By Elena Kornienko.

Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

A few months ago I was approached by one of my LinkedIn connections, an expat based in Iraq, with an exciting training opportunity for one of the largest oil companies in the region.

Some messages back and forth to clarify details and I am asked to submit a proposal and training programs content. And at this point of time my inner voice of procurement professional with 17 years of buying goods and services for various companies started asking me questions:  “Why you have not received an official enquiry and all correspondence is LinkedIn based? “ – “Well, that’s how the modern world works these days! Social media became integral part of our lives”. My inner voice said: “Ok, fair enough. But why this person did not use corporate e-mail account?” – “Well, it is easier to keep correspondence on a subject in one place, and it will be easier to refer to all discussion details”.

And my inner voice was satisfied with that explanation too. But it kept asking me more questions: “If that is a formal inquiry for services, it have to come using company’s standard, and this company absolutely have templates and even automated procurement system…”, and the next question was “Submission of training materials to a client is always subject to signing “Non-disclosure agreement” where Intellectual Property Rights are clearly defined. So why it does not happen this time?”. And that was the time when I listened to my inner voice and started asking the same questions the potential counterpart. It did not take long to understand that it was a fraud inquiry with a purpose of stealing information which was covered by big and famous name…

It is not a secret that most of International Oil Companies, including the ones which operate in Iraq, have as a part of their contract template schedule “Code of Business Conduct and Ethics” and a failure to comply with all rules is considered as material breach of a contract which leads to further collection of damages or early termination. This contract schedule establishes company’s standards that include business practices and regulatory compliance that applies to all company’s employees.

These standards are expected to be followed by contractors as a part of commitment to execute contracts in trustful and faithful manner. For those of readers who did not come across with such contract articles, here just a few examples of what is typically covered: alcohol and drug policy, insider information trading, bribery, corruption, business records, confidential information, computer and system security, conflict of interest, gifts, engagement with media and information partners. This is typical content of “Code of Business Conduct and Ethics” which is adopted by most of the players in the Oil and Gas industry, however is it enough to make sure that all parties involved are acting in a good faith to all concerned?

The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply (CIPS) developed and implemented Corporate Code of Ethics with more focus for procurement professionals. It guides companies on ethical behavior in supply chain and promotes usage of procurement strategies to drive away unethical practices from the supply chain, assists to ensure that procurement decision minimize any negative impact, helps to put ethical policies and procedures in place to ensure compliance and the most important – mandates the education and training of all staff involved in sourcing, contractor selection and management to professional standards.  Great initiative that helps not only companies, but procurement professionals to set and follow rules of ethical procurement. It promotes professional behavior of procurement personnel who have the biggest exposure in a company for potential fraud and corruption.

While some of the companies are more advanced in implementing and following ethics standards in procurement, for others it is a new unknown road. Iraq has its own challenges in procurement and we can all contribute the development of ethics in supply chain by letting our inner voice ask questions even in circumstances when we feel great excitement for fantastic business opportunity.

Elena Kornienko has more than 15 years of professional experience in contracts, procurement and tendering in various roles from demand-identification to contract close-out. She has worked on major international oil and gas projects, including the Sakhalin-1 and Sakhalin-2 fields in Russia, and Iraq’s West Qurna-2. Now based in Dubai, she provides consultancy services to the oil and gas industry. Elena is a fluent English and Russian speaker, and a graduate of the Moscow State University of Commerce, holding a degree in Economics. She also graduated with distinction from the School of Business Administration at Portland State University and holds a CIPS diploma.

(Picture: Ethics signpost, from 3D-creation/Shutterstock)

Statement by Alice Walpole, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General

Iraq’s Democratic Experience – Prospects and Challenges

Rafidain Centre, Najaf

4 December 2018

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear friends,

Thank you for the invitation to speak here today, at the Al-Rafidain Center, on Iraq’s democratic experience.

2018 has been both an encouraging and challenging year for Iraq and its citizens. On the positive side, we witnessed two broadly successful electoral processes, consolidating Iraq’s democratic credentials. In May, within the constitutional time-frame, Iraq held its national parliamentary elections. Candidates and political parties conducted largely honourable campaigns, under an Electoral Code of Conduct drafted by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, free from sectarian-based discourse or inflammatory statements. There was, however, disappointing abuse of some, primarily female, candidates. Elections were held on time, and most people (including the displaced) were able to cast their votes and select their representatives freely and safely. The liberated areas witnessed an open voting process for the first time since the defeat of Da’esh. I commend the efforts of electoral officials, party agents and the security forces in making the elections largely peaceful, secure and orderly.

But we should not be complacent. The national elections were marked by a low voter turnout of just 44%. The decision by more than half of the voting population not to exercise their democratic right sends a strong signal of dissatisfaction to politicians over failures to meet people’s expectations or to provide for their needs, and a strong message to place the interests of the Iraqi people and the nation above partisan, sectarian, individual or group interests. I encourage the Iraqi political elites, specifically incoming ministers and members of parliament, to draw the necessary conclusions on the need for improved representation, justice for all, democratic accountability and good governance free of corruption, sectarian quotas, nepotism and patronage.

