Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani received the new Consul General of Germany to the Kurdistan Region, Ms. Barbara Wolf and her accompanying delegation.

In the meeting, which was also attended by Kurdistan Regional Government’s representative in Germany, Mr. Dilshad Barzani, Consul General Wolf thanked the KRG for its assistance to the German Consulate General in Erbil.

She stressed further developing bilateral relations and cooperation with the Kurdistan Region. She reiterated the continuation of humanitarian and military assistance, provided by Germany to the Kurdistan Region. She also stressed encouraging German companies to invest in the Region.

Prime Minister Barzani congratulated Consul General Wolf for her new position and wished her success in her duties. He thanked the German government for its humanitarian and military support to the Kurdistan Region, particularly in the field of the reform of the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs. He expressed his government’s desire to further strengthening bilateral relations.

The formation of the new Iraqi government and the developments in the wider region were also discussed in the meeting.

(Source: KRG)

By Fazel Hawramy for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News. 

Will Riyadh-Tehran rivalry kill Iraqi Kurdistan’s investment drive?

Iraqi Kurdistan, facing an acute financial crisis, has a newfound opportunity to attract desperately needed foreign investment from Saudi Arabia, but regional tensions between Tehran and Riyadh could hamper its efforts.

A large Saudi trade delegation led by Sami Bin Abdullah al-Obeidi, chairperson of the Council of Saudi Chambers, and accompanied by the Saudi ambassador to Iraq and the consul general to Erbil, visited the Iraqi Kurdistan Region July 23-25, meeting with business leaders and government officials, including Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, to explore economic opportunities in the energy, agricultural, industry and tourism sectors.

Although no agreements were signed, the parties agreed to work toward expanding economic relations, as Saudi Arabia plans to establish a direct trade link from its Arar border crossing into Anbar province and on to the Kurdistan region.

Click here to read more.

Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani chaired the 49th regular session of the Council of Ministers on Tuesday. It was also attended by Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani.

Prime Minister Barzani briefed the Council about his recent visit to Baghdad and meeting with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. He said, they agreed to continue dialogue and coordination and demanded implementation of the Iraqi Council of Representatives decision to unify salaries and privileges of the families of the martyrs and Anfal victims in the Region with those of their counterparts in the federal government. They also discussed reopening the Erbil-Kirkuk road and the readiness of the KRG to export Kirkuk oil.

Regarding the new Iraqi government, Prime Minister Barzani emphasized the KRG has no veto against anyone. While protecting common interests, he said what is important to the Kurdistan Region is the new government’s programme that would help to materialize the rights and the constitutional authorities of the Kurdistan Region.

Minister of Martyrs and Anfal Affairs Mahmood Haji Salih and Secretary of the Council of Ministers Dr. Amanj Rahim presented a report on the latest developments in the effort towards international recognition of the crimes committed by ISIS against Yezidis and other ethnic and religious communities as genocide, and on UN Security Council’s Resolution 2379 to form a team to investigate this situation.

The Council of Ministers affirmed the Security Council Resolution to be an important step towards recognizing these crimes as genocide. The Council of Ministers assigned the High Commission on Recognition of ISIS Crimes as Genocide to coordinate with the international team.

Prime Minister Barzani instructed the commission to deliver to the UN team all evidence collected during the past four years about crimes against humanity and acts of genocide directed at Yezidis, Christians, and all other communities to apply justice to perpetrators to the full extent of the law and to compensate the victims and their families.

The Council of Ministers called on the Iraqi federal government to take into account the involvement of legal practitioners, experts, and other representatives of the Kurdistan Region in the implementation of the Security Council Resolution.

The Council of Ministers re-emphasized its policy that protects religious rights and freedoms as basic principles of human rights, believes a nation’s strength lies in its diversity, and that the KRG will continue to endeavor to make the Kurdistan Region a safe place for all members of society.

2019 budget draft

The Council of Ministers also discussed the 2019 budget draft. KRG Minister of Finance and Economy, Rebaz Hamlan, presented a report on the 2019 budget draft, a process suspended since 2014 due to the financial crisis. He informed about steps being taken to estimate general revenues and expenditures in collaboration with ministries.

The Council of Ministers expressed its support and called upon all ministers to coordinate with the Ministry of Finance and Economy as well as the Ministry of Planning.

In a press conference after the meeting, Prime Minister Barzani briefed the media on latest development in the region.

