By John Lee.

Iraq is well positioned to service its debt obligations, according to an article in Australia’s Investor Daily.

Responding to the question “what’s your view on bonds issued by Iraq’s government?“, Mark Baker writes:

“Iraq is a net external creditor, meaning its external assets are greater than its external liabilities. That means the nation is well positioned to service its debt obligations.”

More here.

(Source: Investor Daily)

From Breaking Defense.

Contrary to declarations made by President Donald Trump, the U.S is not withdrawing forces from Iraq, but is building at least three semi-permanent new bases very close to the Iranian border in northern Iraq, Israeli sources tell Breaking Defense.

Click here to read the full story.

(Picture: Balad Air Base)

By Ali Mamouri for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

As Iraq’s protests continue, is political solution on the horizon?

Iraq’s current situation has come to resemble a tangled ball of yarn, with new complications and complexities arising daily.

While the protesters fire up the political scene, political parties are unable to calm the tension and send the protesters home. Meanwhile, the tensions between Iran and the United States are intensifying.

Click here to read the full story.

The State Company for Military Industries (SCMI), under the authority of Ministry of Industry and Minerals, has invited investors to participate in the following investment opportunity: Transfer of Technology (TOT) and lndustry for hunting-rifle cartridges (Ga 12,16,20).

Interested companies can obtain all the documents and tender conditions from the commercial department in the head office of SCMI located in Baghdad, Al-Waziraya (beside oil institute) against 250000 IQD (not refundable).

The date of tender announcement is valid for the period of 30 days from the announcement date, in case of not submitting any offer through above period , the announcement is considered to be valid another 30 days until we received acceptable offer within one calendar year.

(Source: NIC)

The Ambassadors of Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States condemn the excessive and lethal use of force by Iraqi security forces and armed groups since 24 January against peaceful protestors, including in Baghdad, Nasiriya and Basra.

Despite assurances by the government, security forces and armed groups continue to use live fire in these locations, resulting in multiple deaths and injuries of civilians, while some protestors face intimidation and abduction.

The Ambassadors call on the government to respect freedoms of assembly and the right to protest peacefully, as enshrined in Iraq’s constitution, and on all protestors to maintain the peaceful nature of the movement.

The Ambassadors call on the government to guarantee credible investigations and accountability for the over 500 deaths and thousands of injuries of protesters since 1 October.

(Source: British Embassy)

The United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) has welcomed an additional contribution of EUR 600,000 (approximately USD 670,000) from the Government of France dedicated to explosive hazard management activities that aim at enabling returns in retaken areas of Iraq.

The presence of explosive hazards, including improvised explosive devices in areas retaken from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also known as Daesh, will continue to impede security and stability efforts until they are cleared and rendered safe.

Explosive hazards are not only blocking reconstruction efforts in retaken areas but also deterring people from returning home, particularly in areas affected by intense or prolonged military action. More than 1.4 million civilians are still displaced in Iraq due to the recent conflict and unsafe conditions to allow their return.

The Government of Iraq maintains explosive hazard management capacities within a number of government entities and established mine action authorities, though the demand for assistance exceeds the resources available.

With this additional contribution from the Government of France, UNMAS will further develop a nationally-led response to the threat of explosive hazards, including the provision of explosive hazard management in areas prioritized for stabilization and humanitarian response, technical advice to national and regional authorities as well as risk education.

All projects implemented by UNMAS Iraq are gender mainstreamed and promote gender equality. Among other measures, the programme introduced in 2019 mixed search and clearance teams in Sinjar. This initiative is a step closer to empowering women in mine action and is facilitated by the government of France.

Commenting on the contribution, the French Ambassador to Iraq, Bruno Aubert (pictured), said:

“France considers the clearance of retaken areas as a priority to ensure that the right conditions are in place for displaced persons to return home. We want to renew our commitment to the Iraqi population regarding this essential matter and support the excellent work of UNMAS in Iraq.”

Pehr Lodhammar, UNMAS Senior Programme Manager, said:

“France is supporting explosive hazard management activities conducted by UNMAS Iraq for the second year. Clearance is still a critical step before any rehabilitation work can take place, and enables the safe, dignified and voluntary return of displaced communities. Such outcomes are only possible thanks to the generous contributions of donor countries and UNMAS Iraq is very grateful for the support provided by the Government of France.”

(Source: UN)

By John Lee.

The CEO of Germany’s Siemens has said that US President Donald Trump would support his company’s role in reconstruction projects in countries like Iraq.

Joe Kaeser (pictured) made the comment to CNBC at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.

Following a hotly-contested competition in 2018, it was agreed that Siemens and rival GE would share the work to upgrade Iraq’s electricity system, with GE supplying 14 gigawatts (GW), and Siemens 11 GW.

Siemens employs around 60,000 workers in the US.

(Source: CNBC)

Iraqi government’s finance schemes to support SMEs and business innovation

To support small and medium private-sector projects, the Iraqi government, through the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) and with the participation of a number of private and state-owned banks, has made available several types of loans.

The loans are available to all Iraqis.

According to a statement from the Iraqi Government, one of the more innovative finance schemes is the Central Bank’s “1 Trillion Dinars Initiative” which is dedicated to supporting small and medium enterprises, as part of the wider Iraqi government strategy to boost economic growth, create new job opportunities, and the production of local goods and services.

(Source: Iraqi Government)

By John Lee.

Florida-based Scientia Global Inc. has been awarded a $12,149,039 firm-fixed-price Foreign Military Sales (Iraq) contract to procure combat effective Digital Mobile Radio Tier III equipment, development, deployment, training and support services.

One bid was solicited via the internet with one bid received.

Work will be performed in Erbil, Iraq; and Melbourne, Florida, with an estimated completion date of April 29, 2022.

(Source: US Dept of Defense)