You will recall that the post-election phase was marked by widespread complaints. Allegations of electoral fraud and mismanagement resulted in the decision, which the United Nations supported, to conduct a partial manual ballot recount. I would like to note the transparent, credible and well-organised conduct of the recount (which I myself witnessed in several recount locations). I commend the professionalism of all recount staff, both Independent High Electoral Commission and judiciary personnel, under the capable, impartial supervision of the Board of Judges. I believe the recount increased public confidence in the election results. I hope it also increased confidence more generally in the electoral process.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Throughout the post-election and government formation period, the people took to the streets to express their dissatisfaction with the management of state affairs. Their demands must be taken seriously if the democratic process is to succeed in Iraq. The demonstrations which began in Basra in July and spread to other southern governorates including Missan, Muthanna, Qadisiya, Dhi Qar, Najaf, Karbala, Babil, Wasit, and then to Baghdad, were a clear call on the government to address the basic rights and needs of the people. The gravity of further violent protests in Basra in September sent a signal to the government to find tangible solutions to local problems of lack of delivery of basic services, shortages of electricity, lack of jobs and pervasive corruption. The protestors accused national leaders and successive governments of ignoring them and expressed deep and growing frustration with the political system, including a sectarian quota system they deem corrupt and dysfunctional, and perceived foreign interference in internal affairs.

While many political leaders expressed their support for the demands of the protesters, there has been little actual progress in effecting change. Former Prime Minister Abadi and the Council of Ministers made commendable efforts to implement some rapid relief measures, but these remain insufficient to address the depth of people’s needs and concerns. The new government now needs to prioritise political, economic and social reforms, justice, equality and accountability, reconciliation and the fight against corruption. Job creation will enable economic development, stability and prosperity, while Iraq should maintain its sovereignty and independence, free from foreign interference. The challenges faced by Iraq are deep-rooted and can only be tackled by strong and unified governance. Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi and his cabinet of ministers must engage in a fight against corruption, while the new Council of Representatives should reform laws that do not embed justice and equality.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I commend the successful completion of the Kurdistan Region parliamentary elections. Again, accusations of electoral fraud were fully investigated. On 30 October, the Electoral Judicial Panel of the Kurdistan Region Court of Cassation approved the election results. The Kurdistan Democratic Party and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan have assured us of their intention to consult closely with all local political parties on government formation. The Kurdistan Islamic Union and the New Generation Movement have announced that they will form an Opposition in the Kurdistan Parliament. All this is welcome progress. However, to date there have been no formal agreements on government formation. In this regard we urge the Kurdish parties to complete negotiations and the formation of the parliament to ensure that the needs of the people can be proactively addressed.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The United Nations was reassured to note that Mr Abdul-Mahdi, as PM-designate, received the endorsement of many prominent parliamentary blocs to choose his ministers freely, on the basis of their capabilities and experience rather than sectarian or political quota systems. We commended the democratic transfer of power between the outgoing Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi and incoming Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi within the Constitutional timeline. At the handover ceremony on 25 October, Mr. Abadi recalled the achievements of his government. He and his government, the Kurdistan regional government, the armed forces and the people of Iraq do indeed deserve acknowledgment and gratitude for the progress made thus far. While the government formation process has not been without difficulty, the political blocs have demonstrated willingness to act in support of the Prime Minister. Competition and differences have been largely political and not sectarian, and in this way, a break from the past. Iraq must now build on these foundations.

I remain concerned that the government formation process has stalled as disagreements over some ministerial posts continues to divide political parties and blocs. The United Nations urges Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi and the political parties to reach agreement and complete the cabinet. All political forces now share a responsibility for creating an enabling environment for the new Prime Minister and government to deliver on their programme and for ensuring political stability. The Government’s new programme, on which the United Nations was invited to offer advice is ambitious and forward looking. It outlines specific plans for reform, investment and the private sector, tackling corruption and for transitioning Iraq from a crisis context to sustainable development. It prioritises job creation, greater governorate-level participation, rehabilitation and reconstruction of liberated areas and the return of the displaced. It focuses on strengthening security, fighting terrorism, enhancing law and order and the rule of law. Special attention will be given to resolving pending challenges with the Kurdistan Region, including the issues of budget allocation and financial resources, oil and disputed areas. For this programme to be achieved, Iraq will require the continued support of the international community but also sustained political support from political leaders and parties within the parliament. On international relations, I commend Iraq’s new leaders who have acted without delay in engaging regional governments – fostering bilateral relations, tackling regional challenges such as terrorism, water issues, and discussing economic cooperation and investment for the reconstruction of Iraq.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Among the priority tasks for the new parliament is preparing the upcoming provincial council elections. With the expanding role of provincial councils in governance, the candidate choices made freely and fairly by the electorate will be extremely important for the country’s development. I welcome the Electoral Commission’s announcement of resumption of the biometric voter registration process. And I am pleased that for the first time since 2005, the Kirkuk governorate will participate in these elections – a critical step on the path to the normalisation of Kirkuk’s status and of politics in the governorate. Negotiations on the reactivation of the Kirkuk Provincial Council continue, with United Nations-supported discussions between local political actors from the Kurdish, Arab and Turkmen communities.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased that several female candidates received a high number of votes within their political lists, and that 19 female candidates were elected to parliament on this basis. Our expectation for the future is that the 25% quota which currently guarantees 83 seats for women, will represent a minimum threshold, not a fixed number. I urge political leaders to ensure the full participation of women within the new government and their representation at the highest levels in Iraq’s political and decision-making structures in the parliament and the government. I very much regret that no female or minority candidates have yet been appointed to ministerial positions; and while I welcome assurances that Prime Minister Abdul-Mahdi will include them in future governmental posts, I feel that an opportunity has been missed. Women must get a full chance to play key roles in shaping the post-Da’esh future of their country. Equality and empowerment of women must be central to all peace, justice, legislative, reconciliation and reform efforts.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Democracy and improved standards of living cannot be realised within an environment of persistent insecurity. Although Da’esh’s so-called caliphate has been defeated, the terrorist organisation continues to pose a threat. Iraqi Security Forces and the Popular Mobilisation Forces have maintained constant pressure on the remaining Da’esh presence and activities across North, Central and West Iraq throughout the year through successive security clearance operations. Challenges however remain for improving the overall security environment. The new government must reform and rehabilitate its security sector, putting it firmly under state control.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The United Nations works hard to support Iraq and its people. With the government formation process now close to completion, we hope that the country will continue on its journey to democracy. We will continue to offer advice and engagement. We will continue to work in partnership with the government and the people of Iraq to build progress. A prosperous future built on democracy and the rule of law – an Iraq in which the rights and needs of every citizen are recognized and fulfilled.