Regarding reports suggesting that US Special Envoy Brett McGurk urged postponement of the September 30th Kurdistan election, Prime Minister Barzani stated, “There is nothing like that. He hasn’t discussed this issue with us. What has been discussed is whether elections will be held or not. Yes, they will be held on time. No talk of postponing elections by Mr. Brett McGurk with us has happened. Up to the moment, no political party in Kurdistan Region has asked that the September 30th elections be postponed. If I speak as the KDP, we from the Kurdistan Democratic Party emphasize that elections need to be held at their scheduled time.”

About negotiations with Baghdad on various issues, Prime Minister Barzani said, “There are some principles important in negotiations with Baghdad. It is very important for the people of Kurdistan and for all parties to jointly participate in this process. Serious talks will begin after manual vote counting is concluded and the results are officially confirmed and announced by the Iraqi Federal Court.

Regarding trade between the Kurdistan Region and Islamic Republic of Iran after the sanctions were reimposed on Iran by the US Government, Prime Minister Barzani said, “Until now, the sanctions are not clear to us. But certainly, the Kurdistan Region will take steps within the framework and position of Iraq. We asked the US and talked with Baghdad to make it clear to us. We asked and await the US to send a delegation to explain what exactly should and should not be done.”

Regarding the Rosneft agreement and any tension with Baghdad, he said, “What we have done with Rosneft is a commercial matter. Our contracts are within the framework of the Iraqi Constitution.” He also said, “Now that Baghdad can’t practically export Kirkuk oil, which is about 250 to 300 thousand barrels per day, we have told them we are ready to facilitate export to Ceyhan port where Iraq’s State Oil Marketing Organization, SOMO, can sell the oil and, of course, all revenue will be for all Iraq.

(Source: KRG)

Baker Hughes, a GE company has been awarded a contract by the South Gas Company of Iraq (SGC) for fast-track solutions to help the recovery of flare gas for Nassiriya and Al Gharraf  [Garraf] oilfields. The importance of the project was highlighted by the attendance of several high-level officials, including HE Jabbar Al-Luaib, the Minister of Oil of Iraq, at the agreement-signing ceremony.

As per the agreement, BHGE will develop solutions for flare gas recovery at Nassiriya and Al Gharraf oilfields using advanced modular gas processing (NGL) technology developed in the United States and Italy. The project will utilize the modular skid-mounted Gas Processing technology to build 200 million standard cubic feet per day (MMSCFD) NGL plant and is expected to be completed by 2021.

The project will support the development of a fully integrated natural gas liquid (NGL) plant at Nasiriya that will recover 200 MMSCFD of dry gas, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and condensate.

The modular solution will support power plants with dry gas for efficient power generation, thus helping meet the growing demand for electricity using clean fuel. It will also contribute to curtailing the amount of gas flared in the fields of Nassiriya and Gharraf that otherwise goes to waste.

The advanced technology used to develop the plant will help produce more than 1,000 tons of LPG per day and recover more than 900 cubic meters per day of condensates, which will help to meet the domestic demand for cooking gas.

The surplus LPG and condensate will be exported, generating high revenue to the Iraqi government.  Contributing to the social and economic development of Nassiriya, the project is aligned with the vision of the Ministry of Oil and the government.

H.E. Jabbar Ali Al-Allaibi, Iraq’s Minister of Oil said, that this project is important achievement for the Ministry and marks the entry of a new phase for the sector, highlighted by time optimal utilization of flare gas, which is a major milestone in the government’s extensive efforts to drive a better future for Iraq.

H.E. also highlighted the prominence of this project for the province of Dhi Qar specifically and for Iraq in general adding that BHGE will provide it latest and advanced technologies and solutions to optimize the use of flare gas at the Nassiriya and Al Gharaf oilfields recovering 200 MMSCFD of dry gas daily.

Rami Qasem, President, MENAT & India, BHGE, said:

“As a local trusted partner to Iraq, BHGE is bringing advanced technologies and solutions that can help meet the Ministry’s goals for the industry. This contract is a testament to our continued commitment to supporting the Ministry of Oil’s strategic goals by deploying advanced flare gas solutions to build the country’s oil and gas infrastructure. The project will create more than 500 direct and indirect jobs for Iraqis, build local capabilities and strengthen the local supply chain.”

BHGE is the first and only company in the world to provide a fullstream offering covering products, services and digital solutions for the oil and gas sector, from upstream, to midstream to downstream.

