The Iraqi Ministry of Interior has commissioned German-based Veridos to build and operate factory for the production of Iraqi security documents.

According to a statement from the company, it will provide Iraq with secure national ID cards and a reliable, consistent national register.

The entire production process of the documents will be in Iraqi hands. Equipped with state-of-the-art production technology and located close to Baghdad International Airport, the plant’s equipment will make it possible to implement all the latest security features in identity documents.

In the first phase, the complete production chain for passports was installed. The first production equipment for card production will soon be finished as well. After this most important and initial step, the value chain will be increased by adding production capabilities for other official documents, such as employee batches or drivers’ licenses.

The issuing of the new eID card was the initial step for establishing a reliable national register for the first time. Now the Ministry of Interior and Veridos are partnering to construct a new production site for the supply of Iraqi security documents: state-of-the-art eID cards and ePassports.

The country is now able to produce its own electronic ID cards and passports on site. Veridos will continue to provide related services and maintenance. All the required technical know-how is being transferred to local employees, creating more than 100 jobs for highly skilled workers from Iraq.

Interior Minister Qassim al Arraji and German Ambassador Dr. Cyrill Nunn took part in the ceremony that officially kicked off the next stage – the on-site production of ICAO* compliant passports in a highly secured compound of the new plant. For the Republic of Iraq, this new production site represents a significant milestone.

Qassim Al-Arraji, Interior Minister of the Republic of Iraq, said:

“The first security document manufacturing site with high-tech equipment is now to be built in our country, creating more than 100 jobs for highly skilled workers in and around the factory. We have already successfully implemented a state-of the-art electronic ID system with Veridos, including a pioneering national register. We are pleased to continue this productive partnership.”

Veridos is a joint venture between Giesecke & Devrient GmbH, of Munich, and Bundesdruckerei GmbH, Berlin

(Source: Veridos)

Irish-based Petrel Resources has said it is “re-establishing its Baghdad operations”.

In its interim statement for the six months ended 30 June 2018, the company said:

As we approach the end of 2018, Iraq is fitfully emerging from conflict, and again open for responsible business.  Baghdad has re-established its authority, by defeating Da’ech insurgents and recovering Kirkuk. 

“Pro-business parties won the 2018 elections.  While it proved difficult to form a National Government in 2018, which contributed to turbulent protests in southern Iraq during 2018, prospects are now more encouraging than at any time since 2010.

“Iraq has endured an almost continuous period of conflicts and/or sanctions since 1980, from which it is only now emerging.  Much trauma has been inflicted, as shown by the difficulties forming a government in 2018 and the protests in southern Iraq – a region generally supportive of Baghdad governments since 2005.

“Yet, despite 2018 difficulties, we believe Iraq is finally turning a corner: pro-business parties open to international investment polled well in the May 2018 general election.  But no one party holds a majority and, as of September 2018, negotiations on new government formation were ongoing.

“So far, the impact of this unrest on oil production from the southern fields has been limited, with August 2018 output stable at 4.65 million barrels daily (mmbod).  Internal demand of 0.8 mmbod leaves nearly 3.8 mmbod available for export – which has remained consistent despite infrastructural and decision-making challenges – though well below the 2008 target of 6.5 mmbod and the 2012 target of 8.5 mmbod.  Iraqi output is actually higher than immediately before the November 2016 OPEC + Russia cuts, and also higher than its current official OPEC quota of 4.444 mmbod.

“The Western Desert, where Petrel has an interest in exploration ground, is still impossible for international companies to effectively operate.

(Source: Petrel Resources)

Iraq’s economy expected to rise 4 percent in 2019

9/25/2018

Baghdad / Follow-up morning
A recent report issued by the Arab Monetary Fund, that there are many factors that are expected to affect the prospects for economic growth in Iraq beginning in 2019, the most important of which continues to improve the internal conditions, which enhances the levels of economic activity in the non-oil sector,

While the oil sector will benefit from the expected increase in production quantities beginning next year, which will enable commitment to future development projects of international
oil fields .

Growth rates between the report seen by the "morning" that the Iraqi economy is expected to achieve a growth rate of 1 percent this year and the next year to a range of 4 percent, supported by increases in oil production and the pace of improvement of internal conditions.

The general level of prices rose by 0.7 percent during the month of May compared to the same month of the previous year due to high prices of tobacco, clothing, footwear, health, transportation, education and miscellaneous goods and services.

Inflation expectations for inflation forecasts for 2018 and 2019 are expected to reach 1.7 percent and 1.8 percent in 2019.

