Has the Chinese-Iraqi agreement canceled the Iraqi economic rapprochement with America?
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Economy News - Baghdad
Economic observers emphasized that the Chinese-Iraqi agreement was canceled by Iraq, but not formally, but by suspending the implementation procedures of the agreement due to the political and security developments taking place in the country in addition to the financial crisis, and the current government's orientation towards the American and Gulf economy.
A government source told Al-Iqtisad News that the government withdrew the funds of the Sino-Iraqi agreement, which was estimated at one billion dollars, in order to pay the salaries of employees during the past months, noting that the Sino-Iraqi agreement is currently suspended and no contracts were concluded with companies.
On the other hand, a member of the Economy and Investment Committee in Parliament, Ali Saadoun, said, "The Parliamentary Economic and Investment Committee called on the government more than once to activate the economic agreement with China, but it did not respond to our request." And start investment projects according to the agreement . "
He added, "It was assumed that the agreement would enter into force after it was signed by the previous government, but there is no intention of the government of Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi to activate the agreement ."
Saadoun pointed out, "There are foreign and American pressures exerted to push for the cancellation of the Chinese economic agreement and not to activate it to serve its personal interests ."
The volume of Chinese investments in Iraq is $ 20 billion and is concentrated in the energy sector through the formation of a coalition of international companies or individually to develop some power stations, and the annual trade exchange between the two countries is $ 21 billion, tending to Iraq, with total exports of $ 15 billion of oil.
The advisor to the Prime Minister, Abdul-Hussein Hanin, told "Al-Iqtisad News", "The Iraqi-Chinese agreement extends for 20 years, through which Baghdad sends 3 million barrels to China per month at the global price."
Hanin, who was a member of the Iraqi delegation, continued his speech by saying, "Iraq is currently selling its oil and gets its money after a month or two, while this agreement, the funds will come as projects that are implemented by Chinese companies inside the country," adding that "the projects were identified according to There are three priorities: constructing and modernizing highways and internal roads and establishing infrastructure for them including sewers, the second first is building schools, hospitals, residential and industrial cities, and the third first is building railways, ports, airports and others.
However, the Al-Kazemi government affirms that the agreement is still valid and Iraq can benefit from it. Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul-Jabbar said that Iraq will benefit from the Chinese agreement concluded by the previous government in implementing projects, denying the presence of “shackles” in the Chinese agreement, while noting the absence Trust between Baghdad and Erbil .
He stressed that the Chinese agreement is beneficial to Iraq and that the Ministry of Finance has submitted a request to do so.