BHGE has been a committed partner to Iraq for more than 50 years, with three offices in Iraq – Baghdad, Erbil and the Basra –  and more than 350 employees in country, BHGE continues to deliver its latest technology and expertise to its local customers.

(Source: Baker Hughes)

Kurdistan Regional Government Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani inaugurated a new power station in Sulaymaniyah.

In a speech during the ceremony, Prime Minister Barzani thanked South Korea for helping build the plant, which generates 400 KV electric power.   He also said that despite major challenges, the KRG has taken serious steps ahead, and it allocated significant resources to the electricity sector.

Below is the transcript of Prime Minister Barzani’s speech:

Ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning.  I welcome you all to the grand opening ceremony of the 400 KV power plant in Bazian. I congratulate everyone on successfully finishing this important project, and I hope this project will contribute to solving the electricity issue in the area and in the Kurdistan Region in general.

I commend the Ministry of Electricity, the Korean National Oil Company (KNOC), the project implementer Posco from South Korea, the Ministry of Natural resources and all others involved in delivering this project after facing many obstacles and issues such as the fight against terror and the financial crisis. Although it has taken a long time, the project was finally finished and started operating.

I would like to especially thank the local community here and those respected individuals who some of them are present here today. They have played an important role in resolving many issues related to social issues or land ownership disputes or compensation issues. I again applaud them for their efforts, and I welcome them again.

Ladies and gentlemen,

This project is part of a wider strategic plan set out by the KRG for the electricity sector. However, similar to other projects, it has been delayed due to the war against the terror and financial crisis. It is true that the war and the financial crisis have adversely affected all aspects of life, but the KRG, with the support of its loyal citizens and friends of Kurdistan Region, has always striven to overcome the problems and the crises by implementing the projects to its best capacity even during the hardships.

Yes, I agree that there is a problem in the electricity sector. There has been the inability for the projects and plans to be implemented adequately. And, a there has been an exponential increase in demand on electricity and other public services due to urban development of the cities and towns, constant building of mega constructions such as malls, industrial areas and the renovation of the villages. And an imposed war was among other reasons that KRG could not implement its plans and projects as it should have.

Despite all that, the KRG made serious steps ahead, and it allocated significant resources to the electricity sector. Meanwhile, it encouraged private investors to initiate large projects for that sector in Erbil, Sulemani, Duhok, Halabja and other areas.

And now, enforced by the perseverance of our patient people and the heroic sacrifices of our valiant Peshmergas, we have vanquished the plans of our foes. The hard days are passing. The KRG, with all its capacity, will make steps ahead on all fronts, and it will, again, resume the projects. For the electricity sector too, we are in need of small and large steps, and this project is one of those steps. It is an attempt to reduce the issues of electricity.

Besides those attempts by the KRG to better the electricity, as previously announced that the KRG is going ahead with the implementation of Smart-Meters for electricity. This new system will have a major role in reorganizing the electricity distribution process; therefore, it would translate into providing more electricity to the public.

In addition, this system will help in changing a bad cultural habit of over-consumption of electricity and tampering with it. Instead, it will help create a new and good habit. The habit of energy conservation and reducing the consumption of electricity is very necessary for the Kurdistan Region. This system will encourage everyone to use only the amount of electricity that is needed and when needed.

Ladies and gentlemen,

This project in Bazian benefits the national grid, but it also has a special benefit to the area, which is an industrial area, as industrial projects can benefit from it. As planned by the KRG, I hope to see more projects in other sectors to be implemented in this area.
Bazian and its surrounding area with its patient and forbearing people have a history full of pride, and they undoubtedly deserve more projects and better services. The KRG will diligently continue in pursuing its mission of equally reconstructing every part of Kurdistan without distinction. It will equally provision services and implement projects in all areas.

The KRG has never made distinctions between two different areas or between cities. Because of political competitions and rivalries, some people have irresponsibly resorted to creating a false image of KRG for being unequal to different areas of the Kurdistan Region. There are some people are ready to do anything just to make people lose trust and faith in their own government.  They continuously work on disseminating the culture of rejection of everything.

They do this for only one reason because they are not in power and they have not been able to win the trust of people. This is a very damaging phenomenon, because the nation, the government, and institutions belong to the people of Kurdistan, but not any political party or any other faction. It is correct that there are shortages and problems, but not everything in this country is negative.

The people of Kurdistan are very aware and mindful than to listen to those dark pessimistic voices. It was because of the strong awareness of the people of Kurdistan, we were able to surpass all those recent years of hardship and crises. It was because of the loyalty and deep understanding of the people of Kurdistan for the situation, we were able to withstand all the problems, the war, and the crises, as they never lost faith and trust.