"The year 2018 is expected to end with an inflation rate of 3 percent, while declining in 2019 To 1 percent in the GCC.

" As for inflation expectations in the Arab countries during 2018 and 2019, the general price level is expected to be affected by several internal and external factors.

At the internal level of the Arab countries, the inflation rate is expected to be affected by high aggregate demand levels and by the continued action taken by some countries to reform the support systems.

Taxes and fees , the
report added that the inflation rates in the Arab countries is affected by the imposition of taxes and raise government fees, as well as commodity imports, is also affected by some bullish trends in oil prices since the beginning of the year 2018.

The oil markets have seen significant gains during the first half of this year, which ended The mid-term basket rose by $ 18.2, compared with the average price recorded in the first half of 2017, up 36.3 percent.

The price of oil at the end of June 2018 to 72.22 dollars a barrel, which represents the highest level of oil prices in 3 years ago.

The inflation rate is expected to be about 11.4 percent in 2018; inflation in Arab countries is likely to decline in 2019 to 8.3 percent.

Oil exporters
In detail, for Arab oil exporters, inflation is expected to reach 7.6 percent in 2018, from 5.7 percent in 2017. In the 2019 forecast, inflation is likely to reach about 6 percent in that group.

Saudi Arabia ended the first half of 2018 with an inflation rate of 2.9 percent as a result of the introduction of VAT and the reform of energy products prices.

The Arab Monetary Fund is expected to reach 2.9 percent by the end of this year as a result of curbing inflation following a number of simultaneous economic reforms with the tax and oil prices.

In the UAE, inflation is expected to reach 3.5 percent in 2018 due to value added tax and selectivity, compared with a drop of 2.5 percent next year.

Kuwait is expected to witness inflation of 3.1 percent by the end of this year, to reach 2.5
percent in 2019 .

In Bahrain, the inflation rate is expected to reach 2.2 percent by the end of 2018 and by 3.5 percent by 2019.

The report focuses on rising inflation in Bahrain as a result of government measures due to the current economic crisis in Bahrain, as well as selective taxation and value added.

In Oman, inflation is expected to reach 2 percent by the end of 2018.
However, it is likely to rise to 3 percent by 2019 as a result of government policies to lower levels of support in society.

http://www.alsabaah.iq/ArticleShow.aspx?ID=163639

Proposals for the Government Economic Program 2018-2022

9/24/2018

Amer Al-Jawahiri
The Government’s responsibility for the constitutional period 2018-2022 includes the commitment and actual work to provide the best services and work diligently to ensure that the socio-economic development of Iraq is taken for the near, medium and long term as part of the successive phases of the country’s management, and the responsibility of each government to take into account the development of building blocks for the continuity of development and development. .

The abundance of pledges without procedures, with red tape, bureaucracy and corruption, has led to the loss of opportunities for development and progress, a clear institutional decline in many joints, loss of funds, increased difficulty of improvement and economic diversification, and the utilization of specialists and other factors led to despair, frustration and reluctance to actively participate in the challenge.

Development, construction and reconstruction, as well as economic deterioration, which increased the degree of dependence on oil revenues with the increasing impact of administrative imbalance.

The responsibility of the next government, supported by the House of Representatives, has a historical character and requires the fingerprinting of institutions, individuals and individuals. We recommend that the government program be included in the following axes.

Representatives of the private sector and independent civil society should participate in the final status consultations and ensure their participation in monitoring, monitoring, evaluation and evaluation. The program can be enhanced by visions from other angles:

1. Act resolutely to achieve the rule of law and eliminate any violations of the rights, freedoms, safety and property of citizens, and to identify procedural steps, such as the application of a strict traffic regime, the fight against encroachment on sidewalks and streets and their cleanliness, the cultivation of green areas and the environment; Respecting the employee assigned to the public service by providing the best performance.

2. The highest levels of interest in social values ​​and ethics, work, production, productivity, cooperative spirit, preservation of the environment, public and aesthetic properties and cleanliness of the street and the city through intensive special procedures that address all aspects of life and through all educational, cultural, organizational and religious institutions and public and private institutions.

And their representatives in dialogues and consultations on the basic issues, including the fight against corruption and social action on the street and accept the other and attention to culture and the arts in all areas and try to find opportunities for wide entertainment of luxury Mtem .

