[size=36]Minister of Finance: The international community supports Iraq by implementing the white paper, and we do not need financial support[/size]
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, Minister of Finance Ali Abdul-Amir Allawi confirmed, on Thursday, Iraq's aspiration for a supportive international role in the implementation of programs, including the White Paper, and while stressing that the country is not in dire need of financial support at the present time, he announced the government's aspiration to expand the tripartite cooperation with Egypt And Jordan for the stage of the common market and other programs.
Allawi said in his speech on the sidelines of the spring meetings of the Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Washington, that "the main purpose of his visit to Washington and participation in meetings with an integrated team from the Ministry of Finance and major banks is to strengthen and deepen our relationship with international agencies."
He added, "The team is in talks with the US Treasury, as there are some important and outstanding issues that are not related to US financial support, because fortunately we do not urgently need financial support now, but we need more technical assistance and moral support for our reform program, which has been completed." Include it in what we call the white paper.”
He added, "I do not expect to conclude any major economic agreements with the United States, because we have the Strategic Framework Agreement and we are satisfied with it and we welcome the continuation of American support for the economic development of Iraq, but the focus now is more on what we can call programs and plans instead of money."
He continued, "What we need, is a revolution in our financial management, in our understanding of the strategic issues, and the economic issues facing the country," adding, "We have missed many opportunities that would have pulled the country out of its poor economic performance and Iraq probably missed the equivalent of 50 years of progress." economic".
He stressed, "We are stuck in inherited problems that must be addressed, almost all of which are related to institutions," noting that benefiting from the country's resources and its strategic location necessitates planning to re-engineer the economy to take us beyond the oil era, as there are major issues and challenges facing us and facing the next government and who will be responsible on the economic team.
On the white paper, Allawi stressed that “the year 2020 represented the most difficult economic period we have gone through, and since 2003 we have gone through a moribund period that enabled us to see the future in which oil prices will collapse and global demand will decline, so the year 2020 was a glimpse of what could happen, and it was a very dangerous moment, And one of the factors that led us to look at the structural issues affecting the Iraqi economy.”
He continued, "The white paper can be reduced to its essence as (a strategic program to reform the governmental public sector), and the reason that led me to believe that the public sector needs reform is that the country is dominated by inherited issues that have imposed on the state certain structures, including an economy controlled by the state, which Despite all the rhetoric over the past 20 years, it has not succeeded in developing the private sector and the transition to a free economy, so we needed to address this problem."
And he indicated, "We need a public sector that will create a favorable environment that revives the private sector," stressing that "there is a whole series of reforms with regard to government procedures, policies, strategies and laws that needed a fundamental change, and we have counted 600 reform points, which must be implemented over five years." Years".
He noted that, “In 2020, as I said, when we experienced near-death experiences, government expenditures would have required $70 worth of oil if we adhered to the sales ratio allowed by OPEC of 2.8 million barrels per day, and the price of a barrel fell much lower and we did Selling a shipment of oil for only $9, so you can imagine the pressure on public finances."
He stressed that "public finance is very important because it is the main component of the economy that supports GDP instead of entering into international loans that put Iraq at the mercy of international agencies, and here we decided to confront the matter and design a program in a specific period of time, to eventually produce a radically different public sector; A new strategic vision for the country.
And he added, "This is part of a series of government proposals. The White Paper was approved as a whole package and became a government policy. Then it received strong parliamentary support from all the major political forces and the various Finance and Economic Committee supported the White Paper, so it became a government policy," explaining that "In 2021, we started the process of actually implementing the recommendations of the White Paper and established a unit attached to the Prime Minister’s Office, and it is now equipped with a full cadre so that this unit has its own representatives in all the main ministries that will supervise the implementation process.”
He added, "What we need to do now is to ensure that the momentum continues and the support of the international community continues, and we need significant technical assistance in the form of specialists who are ready to commit, and we don't want to hand the task over to consultants who come temporarily for a few weeks or months. International Contact Group to provide a support base of technical experts.
On the tripartite relations between Iraq, Egypt and Jordan, Allawi stressed that "the relations focus primarily on the political file, and economic exchange may have a lesser role at the present time, and there is still talk of a common market or an attempt to establish a common market in its initial stages."
The Finance Minister continued,
And he indicated, "We are waiting for the formation of the new government and intend to produce a working paper that will define the pros and cons of this particular type of market, free trade zone or common market, but I think that Iraq must decide at some point what type of larger and broader economic framework should be put in place." Ended 29/h