Thank you.

(Source: UN)

Iraq’s new Foreign Minister Mohamed Ali Alhakim highlighted the importance of bilateral relations with Iran and said the Arab country cannot cut off its trade ties with the Islamic Republic due to the US sanctions.

Alhakim pointed to Washington’s economic sanctions against Tehran and said, the value of annual trade between Iran and Iraq amount to $12 billion, the Arabic-language Al-Manar TV reported.

“We are not in a situation that we would be able to stop our trade exchanges with Iran,” the Iraqi top diplomat noted.

Earlier, Luqman al-Fili, the official spokesman for Iraqi President Barham Salih, had said that the US sanctions against Iran are part of regional tensions.

It is necessary that the citizens of the region are not affected by the embargoes, Fili said, adding that Baghdad is ready to cooperate to decrease the tensions.

The second batch of US sanctions against the Islamic Republic of Iran took effect on November 5.

Iran and Iraq enjoy cordial political, security and cultural ties but due to some internal and regional problems including Daesh (also known as ISIS or ISIL) terrorism in Iraq, they have not been able to increase their trade volume.

Iran’s main exports to the neighboring country include agro products, foodstuff and fruits such as watermelon, tomato and cucumber, which account for 37% of the total exports.

Other Iranian exports to Iraq include canned food, tomato paste, chicken, egg, meat, construction materials (mainly rebar, tiles and ceramics), steel and evaporative cooler.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

The Government of France has contributed US$568,690 (€500,000) to UNDP’s Iraq Crisis Response and Resilience Programme (ICRRP) to promote recovery and resilience-building in areas liberated from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The funding will help improve access to income-generating opportunities for 200 vulnerable returnees in Sinjar and Hamdaniya – where returnee numbers are high – through small business grants and saving schemes, as well as professional training programmes.

In an effort to ensure sustainability, the contribution also bolsters ICRRP’s work with national chambers of commerce to build their capacities to respond to future crises.

During a signature ceremony to launch the new project, the French Ambassador to Iraq, Mr. Bruno Aubert welcomed Ambassador Eric Chevallier, Director of CDCS (Centre de crise et de soutien) in the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who highlighted that:

“this project is well aligned with both French and Iraqi priorities for stabilization. Targeting the improvement of the conditions for the safe return of IDPs in areas strongly affected by ISIL occupation, the provision of immediate livelihood and employment opportunities – in particular for youth and women – is a key step toward more resiliency and sustainability for these communities.”

Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), Ms. Marta Ruedas, added,

“UNDP will support the financial empowerment of individuals to help alleviate the pressure on public finance, whilst at the same time creating a diverse business environment that will enable long-term economic growth.”

Many areas of Ninewa have experienced extensive damage to public and private infrastructure and with the effects of long-term displacement are now experiencing a lack of diverse livelihood opportunities, often exacerbated by prevailing security threats.

ICRRP is part of the  Recovery and Resilience Programme (RRP) that was launched at the  Kuwait International Conference for Reconstruction of Iraq earlier this year. In this context, the Government of France support will contribute to the RRP results area of expanding livelihoods opportunities in Iraq.

UNDP’s Iraq Crisis Response and Resilience Programme (ICRRP) promotes the recovery and resilience of communities vulnerable to multi-dimensional shocks associated with large-scale returns and protracted displacement of Iraqis and Syrian refugees.

This is achieved through medium-term programming, integrating crisis management capacity building, rehabilitating basic service infrastructure, livelihood recovery and social cohesion.

(Source: UNDP)

By Ahmed Mousa Jiyad, Iraq/ Development Consultancy & Research, Guest Editor IJCIS-SI, Email: mou-jiya(at)online.no.

2018 is, in more than one aspect, rather an important year; It commemorates the 60 anniversary of 14 July revolution 1958; it registers thirty years of ending the eight years long Iran-Iraq war; it counts fifteen years of the country’ invasion by the Anglo-American lead troops; it also marks a ten year period of grand opening of the petroleum sector to foreign companies; it witnessed the almost end of the “triple shocks” that paralyzed the country and finally, it testifies a minor change of the dysfunctional democracy and plaguing Kleptocracy.

This is the “Introduction” I wrote, as the Guest Editor, for the special issue of the academic International Journal of Contemporary Iraqi Studies-IJCIS, due for release before year ends (by Intellect Books, UK)*

14 July 1958 revolution is still vivid in the memories of many of us who actually witnessed and lived that day and what followed to date. Much has been written about July Revolution during the six decades since that day, but for 2018 two important observations worth making.