3. Develop and take decisive action to fight corruption according to a clear detailed program including the institutional method, who will do what and how and the timetable for implementation with the design of a method to monitor the investigations and follow up and correct the implementation, including accounting for the type, speed and cost of the public service and the cutting of the hand and the awareness and fight against the turn of the corrupt,

And institutions, to ride the new wave through the new entities they created and from the post-"hasty" portal as the real "advocate" is the scourge of corruption and climbers, the loss of the rule of law and the degradation of societal values.

4. Develop and implement a rehabilitation plan for all government cadres to improve their capacities, performance, productivity, creative spirit and cooperative values ​​towards the achievement of every employee’s duty as quickly and as efficiently as possible and with high flexibility, and the need to ensure that government institutions achieve the maximum productivity and the best quality and the best and fastest service.

5. Meeting the municipal services for all regions by improving their productivity around the clock for individuals and mechanisms and organizing a program of competition between regions, districts, and governorates to achieve these activities, whichever is the most beautiful.

6. Adopting the methodology of development and the development of the country’s economy and services on the priority level and the required procedures, including the formation of the Supreme Council for Economic Affairs (expanded), whose membership is a high level of specialists from governmental and private institutions, civil society, trade unions, farmers and academics,

And the binding opinion on the policies, programs and major projects with follow-up and ensure implementation, the most experienced management and reporting to the Prime Minister and effectively communicate with the House of Representatives, and can form a sub-sectoral process teams of the Council to follow up the implementation and Assessment and evaluation,

the Council and the status of the Council of State has the blessing of the House of Representatives and has a fleeting permanence of governments that come to the continuation of policies, plans and strategies to develop each of which touches and addenda that fit with the latest developments.

7. It is possible to form a mini-cabinet to discuss and decide on the strategic issues in addition to the Economic Affairs Committee. It is clear that there is a need for a Higher Tourism Council, the Industrial Coordination Council, the Higher Agricultural Council, the Private Sector Development Council and the Energy Affairs Council.

What is important is the interlock between these councils.

8. An independent team of forecasting and risk analysis should be established, preferably with the Council of Ministers or the Council of Ministers.

It can coordinate its activities with the Supreme Council for Economic Affairs and thus an important team to present recommendations and opinions in various activities related to the country.

It does not change, but it is possible to develop its capabilities and increase its membership with increasing challenges.

9. The Government shall commit to implement the National Development Plan 2018-2022 through a special team to follow up its implementation in coordination with the implementation of sectoral strategies and the commitment of all ministries to implement their interrelated commitments and plans.

10 – Stay away from the encirclement of Iraq loans and the Supreme Council for Economic Affairs to develop appropriate financial policies and policies, including reducing and eliminate waste outlets and resort to various means of financing, including the methodology of partnership with the private sector and when the need to borrow to finance the implementation of productive projects paid by the profits.

11. Develop a comprehensive, targeted and decisive environmental policy that includes education, education and awareness-raising with mass campaigns that involve the participation of all to care for the health of their children and grandchildren and the cleanliness and beauty of their cities.

12. Develop and implement a humanitarian policy, targeted and decisive for the treatment of slums and stopping their extensions, taking into account the comprehensive and sustainable economic development in the districts and governorates and the social repercussions related to the rule of law.

13. Forming a high-level national team to address the repercussions of the decline in the working and investment environment, to provide remedies, to make decisions, to take measures, to follow up and evaluate their results, and to cooperate with the Supreme Council for Economic Affairs in coordination with cultural and tourism activities and the comprehensive community system.

The attractiveness of investment according to the mechanism must be implemented, including reconsideration of the justifications and components and mechanism of work and objectives of the formation of the Supreme Committee for Investment.

14. The Supreme Council for Economic Affairs shall instruct and follow up on the obligation of the sectoral ministries to implement the approved strategies, through a mechanism and structure as stated in the recommendations of each strategy with the establishment of a high-level coordination group to follow up and implement all strategies to reach a comprehensive rescue plan approved by the federal government with the support of all Local governments and the region and then approved by the House of Representatives to take the nature of the binding law of the campaign "Iraq 2030"

for subsequent governments to be a comprehensive long-term cross-government program monitors and follows and evaluates by a solid committee emanating from the Council participates in Representatives of government institutions, the private sector, civil society and trade unions.

15. Not to speed up the legislation of drafts of laws previously sent to the House of Representatives in its previous session and withdraw them for re-examination by involving representatives of private sector institutions, civil society, trade unions and specialists according to a specific mechanism and timing to ensure wider participation of stakeholders to comprehensive and comprehensive legislation in order to avoid shortcomings in their legislation.

