October 28, 2010
The formation of the Iraqi government has entered its final stages, Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdel Mahdi said Oct. 28 in a meeting with U.S. Assistant Vice President for National Security Affairs Tony Blinken, KUNA reported. The winning parties will hold serious talks to form a government of national unity, Abdel Mahdi said. The formation of a democratic government in Iraq is an internal affair, Blinken said, adding that the United States would like to see the formation happen.
Posted on 20 October 2010
Iraq’s developing situation continues to astound me when I contrast it with much of the west.
Take the UK, where Prime Minister David Cameron has on 20 October announced £81bn ($127bn) of cuts from total government expenditure of £661bn ($1,040bn), the largest budget cuts in decades by a large margin. All this it needs to do to try and stop national debt rising at £5,900 ($9,300) a second.
Iraq, on the other hand, is going the other way. Not only does it expect to be in budget surplus by 2012, but it is pulling money in for investment at an ever-increasing rate. Iraq had a five-year plan to attract $6bn-worth of investments. It then said it wants $200bn. And this week it has gone up to a new target of $600bn.
It would be happy if it gets to 50% of that target, but it has reasons to be optimistic. In the first 20 days of this month alone we reported on private investments in Basra for 1,000 housing units, a shopping mall and a huge drinking water project. In and around Amara there will be another 1,150 housing units and an industrial park, and Erbil is building two big roads, Muthanna a large cement factory to help with yet other developments, and Baghdad is awarding another 11 investment permits for housing, commerce, tourism and industry. And I haven’t even mentioned the energy projects yet.
In the global economic seesaw, it seems like it is Iraq’s turn to rise up again.
International Monetary Fund calls on Iraq to reform tax system
Baghdad, Oct.2 (AKnews) – A source in the outgoing Iraqi government said on Saturday that the International Monetary Fund (IMF)stressed on the need that Iraq has to hold semi-radical changes in the tax system as a condition for granting loans and supporting its projects.
A member of the Iraqi negotiating team, Fadel Muhammad Sarraj told AKnews that “the IMF demanded the Iraqi government formally to restructure the tax system in the country in a way that commensurate Iraq’s financial dealings with the International Monetary Fund.”
“The IMF has criticized the report handed to the Iraqi negotiating committee over distributing the budgets operation of the previous years which focused on financing the security services as unstudied mechanisms.”
“The Iraqi negotiating team was able to convince the states member in the IMF that Iraq will abide by the loans payment by selling crude oil during the coming years.”
“The IMF has agreed on Friday to grant an amount of $ 741 million as part of a loan of $ 3 billion and $ 700 million.”
“The IMF has a vision that Iraq is completely isolated from the global system and that made it demand the government to promote the value of the Iraqi Dinars compared with the foreign and Arabic currency.”
The value of what the Fund has paid to Iraq is $ 1.2 billion out of 3.7 billion.
It is hoped that the outgoing Iraqi government will discuss in the next few days, the budget in 2011 in which the Finance Ministry confirmed earlier that it will take care of implementing the service projects.
Reported by Jaafar alwanan
Iraq’s oil minister increased the estimate on the country’s proven oil reserves to 143.1 billion barrels, an increase of nearly 25 percent, AP reported Oct. 4. The reserves can be extracted by available techniques, Hussain Shahristani stated, adding that the total is based on reserves in 66 oilfields. Other areas must be explored and could add to the reserve total, he said.
Source : Stratfor
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