First, despite a relatively short tenure of General Abd al-Karim Qasim government (14 July 1958 to 8 February 1963) its record of social economic and development achievements were not matched by achievements of all regimes since Qasim’ assassination, particularly those of post 2003. An article published on the local akhabaar news-site[1] lists most of Qasim achievements, which should make every post 2003 politician, decision maker, parliamentarian, minister among others feel ashamed.

Second, Iraq witnessed during July this year a popular mobilizations in all southern oil producing provinces protesting against lack of employment, deteriorated standard of living, insufficient basic social services especially electricity and safe drinking water and condemning the corruption in the country. In a way, July-September 2018 popular protest vindicates July 1958 revolution achievements comparative to the apparent failures of all post 2003 governments.

Thirty years ago Iran-Iraq war ended; a war that caused too much death, devastation, sufferings and pushed Iraq on the brinks of degeneration; further wars and sever comprehensive sanction led eventually to invading the country.

American and British troops invaded the country in 2003, toppled Sadam régime and, again, brought too much death and destruction but with dismantling most state institutions, inflict serious blows to social fabric and institutionalized sectarianism and ethnicity. Over these 15 years, much of oil export revenues were the target of an unprecedented cronyism and corruption, mostly Kleptocracy (defined here as formalized corruption by formal entities and influential political groups and oligarchy) with meager, if any, of actual economic and social development as manifested by spreading July 2018 demonstrations that left many dead, injured and good number of arrests.[2]

The security situation in Basra deteriorated dramatically on 4 September when the number of killed demonstrators rose to 9 with many more injured on both sides i.e. the demonstrators and security forces, and a number of local government building set on fire.[3] By 7 September number of fatalities in Basra increased to 15 dead and 190 injured with more building including private, foreign consulate and offices of some political parties put ablaze.[4]

Post 2003 democracy was basically confined to national and provincial elections, which were run on regular intervals, but none was without accusations, irregularities and corruption practices. National election of May 2018 has been the most challenged and precarious among them all.  Election results were not approved until three months after the election day even with recounts and involvement of High Judicial Council and the Federal Supreme Court-FSC; the term of the parliament ended on 30 June and the new parliament remains in limbo and was not convened and thus nominating the heads of the presidencies was delayed and the same applies to forming the new government.

FSC approved the recounted results on 19 August 2018 indicating the start of the constitutional process for forming the new government. The new parliament was finally convened, amid rather a different and also divisive political landscape post 2003, on 3 September. Not until 16 September the election of the president of the parliament was elected and on 2 October Dr. Barham Salih was elected the president of the republic- representing serious setback for Barzani’s party-  and on the same day Salih  asked Adil Abdul Mahdi, a pro privatization, the Kurds and IOCs,  to form the government within 30 days!

Provincial elections are scheduled for year ends unless they are impacted by the negative environment that tarnished the latest recent national election; the current political confused order would suggest strongly the likelihood of postponing the provincial election to further date.   But these too were and could be subject to even more irregularities with influential forms within sectarianism, tribalism and religious personality cult. Moreover, the aftermath of July demonstrations could effectively impacts holding, the process and the outcome of the elections.

The local parliamentary election in Kurdistan Region in Iraq was held over 28-30 September and again with different contested claims on its transparency, credibility and results.

2018 marks ten years of the big-push strategy or grand opening of the upstream petroleum for foreign investment and direct involvement that validates, initially, the school of thoughts that invasion was all about oil but the actual development questions that validation. The big-push strategy began by converting a production sharing agreement, was concluded during Sadam’ era when Iraq was under the severest sanction in history, into a long term service contract.

That conversion sets the main premises of a hybrid model contract that was adopted through four major bidding rounds. However, upstream petroleum since the cabinet shift of August 2016 witnessed a departure from previous practices by the return of deals concluded behind closed doors, lack of transparency and adoption of a net revenues sharing model contract that gives IOCs much more a share than offered under the previous four bid rounds.

2018 witnessed the beginning of the end of the triple-shocks i.e., low oil prices, Da’esh presence and retaking Kirkuk back from KRG seizure.

Da’esh (or ISIS/ISL) began by controlling Mosul in mid-2014 then moved to many parts of other governorates particularly Kirkuk, Salahuldeen, Dayala, Al-Anbar and came close to Baghdad. That caused untold destruction, killing, internal displacement and threatened the security and integrity of the country. The military operations to defeat Da’esh drained serious part of the annual state budgets in addition to officially estimated $100 billion reconstruction requirements.[5]

What made the situation even more alarming and drastic are the dramatic decline in oil prices and the prevailed motion of “lower for longer” that coincided with Da’esh attacks. Iraq oil export prices per barrel declined from $102.61 in June 2014 to $22.21 in January 2016 then improved gradually to exceed $74 during September 2018.

Further deterioration in Iraq financial situation was caused by the cessation of Kirkuk oil export when KRG took control of the province’s oil facilities. Though that seizure ended during the fourth quarter of 2017, export from Kirkuk still on hold at the time of writing.

The work on this special issue took eighteen months of concerted efforts, follow-up and back and forth communication involving all editorial colleagues, publisher’s team, anonymous reviewers and contributors. Well-deserved sincere and wholehearted words of thanks and appreciation are due to all of them.

Ahmed Mousa Jiyad provides review of the development of the Iraqi petroleum sector during the period 2008-2018 as post 2003 period witnessed grand opening of the sector for International Oil Companies- IOCs, particularly for upstream sub-sector. The article argues that, analytically and empirically, a sub-sector focused policy impacts, negatively, the development in that sub-sector, in the sector itself and on the sector’s contribution to the development of the national economy. The outcomes would exacerbate structural imbalances, vulnerabilities to external factors and increase dependency on oil revenues, which prohibits desirable structural change, diversification and transformation.