An important mechanism for the implementation of laws and legislation to achieve prosperity and services and participation of citizens to achieve development and reconstruction and improve services and improve the competitiveness of Iraq.

16- To nominate a bright and resolute national figure assisted by an integrated team of experts and support from the legal, legal, security, institutional, political and organizational institutions to manage the file of retrieving and controlling all government properties and lifting illegal behavior in order to act for the public interest inevitably without favoritism of any party.
Baghdad Economic Forum

http://www.alsabaah.iq/ArticleShow.aspx?ID=163544

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

US sanctions have made it too expensive for Iranian Shia Muslims to travel to Iraq to mark Ashoura.

Ashoura is a day of remembrance, commemorating the death of Imam Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Mohammed.

Al Jazeera’s Rob Matheson reports from Baghdad:

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Some of Iraq’s most significant archaeological discoveries have been made in the city of Samara. Samara lies on both sides of the River Tigris north of Baghdad.

It marks the site of a powerful Islamic capital that ruled over the Abbasid Empire which stretched from Tunisia to Central Asia for a century.

It’s estimated 80 per cent of it still lies undiscovered. UNESCO says it should be protected as a World Heritage Site.

But locals say some of its landmarks are being left to crumble.

Al Jazeera‘s Rob Matheson reports from Baghdad, Iraq:

By John Lee.

German business newspaper Handelsblatt reports that Chancellor Angela Merkel has personally intervened with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to persuade the Iraq Government to sign a major contract with Siemens to upgrade the country’s electricity infrastructure.

It is understood that the State Secretary for Economic Affairs, Thomas Bareiß, accompanied Siemens Chief Executive Joe Kaeser (pictured) on a visit to Baghdad on Sunday in the hope of agreeing a multi-billion euro deal.

The German export credit guarantee company Hermes would be expected to underwrite any contract.

US-based General Electric (GE) is believed to be also in the running.

(Source: Handelsblatt)

Corruption has become the biggest threat to the future stability of Iraq following the defeat of Islamic State, Britain’s ambassador in Baghdad has told the Evening Standard newspaper in London.

Jon Wilks said that although there were “remnants” of IS still present, the country was “settling down ahead of expectations” and starting to recover from decades of war and insurgent attacks.

But he warned that corruption — which this month sparked violent protests in Iraq’s second city Basra — still posed a significant risk because of the negative effect that it had on business investment and public confidence.

Full report here.

(Source: Evening Standard)

Advertising Feature

Rabee Securities Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) market report (week ending: 20th Sept 2018).

Please click here to download a table of listed companies and their associated ticker codes.

Note: ISX was closed today (Sep. 20, 2018) due to religious holiday, 10th Day of Muharam “Ashura”. The next trading session will be held on Sunday (Sep. 23, 2018).

The RSISX index ended the week at IQD706 (-1.8%) / $753 (-1.8%) (weekly change) (-12.9% and -9.9% YTD change, respectively). The number of week traded shares was 892.6 mn and the weekly trading volume was IQD544 mn ($446.9 k).

ISX Company Announcements

  • Gulf Insurance and Reinsurance (NGIR) will hold an AGM* on Oct. 3, 2018 to discuss and approve 2017 annual financial results. ISX will suspend trading of NGIR starting Sep. 30, 2018
  • Original shares of Al-Hamraa for Insurance (NHAM) resumed trading on Sep. 19, 2018 after discussing and approving 2017 annual financial results and increasing the capital from IQD5.0 bn to IQD7.0 mn through 40% bonus issue.
  • Cihan Bank for Islamic & Finance (BCIH) resumed trading on Sep. 18, 2018 after discussing and approving 2016 and 2017 annual financial results and to distribute 11.8% cash dividend (IQD0.118 dividend per share, 4.5% dividend yield).
  • Al-Harir for Money Transfer (MTAH) resumed trading on Sep. 18, 2018 after discussing and approving 2017 annual financial results.
  • Kurdistan International Bank (BKUI) will hold an AGM* on Sep. 22, 2018 to discuss and approve 2017 annual financial results. ISX suspended trading of BKUI starting Sep. 18, 2018.

By John Lee.

Iraqi Airways has reportedly carried 9,200 passengers between Iraq and Russia in the first 12 months of operating flights.

According to rusaviainsider.com, this consisted of 5,200 inbound to Russia and 4,000 outbound.

The majority of those passengers flew between Moscow’s Vnukovo Airport and Baghdad, with the rest flying between Vnukovo and Basra.

(Source: rusaviainsider.com)