We are preparing a draft of the economic reform law and concluding the trade and investment agreement with America

{Economic: Al-Furat News} Prime Minister Mohammed Shiaa Al-Sudani held a meeting on Thursday evening (Baghdad time) with members of the American Chamber of Commerce, in the presence of a number of businessmen, investors and representatives of major American companies.

Al-Sudani praised the efforts of the Vice President of the American Chamber of Commerce Steve Lotus, in arranging this meeting to inform investors about the working environment in Iraq.

He pointed out that Iraq is a fertile ground for investment in many important sectors, and there are natural resources that have not been invested so far, and it is time to invest them in a way that achieves prosperity for the Iraqi people and contributes to strengthening the strategic relationship with the United States.

The Prime Minister delivered a speech during the meeting, in the most prominent of which:

– Our government is properly investing revenues to activate important economic sectors other than oil, as it is not possible to continue to rely on oil to strengthen the budget and cover commitments, as has been done throughout the previous phase.

– The wrong path in the waste of burning gas will stop within 2-3 years, after completing the gas projects that started with Total and the UAE and Chinese companies in the fifth round.

– We announced 11 fields and exploratory papers in the provinces of Anbar, Nineveh and Najaf, which includes natural gas that will be invested for the first time in the history of Iraq.

– Economic reform is a priority, and it cannot be implemented without an effective and empowered private sector and partner with the government.

– We focused on providing a favorable business environment for foreign companies in general, and American companies in particular, by virtue of their capabilities, and also within the vision path of the Iraq-U.S. partnership.

– The relationship between Iraq and the United States cannot remain confined to the security aspect.

– The business environment in Iraq needs a great effort in reducing bureaucracy, we have the decision and the will to stop corruption with legal procedures, and companies cannot be made vulnerable to extortion or red tape.

– Every project and file related to a company will have personal care and follow-up, and we will work to overcome all the obstacles it faces.

– We are working to reform the tax system, the customs system, and currently we are preparing a draft economic reform law that addresses loopholes in several laws.

– We have a draft regulation to regulate e-commerce, the government is committed to protecting intellectual property, and we adopted a bill sent to the House of Representatives for a vote.

– We are working hard on the draft electronic payment law, and we have made great strides in financial and banking reform, through our relationship with the Federal Reserve and the US Treasury.

– Today we have a clear and transparent trade subject to global compliance standards in remittances.

– The Department of Commerce, through the Trade Attaché in Washington and with the U.S. Trade Representative Office, is working on the meetings of the third session of the Trade and Investment Framework Agreement, in the first quarter of 2024.

– The function of this agreement is to identify the challenges facing trade and investment relations between Iraq and the United States.

– We call on all American companies to present the challenges facing their presence and work in Iraq to develop solutions.

– We supported the private sector in the budget law, through the Iraq Fund for Development, which has a capital of $750 million during 2023, and in 2024 we will add an additional amount.

– We are currently conducting understandings with Arab and international investment funds, specifically with the Saudi Investment Bank, as we have a partnership in this aspect.

– In the budget law, the government will provide sovereign guarantees for the establishment of industrial and agricultural projects in Iraq.

– We have understandings with the German Hermes Foundation and the Italian Soisht Foundation, and they are ready to provide production lines for important factories and factories in the industrial sector compared to 15% of Iraqi businessmen and 85% provided by the government as a sovereign guarantee.

– A delegation of Iraqi businessmen toured Germany and Italy and identified the factories, and is currently in the process of understandings to implement these selected projects according to market requirements.

– We want to achieve a real shift in health services, we have a health insurance law, and we have a new philosophy that represents a transitional stage for the application of this law, through joint operation with companies specialized in the provision of health services.

– We offered 6 hospitals and we hope that there are specialized American companies to provide medical and therapeutic services in the operation of these hospitals.

– The size of the pharmaceutical market in Iraq is about 3 billion dollars annually, the national production represents only 10%, and the rest is imported.

– The Cabinet issued a package of decisions to support pharmaceutical producers, and today there are more than 245 requests to establish production lines for the pharmaceutical industry.

– We are strongly moving towards the use of modern irrigation techniques, to face the scarcity of water, and there are arable spaces and an attractive environment, but they need specialized technologies and companies to develop this sector.

– We have entered into contracts with Emirati, Chinese and Iraqi companies to establish solar power plants, and have entered into a contract with Total to generate 1000 megawatts of solar energy.