He also highlights the presence and impacts of the “triple shocks” combined with the prospect of “lower-for- longer” oil price that prevailed almost a year ago, contributing to continue deepening the fiscal crisis of the state and elevated the “fear-factor” among Iraqi decision makers. That, with apparent human, systemic and institutional capacity-gaps limitations resulted in Iraq giving important concessions to IOCs without having tangible benefits in return.

Juman Kubba asserts that Iraq, over the past fifteen years, took huge leaps backwards. Thus, she argued it is very important for politicians, historians, experts and judicial bodies to analyse what happened, why it happened, who is responsible and how to hold them accountable. But what is more important now is to ensure that Iraqi society recovers from the calamities of the past fifteen years as well as the preceding thirty years; and that the country’s resources are used to serve Iraqis and provide them with good living conditions and never again be wasted and dissipated. Accordingly, here article focuses on the pathway of healing Iraqi society from the aftermath of decades of war, poverty and immense suffering.

Restoring good education and healthcare is the first step on the pathway of healing and recovery. Also, neutralizing and reversing several dangerous post conflict societal problems that have arisen over the years such as traumatized war children, war injured young men, drug abuse among youth and alarming increase in neoplastic disease just to name a few.  Given the weakness of the government, corruption, and contradictions between legislation and jurisdiction, one must consider new non-traditional approaches to solving these problems; a few are presented in the article. The success of any future government should be measured by how much it can ameliorate the essential life sustaining services for ordinary citizens.

Monetary policy and particularly the role of the Central Bank have important function in the development of the country. Debating this issue, our late colleague Muwafaq Hassan Mahmood  addresses four topics; the first offers an empirical examination of the performance of the banking sector during the period 2010-2015; the second discusses banking sector reform requirements; The third topic will shed light on: i) the environments under which the Iraqi banking industry operates highlighting the limitations and obstacles that impedes the sector’s growth and ii) the investment environment and whether it’s an attractive for the business community to invest and doing businesses in Iraq. Finally, he examined the CBI’s dollar window impacts on the banking industry.

Human skills, systemic and institutional capacity gaps impact the performance of the petroleum sector and these have been the subject of international cooperation between Iraq and other entities e.g., countries, organizations and even companies. Usama Karim article focuses on one of such initiatives i.e., the establishment of the European Iraqi Energy Centre-EUIEC. He argues that knowledge acquisition and development leading to such endeavour is a process that takes long time and much resources needing meticulous planning. This process can be facilitated by the use of expertise and technology transferred by international companies and their networks engaged in ramping up energy production in Iraq.

EUIEC has four components, however, the article elaborates on the research component but Karim suggests that the final EUIEC organization, structure and facilities integrating all its components will require further efforts from the consultants, lead stakeholders and experts in setting up such complex endeavour building up on preliminary results from this study.[6]

Greg Muttitt article reviews what is now known about discussions of oil that took place during the invasion planning and execution, based on documents that have been released in the fifteen years since.

He examines the nature of the strategic objectives, how the US and UK governments planned to achieve them, and how they decided to talk about them in public. Reflecting on this evidence will allow us to revisit the question: was oil a major reason for the war and invasion of Iraq?

Federalism, an outcome of the regime change brought by the 2003 invasion and was enshrined in 2005 Constitution, needs fixing. Since 2003, Luay al-Khatteeb argues, Iraq’s experiment with federalism has in many ways benefitted Iraq, though, he asserts, functioning federalism was never given a chance to be tested in Iraq as there are various factors that have contributed to hinder the formation of a Federal Iraq. Thus, because implementation has been imperfect, it has not solved Iraq’s fundamental economic flaws, which promote the waste of oil revenues, promote oil revenue dependence and allow for local level corruption to flourish. This situation can still be remedied, he argued, but that requires time and may take generations to materialise.

Omar Eljoumayle article summarises his PhD dissertation in economic development of contemporary Iraq. The article traces the role of institutions, institutional policies and how the rapid and frequent institutional changes have driven the Iraqi economy for decades. Though applying the New Institutional Economic-NIE to Iraq expands the range of choices of institutions that could be examined, the choices have been narrowed down by revolving around three central issues: agriculture, oil and wars. The picture painfully presented is one of abrupt and instantaneous institutional changes, through which institutions were repeatedly subject to reshuffle and facing changing circumstances. Consequently these changes have severely affected the path of economic development in Iraq.

The book review part of this volume covers to recently published, in Arabic, important books: one on Iraq’s nuclear program and the other on the Iraqi economy.

While it gives me a great professional scholarly satisfaction to be the guest editor for this issue I regret to report that our colleague and contributor, Muwafaq Hassan Mahmood, passed away on 28 June 2018. Despite his illness and he and I knew he would be not with us for long,  Muwafaq (Abu Rand) was very determined and enthusiastic to deliver his article and honors his commitment before leaving us. I have known Abu Rand since mid-sixties and his early departure was indeed a devastating painful loss. My colleagues, Professor Tareq Ismael (Calgary, Canada) and Professor Bill Haddad (California, USA), and I convey our wholehearted condolences to his family, friends and colleagues and we sincerely thank Muwafaq for his contribution to this special issue.

