Shortly before Wednesday’s attack in Erbil, at least two rockets landed on and near a base to the west of the city that hosts Turkish forces, Iraqi security officials said.

Sirens at the U.S. consulate in Erbil blared during the airport attack, witnesses said.

Turkey also has troops in Iraq both as part of a NATO contingent and a force that has attacked Kurdish separatist militants in the north.

The Iran-backed militias oppose both the presence of the United States and Turkey and demand a full withdrawal of all foreign troops.

The United States has sometimes responded with air strikes against Iran-aligned militias including on the Iraqi-Syrian border.

An air strike ordered by former president Donald Trump that killed Iran’s top commander Qassem Soleimani in January 2020 sent the region to the brink of a full-scale conflict.  link



Speaker of Parliament, Muhammad al-Halbousi, discussed with the US ambassador to Iraq, Matthew Toller, today, Wednesday, the importance of continuing to support Iraq in all areas.

The media office of Halbousi said, in a statement received by the National News Center, that the latter “received the US ambassador to Iraq, Matthew Toller, and during the meeting, they discussed bilateral relations between Iraq and the United States, and strengthening the continuation of security cooperation to combat terrorism.”

He added, “The meeting touched on the strategic dialogue between the two countries, and the importance of continuing to support Iraq in all fields, in a way that contributes to achieving development and stability, as well as discussing a number of issues of common interest.”   link


Tishwash:  Al-Kinani: Iraq owes “84” countries and an external and internal bank

The economic expert, Nasser Al-Kanani, revealed, on Wednesday, Iraq’s debt to more than 84 parties, between organizations, countries, and external and internal banks, indicating that Iraq pays annually the debts of 17 trillion dinars.

Al-Kinani said to / the information / that ” Iraq was overwhelmed by debts, and new debts were added to it in 2021 and debts in 2020, which increased the amount of repayment to Iraq every year.”

He added that “the total sum of what Iraq pays annually to the debtors to them amounts to more than 17 trillion dinars between debt installments and the interest that accrue from those debts.”

Al-Kinani explained that ” Iraq owes more than 84 countries, banks and international banks, and internal debts that are required to be paid in annual installments.”

He stated that “the decline in oil prices in the past three years is behind the collapse of the Iraqi economy and the large number of debts, since the Iraqi economy is mainly dependent on oil.  link

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