Here, I would like to express the utmost gratitude and reverence of the government to the people of Kurdistan and those who are on the payroll of the KRG. They have demonstrated their faithfulness to their nation, and they showed their maximum understanding of the serious situation and the threats that were engulfing the Kurdistan Region.
I would like to applaud the courageous Peshmergas, security forces and volunteers, who fought with soul and blood in defending what is achieved so far. I salute our fallen heroes. Our heartfelt condolences to the martyr’s family members and their relatives.

Dear fellow citizens of Kurdistan,

The interests of the Kurdistan Region and protecting its accomplishments requires us to be united. It is normal for the political parties to be competitive with each other. But for the public interest, for attaining the constitutional rights for the Kurdistan Region and in critical matters, we need to be together and unified.

I, again, call upon all factions in the Kurdistan Region to put aside their political discords, and go to Baghdad as one team, formed on the basis of the interests of the people of Kurdistan.

In conclusion, I congratulate all who participated in succeeding in this project. I wish for us to meet again in ceremonies similar to this project in this area and all other areas in the Kurdistan Region.
Thank you all.

(Source: KRG)

Transferring dozens of files of corruption to the judiciary in the Kurdistan region
7/31/2018

Baghdad / .. The Commission on
Integrity in the Kurdistan region, on Tuesday, the transfer of a set of files of financial and administrative corruption that belong to the province to the judiciary.


"In this year and in total files referred to the Commission in the provinces of the region from 1/1/2018 to 3/6/2018, we have 125 cases and complaint files that include the issuance of legal penalties, and other related to corruption," Ahmed Anwar told a news conference in Erbil. .


Anwar said that "59 files have been transferred to the three governorates to the judiciary, the investigation has been completed, and is ready to issue the verdict, noting that 112 files are currently under investigation,

and we expect the judiciary to complete them as soon as possible, noting that" 32 files issued "Fifteen people have been convicted for their background," he said

http://aynaliraqnews.com/index.php?aa=news&id22=102477

KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani chaired on Wednesday a meeting of the KRG Oil and Gas Council.

It was also attended by Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani, relevant ministers, governors, supervisors of local administrations, and representatives of the Integrity Commission, Board of Supreme Audit, the Attorney General’s Office, and Security (Assayish).

The Ministry of Natural Resources presented a report on the number and locations of illegal refineries with dates of operation. Because these refineries are a serious threat to citizen health and the environment it was agreed to accelerate control of the situation.

Prominent examples in both Erbil and Suleimaniya Governorates were presented in which refinery residues severely damaged water resources, agricultural production, and adversely affected citizen health.

It was decided the Ministry of Natural Resources in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior and the heads of administrative units would soon work in accordance with law to resolve this issue. The government would take necessary procedures to protect the environment and health of citizens, and later present results of legal proceedings to the public.

Prime Minister Barzani and Deputy Prime Minister Talabani stressed the need for especially the executive administrative units such as the Ministry of Interior, the Security Council, and the police to cooperate with governors to address this issue within the framework of the legal mechanism that was put forward during the meeting.  Also, the Attorney General has been mandated to cooperate on legalities.

They stressed that protection of the environment and preservation of citizens’ lives are priorities that supersede economic issues – a distinction must be made between the lives of citizens, the environment, and the provision of fuel.

(Source: KRG)

On August  10th, ten of Iraq’s best seed-stage startups will compete in Erbil to represent the country at the Seedstars Summit in Switzerland and win up to USD 1 million in equity investments and other prizes.

The first Seedstars competition in Erbil is marked by the excitement and commitment of Seedstars and its partners in investing in Iraq’s recent, yet vibrant, startup ecosystem.

Seedstars World, the largest startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes is coming to Iraq for the 1st time to hold a dynamic pitch event on August  10th, at TechHub in Erbil.

Omar Barakat, Regional Associate for MENA at Seedstars, explains:

Seedstars is a platform connecting the next generation of entrepreneurs from places where normally people wouldn’t think startup ecosystem have such traction, growth and buzz, to a worldwide community of changemakers focused in emerging markets.

“Therefore, we are very excited to be in Iraq, highlighting the hidden potential of such a bustling entrepreneurial ecosystem. We are here to witness the reality and foster talent and good ideas.