Ahmed Mousa Jiyad,

Guest Editor, IJCIS-SI,

Norway

4 October 2018

*Jiyad, Ahmed Mousa, Introduction, IJCIS, Volume 12, number 3, 2018 (forthcoming)

[1] 1958 revolution the 60th anniversary (Performance of Qasim in akhabaar  http://www.akhbaar.org/home/2018/7/246337.html (in Arabic) accessed 14 July 2018

[2] As on 22 July the Iraqi Human Rights Commission announced 13 dead, 729 injured, including 460 from security forces, 757 arrested temporarily and release later and  91 government and private buildings and vehicles were damaged. http://www.akhbaar.org/home/2018/7/246645.html  accessed 23 July 2018.

[3] As reported by IOR, 5 September 2018

[4] http://www.akhbaar.org/home/2018/9/248576.html Accessed 8 September 2018

[5] On Da’esh effect, Kuwait conference and cost of reconstruction see , $100 billion for reconstruction http://www.iraq-businessnews.com/2018/02/12/video-iraq-seeks-100bn-for-post-is-reconstruction/

[6] Actually, I was the leader of a team that prepared the “Formulation study for the EU-Iraq Centre for Economic Partnership and Business Cooperation (DCI-ASIA part)”, which was commissioned and funded by the European Commission-EC during the period January-June 2012. The study resulted in formulating and recommends the establishment of EUIEC with four major components: Research, Training, Energy Debate and Business Cooperation. The EC adopted our proposal and started the implementation in 2014 through the Service contract notice “Iraq-Baghdad: ICI+ — EU–Iraq energy centre (EUIEC) 2014/S 074-126988”

Mr Jiyad is an independent development consultant, scholar and Associate with the former Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES), London. He was formerly a senior economist with the Iraq National Oil Company and Iraq’s Ministry of Oil, Chief Expert for the Council of Ministers, Director at the Ministry of Trade, and International Specialist with UN organizations in Uganda, Sudan and Jordan. He is now based in Norway (Email: mou-jiya(at)online.no, Skype ID: Ahmed Mousa Jiyad). Read more of Mr Jiyad’s biography here.

A total of 41 Iraqi civilians were killed and another 73 injured in acts of terrorism, violence and armed conflict in Iraq in November 2018*, according to casualty figures recorded by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI).

The figures include ordinary citizens and others considered civilians at the time of death or injury, such as police in non-combat functions, civil defence, personal security teams, facilities protection police and fire department personnel.

The Special Representative for Iraq of the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Ján Kubiš, said the continuing loss of life is regrettable but the latest figures are the lowest since UNAMI began publishing them in November 2012.

“These are not just figures. They are human beings with families. But these figures, sad as they are, also reflect the continuing downward trend in the level of violence as the country recovers from its fight with terrorism and presses ahead towards a stable, prosperous future,” the Special Representative said.

Baghdad was the most affected Governorate, with 55 civilian casualties (23 killed, 32 injured), followed by Ninewa (08 killed and 19 injured) and Anbar (04 killed and 15 injured).

*CAVEATS: UNAMI has been hindered in effectively verifying casualties in certain areas; in some cases, UNAMI could only partially verify certain incidents. Figures for casualties from Anbar Governorate are provided by the Health Directorate and are noted above. Casualty figures obtained from the Anbar Health Directorate might not fully reflect the real number of casualties in those areas due to the increased volatility of the situation on the ground and the disruption of services. For these reasons, the figures reported have to be considered as the absolute minimum.

(Source: United Nations)

The future of the Iraqi currency !!

Diaa Mohsen 581 2018-11-28

Diaa Mohsen

Money, a source and document representing the state, is a symbol and expresses its political and religious system and its own philosophy. In comparison to history writing, documentation across currencies can not be questioned or challenged because it is a concrete fact and document for a certain period of time. Humanity has greatly benefited from the history of civilizations by studying their currencies and their holdings.

The discovery of currency is compared to the discovery of printing, as it facilitates the process of exchange between people and traders alike, and the currency is one of the main components of the market; without it, there can be no buying and selling.

Before the entry of the British occupation forces in October 1914 was the currency traded among the people is the Ottoman lira, after which the British occupation authorities introduced the Indian rupee as the currency of circulation, and after independence was established the first council to issue the Iraqi currency in 1931, was linked to the Iraqi dinar in pounds sterling, The July 14, 1958 Revolution The dinar was pegged to the pound and pegged to the US dollar.

The Central Bank of Iraq issued a new currency of paper and metal, bearing the slogan of the new Republic. New issues of paper currency were issued in 1971, 1973, and 1978. The Iraqi dinar suffered a continuous deterioration in its value after the Iran-Iraq war began, dropping from $ 3.3 per dinar in 1980 to about $ 4 in 1988.

As a result of the invasion of Kuwait and the issuance of resolutions of the Security Council to impose a blockade on him, and the deterioration of the value of the Iraqi dinar, forced the Central Bank of Iraq to issue currencies that were not traded before, issued banknotes of 50 and 100 dinars, followed in 1995 issued a paper of 250 dinars, The year 2000 issued a cash paper bearing the category of 10,000 dinars, and it is noted that all these categories were carrying the image of former President Saddam Hussein. The citizen carried large packages to buy his simple needs, which do not exceed eating and drinking.

After the fall of the former regime, specialists began to think about how to restore the spirit of the Iraqi dinar, and remove the heavy legacy of the Iraqi economy, they began to put the idea of ​​removing three zeros from the current currency.

