26/8/2017 12:00 am
André Kratki The
urgent need for reforms in the Iraqi economy is a fact that can not be overlooked. But finding a guide to how to make reforms is almost impossible unless a set of questions are answered in advance.
Since these initial questions are related to topics of interest to society as a whole, the best people can answer them are the members of society themselves. This is certainly based on two conditions: First, there is the will to take lessons from the bad stages and transform them into a process of shaping a better future. And secondly, that the questions they face should be carefully selected.
The simplest question is the most elementary: What do you want Iraqis? Or rather: Did anyone ask you about your own vision of the way the country should go so that your answers are really valid and effective?
Whatever comes next, we are still at the beginning - with many other questions to ask before thinking about any reform. Let us review some of them:
Is the community ready for any subsequent discussion, so that this debate begins after answering the pressing questions positively? Is there competition, will and a plan for dialogue? Can we consider all the basic social trends present in this debate? Are these currents clearly defined and ready to present their vision and participation? Is it really guaranteed that everyone has the right to express it and listen to it?
Since economics is essentially a social issue, can all local and regional factors (tradition, modernity, city-rural, individual ambition, collective coordination, etc.) be exposed to the accountability they deserve? Is it really clear to everyone that the economy is not only about collecting wealth, while others struggle?
Even if the answers are satisfactory in these aspects, we have another step, of course, with the obvious question:
What is the ideal vision, and what are the realistic possibilities? Can they meet at some point?
When we mention "possibilities," we are certainly talking about oil and natural resources, which naturally assume a future with a sophisticated lifestyle. But the first that the "realist" may see is perhaps the weakness of the pillars of the economy, and the lack of legal and social tools for the occasion between the existing possibilities and the vision that is reasonable.
In other words, the realistic vision is to try to find - and fill - the gaps that separate what is desired from the future, from the possibilities of achieving this future.
At the same time, the realistic view also adds to the following:
We should not underestimate the typical prevailing view of the shift of oil to consumption (that is, the best scenario imaginable for the Iraqi economy). Because a method such as this includes a hurdle for other opportunities that can be activated in Iraq other than oil. In fact, Iraq produces golden eggs unlike raw materials. These eggs should not be placed in one basket, but distributed over several baskets.
This raises another question: Has at least a basis been laid for economic diversification as well as a fairer distribution of capital, opportunity and wealth?
The economy is not only about money and competition - but also education and legislation, which includes creating conditions for work and reform. But what has been - and continues to be - in Iraq for nearly 15 years is exactly the opposite: the oil bubble and postwar assistance (foreign, mainly American) led to:
1. An economic phenomenon that touches the limits of the disaster. All "axes" of unequal wealth have been established and promoted according to their product.
2 - relatively profitable economy (but limited and exclusive to luxuries).
3 - concentration of wealth in specific areas (mainly oil and financial areas) while the rest of the other areas were isolated from these wealth.
Here we can provide a simple description: the added services caused an increase in prices that were not suitable for the economy of the country, which contribute in the long term to creating false expectations of unrealistic salaries; in addition to dependence - apart from its great impact on the society and its dispersed understanding of economic reality - Selected. At the same time, it has made the economy selective and profitable.
The result of all this has led to: the survival of the Iraqi economy is very fragile, and is highly sensitive to shocks, as well as being weak in terms of competitiveness.
It is now clear that the wealth of "axes" was based on wrong economic realities. Clearly, the value of services that were not supported by real value has been exaggerated. On the other hand, the countryside has been completely ignored, or at best left at the mercy of all irresponsible and ignorant actions of the local authorities. As a result, parts of the country have become a version of Las Vegas.
If a certain level of equal distribution is applied, what stage of integration can we achieve? In other words, do you think about really large, without forgetting modern technology and simple peasants for example? Apart from tyranny and isolationism, should not we at least think about self-sufficiency? Because in the end, the more we rely on ourselves (from production to higher value-added), the less worry it is to try to bring needs from abroad and rely less on others.
On talking about the outside, and in the context of the geo-political and strategic location, is not Iraq so far looking at itself with the eyes of others? That is, through what others want Iraq to be? Is it not better for Iraq to rebuild its own vision from within to contribute to its best interests? When we see that Iraq is not just a battlefield of conflict and conflict, or just a problematic neighbor, but also a history and a vast urban experience, a strategic entrance to the sea, large tracts of untapped land, talented citizens and an exceptional geopolitical location, .
Taking all of the above into consideration means the activation of all corners of the idle economy and putting it under use. Our statement that "we think globally, act locally" can be translated into respect for local specificities, as well as the investment of all inputs of production as a whole, thus making the best use of every "economic incarnation" in the country.
Needless to say, all this requires determination, will and boldness, and even a certain risk of change, and commitments by professionals, some elites also, love the country and make the best minds and have the most effective and effective visions.
The open debate must reflect the interests of the people, but it is necessary to avoid slipping into populism and easy-to-false solutions; a transparent environment and a solid legal framework must be in place to form a platform for the launching of any economic act that causes Rise towards the top.
The reduction of exceptions to the limit, legal obligation and responsibility can collectively prevent corruption, misuse of power, and raise the general sense of security, not only among citizens but between investors and all economic players.
Conducting such measures opens a path to human potential, protection and development. It can also fall down many walls that some like to call structural walls (without, as one might say, the entire building collapses); do not worry - because construction will not collapse on the contrary - your commitment to do so is sincere and you are ready to handle this task yourself.
No one can build your home better than you. You can follow a thousand times the way foreigners (who of course have good ideas, but you know they will end up paying no attention only to their benefits) or behave as is the case for local authorities (which are closer to meeting your needs, but it seems difficult to push the country forward). None of these methods will give you the same fruit that you taste from other fruit you planted, watered, and picked with your hands.
In short: if you rely on others, you will get shelter, but you will never get your own home.
I will close this article with some questions of dialogue, rather than ready answers. This means adding to the many pre-existing questions some of the last questions. Essentially, questions that Iraqis might want to ask are: Are you as a community ready to start a debate on how to restore your life?
Do you really have an obligation to do something about the country?
If yes. Are you ready to rely on yourselves, not on anyone else?
* Czech writer
Andre Kratki is a
graduate of Philology (Comparative Jurisprudence) and holds a Master's and PhD degree in History and Oriental Studies from the University of West Bohemia in Pilsen, Czech Republic.
Founder and shareholder of Dealtrade Group since 2009. Representative and independent consultant to many Czech and Slovak companies in the Middle East and surrounding areas.
Founder of the Rebuildsyria.cz website, focusing on everything that is important to rebuilding Syria and the region.
Writer, editor and photographer. He has written many articles and specialized researches on a variety of topics in many newspapers and periodicals.
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