Current Iraqi Economic Outlook and Future Prospects

Ahmed Al Kaabi The Middle East is one of the wealthiest regions in the world in terms of its immense natural resources and wealth. Disputes over them plague the region. Armed conflicts, economic and political turmoil, and falling oil prices have caused many of these disturbances. Hence, Middle Eastern countries, like Iraq, suffer from very high market instability. Most multinational companies are not attracted to such countries because of these reasons. At the same time, Iraq’s market is very large and is well positioned in the Middle East (Bloomberg, 2015). There have also been some recent events that illustrate...

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The Chapter After ISIS in the New Iraq: Reflections on Security and Social Development

It is said that mismanagement is the illegitimate father to all types of corruption (administrative, financial, security, and social). Strong management comes from a firm will; this firmness depends on many attributes such as A) the clarity of purpose; B) the justice of the cause; C) the legitimacy of the objectives and D) the aspirations of the oppressed to the realization of their right. We have heard more than enough from senior Iraqi officials who claim that the next year is the year of construction or the year to fight against corruption or … etc. We simply need these...

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The World Just Recognized the Potential of Iraq’s Marshes. Can Iraq Do the Same?

Iraq possesses distinct characteristics that separates it from the rest of the world. A blend of old heritage that traces back to ancient Mesopotamia and numerous cultural and economic resources. The Mesopotamian Marshes or Iraqi Marshes that were once drained by Saddam Hussein’s regime were finally recognized by the UNESCO as a world heritage site. Historically called the Garden of Eden, al-Ahwar Marshes are wetlands located in Iraq’s southern region that have long been underrated and undervalued. UNESCO’s decision to enlist the marshes on the World Heritage list gives Iraqis something to celebrate after a dreadful month that witnessed...

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Hoshyar Zebari & KRG Violate IMF Bylaws & Iraqi Constitution

On June 2, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies hosted a day long event featuring panel discussions on Iraq’s economy. The first panel hosted the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) minister of coordination and follow up, Noori Abdulrahman via video call from Erbil. Abdulrahman was asked about the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan agreement of $15 billion over three years, signed with the Iraqi government on May 19. The loan has yet to be dispersed and Abdulrahman was asked whether the KRG would receive a share of that loan. Abdulrahman responded that he does not believe Iraq is able...

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Financial Review of Iraq in 2015 and Recommendations for 2016 Onwards

Ammar al-Diwani Twitter With oil prices hitting new lows of USD34 per barrel in 2016, Iraq’s fiscal budget and economy will continue to face challenges as the country stands on the periphery of a financial crisis. This is not eased with the continued costly fight against Daesh/ISIL. Whilst this strain opens up opportunity for economic reform, the Iraqi public and their government will need to prove their commitment to building a better future and their resilience to both a financial and sustained security crisis. The obvious saviour for Iraq’s sorrows would be a rebound in global oil prices. However,...

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Key Takeaways from Iraq’s 2015 Federal Budget

The passing of Iraq’s 2015 federal budget marked a key economic milestone for the country. At its core, the breakthrough represented a key political milestone given the failure of Iraq’s political blocs to reach agreement on last year’s budget. Here are the key takeaways from the budget law: – Total budget: $105 billion – Total revenues: $83 billion – Total revenues from oil: $69 billion – represents 83% of total revenues – Based on average oil price of $56 per barrel at exports of 3.3m b/d including 250k b/d from Kurdistan Region and 300k b/d from Kirkuk (as part...

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Bismayah: Iraq’s Largest Development Project

Ten kilometers southeast of Baghdad, just off the Baghdad-Kut highway, a whole new city is under construction. 100,000 residential units are planned to accommodate around 600,000 Iraqis in the biggest development project Iraq has ever seen. The project has received praise from numerous Iraqi figures, including former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who described it as a “dream” which “reflects our hope to provide housing units for all the Iraqi people who were deprived of their right to live in decent housing.” The National Investment Commission (NIC) of Iraq is developing the Bismayah New City Project, with design and construction...

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