The deletion of zero is defined as a process by which the nominal value of the currency is adjusted due to high inflation and devaluation. Countries such as Brazil, Argentina (South America), Yugoslavia and Poland (countries in the orbit of the Soviet Union) Ireland (for joining the European Monetary Unit), a process different from the devaluation process,
But can such action be implemented? What are the pros and cons of the economic movement in Iraq? Could it really help to reduce inflation rates? Finally, what is the right timing for it?

This process is still controversial in the government and monetary circles, businessmen and specialists. Some believe that doing such a process will lead to more corruption and tampering with public money, because of what is happening in the process of changing the currency, and it will create a state of chaos and confusion in contracts internally and externally, And that it will not change anything from the fact that the amount of the issued paper will remain the same.

At a time when an optimistic team believes that this process will lead to the restoration of prestige of the Iraqi dinar, if accompanied by the improvement of the dinar exchange rate, and the process of calculations in various fields will be less complex and simply.

We do not deny that the process of deleting zeros is a necessary and important step comes within the need for the country to the process of administrative reform of the currency contribute to reduce transaction costs and cash transactions in the economic process, and reduce the size of the country’s monetary mass and help to facilitate calculations and reduce the amplification of numbers, if applied Properly and at the right times. But there must be introductions to that process, including choosing the appropriate time in which the Iraqi economy in a state of stability, and then create the economic environment in a deliberate manner to implement the deletion, and this requires the procedures and financial and banking decisions taken by the financial authority in the country.

The process of replacing those "in the process" will cost the state budget of 172 billion dinars (150 million dollars), which is a large amount is significant, if we add the effort of the banking staff and the time that will be lost by the process of switching, and can not Forget the attempt of the weak souls who will try to profit from that process by all means and methods!

It is true that this process will not have an impact on the purchasing power of the citizen, since the exchange of currency will take place in another currency. There may be some shock in the market as a result of this switch, but it is a temporary shock. It is not bad to see the experiences of many countries replaced the currency, such as Turkey, which continued its currency exchange for four years, the Turks remained trading the old currency with the new currency until they were all withdrawn from the market without the market confused.

The most important negatives that will accompany the process of deletion of zeros is the cash illusion, as the deletion of three zeros from the Iraqi currency will sign the citizen under the illusion of cash, which is the most prominent negative that can affect the Iraqi citizen in the event of deletion of three zeroes of the current currency is a significant effect. This will be the result of colliding with the value of the new currency after the deletion, leading him to believe that the value of its assets has decreased by dividing them on the three zeros.

The Iraqi citizen would like to see his currency strong, so the process of raising zeros will contribute to the revaluation of the currency, and reduce the proportion of demand for hard currency, which is characterized by force, and will lead to a balance between the value of domestic and foreign currency and will give them market power at home and abroad, It is possible that the value of the Iraqi currency against the US dollar, for example, that the employee who receives 1200 thousand dinars at the exchange rate 1200, the purchasing power of $ 1000 dollars and if the strengthening of the dinar equivalent to 500 dinars to the dollar will be purchasing power $ 2400 instead of $ 1000.

http://translate.google.com/translat…ports%2F341343

Newspaper: Iraq freezes the funds of the bank and financial institutions belonging to Iran
11/27/2018

newspaper Okaz, said Iraq has decided to freeze bank funds and financial institutions affiliated to Iran and referral procedures to ban the Bank has branches in Iraq.



"It has decided to freeze the transfer of immovable and immovable assets and economic resources of Sina Bank and the Bahman Group of Iran," the Saudi daily Okaz said,
citing the committee for freezing terrorist funds in Iraq.

"The decision was based on the AML / Terrorists in accordance with the powers vested in the Commission ".




She added that "the procedures for the implementation of the ban on transactions and activities on the branches of the Iranian Bank of Parisian in Iraq have been referred to the Iraqi Central Bank to take appropriate fundamental measures."




The Central Bank of Iraq has prevented its financial institutions from dealing with private banks and financial companies on the terrorism list that launder money.

https://www.alsumaria.tv/news/253702…D9%84%D8%A7/ar

A former business partner of a U.S. military contractor was sentenced today to 18 months in prison for his role in a years-long scheme to bribe U.S. Army contracting officials stationed at a U.S. military base in Kuwait during the Iraq War.

Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Special Agent in Charge Matthew J. DeSarno of the FBI’s Washington Field Office’s Criminal Division, Director Frank Robey of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command’s Major Procurement Fraud Unit and Special Agent in Charge Robert E. Craig Jr. of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service’s (DCIS) Mid-Atlantic Field Office made the announcement.

Finbar Charles, 62, a citizen of Saint Lucia most recently residing in Baguio City, Philippines, was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Karon O. Bowdre of the Northern District of Alabama.  Chief Judge Bowdre also ordered Charles to forfeit $228,558 in illicit gains.  Charles pleaded guilty in July 2018 to one count of bribery of a federal official.

According to admissions made in connection with his guilty plea, Charles was a business partner of a former U.S. military contractor, Terry Hall.  As Hall’s business partner, Charles admitted that he facilitated Hall and others in providing millions of dollars in bribes in approximately 2005 to 2007 to various U.S. Army officials in exchange for preferential treatment for Hall’s companies in connection with Department of Defense (DOD) contracts to deliver bottled water and construct security fencing to support U.S. troops stationed in Kuwait and Iraq.

As part of his role in this criminal conspiracy, Charles admitted that he managed bank accounts in Kuwait and the Philippines that he used to receive Department of Defense payments and transfer illegal bribes to various U.S. Army contracting officials, including Majors Eddie Pressley, James Momon, and Chris Murray.