“We are also experts in identifying which solutions to pull through and how. We’re impressed by what we have seen in the region so far and cannot wait to add startups from Iraq on our map.

The companies selected to pitch at the Seedstars Erbil event need to be less than 2 years old, have raised less than USD 500,000 in funding and built a minimum viable product, ideally with existing traction.

The Seedstars team is searching for one additional criterion: the startup’s regional and global scalability. With a strong network of international partners, such as Merck, SPECo, Enel or Continental (amongst others) the competition organizers are looking for smart startups that tackle regional issues and develop profitable and sustainable products for the global market.

The applications are open until July 30th and startups are invited to apply on Seedstars Erbil website. After a careful screening, the Seedstars team will shortlist 10 of the best seed-stage startups in Erbil to pitch on August 10th for the opportunity to compete at the Seedstars Summit, that annually takes place in Switzerland.

In order to provide local entrepreneurs with this opportunity and aiming to deliver the best possible event, Seedstars is closely working with TechHub, Iraq’s first co-working space located in Erbil, who are representing the initiative throughout the year.

Hal Miran, Co-Founder at TechHub, said:

Seedstars’ mission to impact people’s lives through technology and entrepreneurship is a perfect match with ours. Their experience with startup ecosystems and entrepreneurs, and the international community they’ve built around them have been crucial factors in our decision to join forces to scout for the best solutions to tackle local issues in Iraq. We really hope local startups appreciate this incredible opportunity.”

It’s Seedstars’ goal to place the spotlight on entrepreneurs from emerging markets, especially those targeting solutions that align with UN Sustainable Development Goals.

With that in mind, Seedstars World is travelling to more than 65 countries to identify the most innovative seed-stage startups, awarding them the opportunity to win up to USD 1 million and network with investors and mentors from around the world at the global Seedstars Summit in Switzerland. Its previous participants have raised over USD 92M collectively, providing employment to more than 2.100 employees worldwide.

The 10 startups selected will give a five minute pitch in English, in front of a jury made up of local startup heavyweights. Members of the public and press are welcome to come join the fun and should register on the above Seedstars Erbil website as well!

(Source: Seedstars)

JI: no Government can declare a State of emergency.

7/17/2018


Erbil/Iraq News Network-confirmed leadership in JI, Zana, said Tuesday that the Government cannot declare a State of emergency in the country without Parliament, contending that the Government now "delight and move pleases" FSB for lack of a Parliament.

said in a recent press release him today, " Current cannot without Parliament declare a State of emergency in the country, because the Iraqi Constitution stressed that the regime in Iraq is a parliamentary Republic system.

"and that" in the absence of Parliament, there will be a glitch in the system that the present Government Republican FSB and could override their powers The Prime Minister can extend the Parliament’s absence to himself and no one can hold the head of Government in the absence of legislative authority that there are concerns over political stability in the country.

"he stressed that" Iraqi Constitution did not stipulate the emergency law is unconstitutional and declare a State of emergency law in Parliament and must be If the law passes vote 165 lawmakers any normal majority.

"he is happy that" Government in the event of a crisis in the country as it did in southern Iraq demonstrations now its powers are limited to only the warning announcement of troops without enabling it to declare a State of emergency.

"he continued, that "The Government may now delight in the absence of Parliament because there is no watching her work and move pleases."

http://aliraqnews.com/%D8%A7%D9%84%D…5%D8%B9%D9%84/

Conscious / dollar exchange rates in local trades today
7/10/2018

The local currencies of currencies, on Tuesday, the exchange rates of the Iraqi dinar against the US dollar, in the following order:

Price in Iraqi Dinars per 100 USD:

Bursa fight (Baghdad) ALkeafah the Exchange Stock Selling Price: 120,200 JOD The purchase price is 120,150 dinars

Harithiyah Exchange AL harthiy Stock Exchange The sale price is 120,250 dinars The purchase price is 120,200 dinars

Erbil Stock Exchange (North) Arbil the Exchange Stock The sale price is 120,450 dinars The purchase price is 120,400 dinars

Basra Stock Exchange (South) AL Basra Exchange The sale price is 120,450 dinars The purchase price is 120,400 dinars.

http://www.al-iraqnews.com/news/newwss/economic-news/230341-%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%B9-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%B9%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D8%B5%D8%B1%D9%81-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AF%D9%88%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%B1-%D9%81%D9%8A-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AA%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%88%D9%84%D8%A7%D 8%AA-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%AD%D9%84%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%8A%D9%88%D9%85.html