All of those individuals, as well as at least 10 other coconspirators, have pleaded guilty or been convicted of crimes relating to this scheme.  Charles admitted that he falsified loan and consulting agreements to conceal the true nature of the bribe payments to the Army officers, and that he personally received over $228,000 in illicit gains as a result of his participation.

This case was investigated by the DCIS, the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, the FBI and the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.  The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs provided substantial assistance in this matter.  The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Peter N. Halpern and Robert J. Heberle of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section.

(Source: US Dept of Justice)

IBBC welcomed 260+ delegates to Dubai to discuss ‘Iraq – Reconstruction & Rebuilding, how to deliver Vision’ with expert Industry, Government and International Organisations on 25th November

Iraq Britain Business Council held its annual Autumn Conference in Dubai yesterday on the 25th November at the Address Dubai Marina in Dubai.

The event hosted many speakers from the major companies operating in Iraq including IOCs, Logistics, Finance and Legal and Infrastructure, as well as Government Officials from the UK, UAE, Iraq, The World Bank and IMF to discuss the key issues facing Iraq’s economy today. IBBC welcomed over 260 delegates at the event for its largest ever attendance.

Under the Chairmanship of Vikas Handa, IBBC Representative in the UAE, Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, President of IBBC and The Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Iraq opened the conference alongside H.E. Abdulla Ahmed Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Economy for Foreign Trade & Industry Professor Sabah Mushatat, Prime Minister’s Advisor for Reconstruction and Investment. H.E. Bengan Rikani, Iraqi Minister for Housing, Reconstruction & Public Municipalities, Government of the Republic of Iraq. Michael Townshend, Regional President BP Middle East and Jon Wilks CMG, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Iraq.

HE Abdulla Ahmed Al Saleh

IBBC was honoured to have HE Abdulla alSaleh give a keynote speech at the IBBC Conference in Dubai for the third year running, His Excellency reaffirmed the UAE’s commitment to building a diverse and prosperous Iraq as per the IBBC’s mission statement. Professor Mushatat delivered a message from the Prime Minister of Iraq H.E. Adil Abdul-Mahdi delivering the PMs support for the development of the Private Sector and Foreign Enterprise in Iraq and complimenting IBBC as a trusted partner to achieve these goals.

H.E. Bengan Rikani spoke of the challenges ahead to meet the population growth of Iraq, the continuing efforts to rebuild liberated areas and the infrastructure projects underway. Ambassador Jon Wilks highlighted the importance of Iraq to the British economy, where trade has increased by 10% in the last year alone and stressed the commitment of PM Theresa May, Liam Fox MP Secretary of State for International Trade and DFID to facilitating Trade between the UK & Iraq.

“Now is the time to look again at the Iraq Market”
Her Majesty’s Ambassador Jon Wilks CMG

Michael Townshend reminded the audience that there was more Oil available globally than humanity could consume and that the Rumaila’s oilfield operated by BP in Iraq was not only one of the largest but also one of the most economic fields in the globe, providing Iraq with the lion share of its incomes.

Michael Townshend, BP

This year’s Agenda focused on the key issues of how Iraq can rebuild its towns and cities and develop its economy and evolving Infrastructure and Utilities with an emphasis on expanding Oil & Gas production, improving the Regulatory Framework and Financial systems and exploring the role of Logistics in moving people and materials into and around the country.

Conference Sessions & Speakers:

Logistics – Imports/Exports, People & Goods

Beverley Simpson, Director – Iraq, Department of International Trade; Rolls-Royce; SKA International Group; Basrah Gateway Terminal; G4S

Regulatory & Financial Framework – Encouraging International Investment

Management Partners; Dr Sabah Mushatat, Investment & Reconstruction Advisor to the Prime Minister of Iraq; National Bank of Iraq; IMF; AFC Iraq Fund; Eversheds-Sutherland

Energy – Increasing Production

Shell; Chevron; GE

Infrastructure – Rebuilding & Utilities Supply

IFC; Wood; EAMES; Siemens; Prof. Frank Gunter, Lehigh University

Ms Duha Mohammed, Capital Bank of Iraq

The conference also featured the highly successful roundtable discussions, where delegates engaged in dynamic and concentrated debates on the country issues which matter most. Delegates also enjoyed a pre-conference reception on 24th November at the Address Dubai Marina, as well as many networking opportunities throughout the event.

IBBC would like to thank the efforts of its sponsors Rolls Royce, Serco, SKA International Group, Siemens, GE, Basra Gateway Terminal and Khudairi Group.

IBBC also held a Tech Forum on 25th November under the Chairmanship of IBBC Marketing Consultant Ashley Goodall. The forum ran in parallel to the conference at the same venue. Some of the most important innovators of Tech in Iraq spoke on Fintech, the Consumer Economy, E-Government and the Start-Up Economy. Speakers included representatives from EY Iraq, Avaya, Citi Bank, Restrata Group, Microsoft, Khudairi Group, VentureSouq, Careem and the International Development Bank.

IBBC is particularly grateful to Ms Suha Mohammed, DG for payments at the Iraqi Central Bank, and to Mr Hiwa Afandi, DG of the Information Technology Department of the Kurdistan Regional Government for participating in this event.

Tech companies are already disrupting the heavily state dominated Iraqi economy and are the bearers of hope for tangible change in a country that has an extremely young and tech savvy population and has an urgent need to create hundred of thousands new jobs every year.

For any enquires please email london@webuildiraq.org

(Source: IBBC)