Samir Alnasiri *: development of the private sector, a key pillar of the reform of the Iraqi economy **

Samir Alnasiri *: development of the private sector, a key pillar of the reform of the Iraqi economy **

- Published in 06/13/2015

The first topic - the economic reality of Iraq during the years (2003 - 2015) over the Iraq mission stage in its economic system where the change included the beginning of a new economic building applications based ...

Section I - economic reality of Iraq

During the years (2003 - 2015) over the Iraq mission stage in its economic system where the change included the beginning of new applications based economic construction building introductions transition from philosophy and strategies of the central economic system in the management of the economy to philosophy and strategies and mechanisms of a market economy. The most important hallmark of this stage is the pilot exercise and assumptions that economic policies that rely primarily on the experiences of countries preceded us in the application of market economy mechanisms without relying on the fundamental economic underpinnings for this transition, as confirmed all the studies and reports issued by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

The lack of coordination between fiscal and monetary policies and different economic policies, according to the new building of the economy contributed to a clear contribution to the dispersion applications in monetary policy and the different visions and strategies to reach the central objectives set, as well as deficiencies in some legislative environment materials of economic laws that regulate the economic process, which led to Trouble in the application, particularly in monetary policy applications and subject to militancy and interpretations and strategies is clear and that do not fit into the political, economic and security conditions experienced by Iraq. Although the change phase in Iraq began in 2003 and since the laws governing the banking business in 2004, great achievements have been made ​​in the reduction of hyper-inflation that was suffered by Iraq and bringing it to good rates for 2013 as in Table 1, where We note that the base inflation rate (2.4 percent) compared to 2012, while the general index rose in 2013 to (142.7) after it was (140.3) for the year 2012, an increase (1.9 percent).
The financial data and indicators suggest that the Central Bank of Iraq was able to maintain for several years and until the present time the Iraqi dinar exchange rate against the US dollar in spite of fluctuation and variation up and down depending on the policies adopted and speculation that occur in the markets. As is clear in tables (2 and 3), which notes that the intervention

The daily Central Bank of Iraq in the management of the sales process and the purchase of foreign currency in the light of the data and the monetary policy that has been adopted since (04/10/2003) contributed significantly to maintaining monetary stability and the face of any amounts needed by the market for the purpose of trade finance to the private sector. New instructions of the Central Bank of Iraq has been carried out as of (02.22.2015) which was changed mechanism and procedures for the sale of foreign currency in order to control the movement of foreign currency and reduce disposed of other than economic objectives set for the applications of monetary policy.

Dealing with the sale and purchase of foreign currency is one of the largest open market operations to control the levels of domestic liquidity and the development of healthy cash surplus in the general budget and tracks consumer spending. As the Iraqi Central Bank maintained in 2013 to stabilize the Iraqi dinar exchange rate against the US dollar in the parallel market the limits of (1232) dinars per dollar, while the record in 2012 (1233) dinars per dollar is a good economic indicator that is exchange rate stability during two consecutive years Despite the difficult economic conditions experienced by Iraq during 2014 and early 2015 because of the sudden fall in the prices of international oil rate (60 percent) compared to prices before (8) months and the lack of security and stability and the war on terrorism and speculation in the currency market, but he maintained a balanced rates up and down close to 2013 levels, and we expect to return to a normal level, especially after the relative improvement in global oil prices and increased volumes of oil for marketing purposes and the application of the new mechanism adopted by the Central Bank of Iraq in 2015.

The CBI also able to build foreign cash reserve up to 91 billion dollars in 2013, according to official data as in tables (4 and 5) to his arrival to 71 billion dollars in the second quarter of 2014 currently and bringing them to 67 billion dollars because of falling world oil prices and the conditions of economic recession. However, the form of faithful cover of the Iraqi dinar and maintain it from sudden economic fluctuations.

This indicates an obvious fact that the CBI had been able to efforts clear that enhances the tally of foreign exchange in the bank lockers in foreign banks and reserves of gold in Baghdad and abroad well commensurate with what was planned for the growth rate in the Iraqi economy during the year (2013-2014), which It was estimated at up to (9 percent), but the economic volatility in the global market in general (2014-2015) and the crisis of the sharp drop in oil prices and developments on the local and regional arena have had repercussions influential, causing the decline in foreign reserves at the Central Bank of Iraq and the Development Fund for Iraq in 2015.

It must be noted here that the great role played by the Iraqi banking system as a tool of monetary policy implemented by planned by and oversees the implementation of the Central Bank of Iraq, which constitutes the basic wheel in the financing and management of the economic development process and attracting investment Iraqi, Arab and foreign. Despite what referred to studies and official reports issued by international organizations and the Central Bank of Iraq that the Iraqi banking sector because of the challenges faced by not contribute requested contribution to the economic development over the past above in spite of its development rates growing since 2003 until 2014, where total assets and capital funds and deposits, and its credit has evolved granted cash and capital adequacy and liquidity growth in the rates that exceeded the standard specified percentages of the Iraqi Central Bank in some private banks. In terms of total assets developed by (9.3 percent) in 2013 compared to 2012 due to the development in government banks by (8.3 percent) and in private banks increased by (19.2 percent), as total deposits developed by (17.2 percent) and the percentage increase (17.1 percent) in government banks, and by (17.7 percent) in private banks in addition to the development of the capital of banks increased by (30.5 percent) for 2013 and accounted for the increase in the capital of private banks (34.8 percent) and government banks by (15.4 percent ).

As well as qualitative development in total cash credit extended by (13.5 percent) and the percentage of increase in government banks (8.3 percent) and private banks (29.4 percent) and this indicates generally clear role of the private banking sector and the private sector to support the government's role in the implementation of sustainable development , which requires giving clear and specific and qualitative role of the private sector in economic decision-making. However, the proportion of the contribution of the banking sector does not exceed (8 percent) of GDP for 2013.

So it has sensed economists and money in Iraq that stage and experience experienced by economically Iraq since (2003-2015) amounting to twelve-year-old need to be analytical pause and evaluation faithful in order to build the national economy, according to a look a new strategy for the transition to a market economy, according to the program prepared by the new government and honest the Iraqi Council of Representatives included six key areas notably economic hub, which emphasizes the need to apply the stages of mission towards building a strategy for the development of the economy and to support and develop the private sector to take its role in contributing to the new construction of the economy and diversify its resources for the budget without high dependence on oil, and for the purpose of discussing and studying Economic reality that Iraq is going through now, according to the method of the new strategy of the government program launched by Dr. Haider al-Abadi, Prime Minister must stand logical, scientific and economic analysis on the most prominent themes that requires finding solutions and treatments in the first phase until 2017 and the second phase of the (2018-2022 ) The third phase of the strategy until 2030, which will take over the private sector where market leadership, with a view to building healthy introductions for the transition to a market economy mechanisms prompt, especially after I got the ratification of the 2015 budget of the Iraqi Council of Representatives and the President of the Republic, and requires for the purpose of implementation of this strategy by the government and the private sector all banking and industrial, agricultural and service fields of participation and cooperation in the application development strategy trends that meet interim targets and medium and long-referred to in the above.

The second topic: the government's role in economic reform

It requires specific and specialized government institutions and under the supervision of the Council of Ministers carry out their duties specialist in the implementation of the government's plan to implement its new program and set for the coming four years, according to the following:

1. The follow-up to the price of oil daily and variability land and the ups and increase the quantities marketed as planned and sanitation, according to the monthly revenue, and the problem of the crisis committee in the Council of Ministers to be effective in this area.

2. agricultural and industrial sector development and the trend towards diversification of budget resources other than oil, and the restructuring of the operating companies with the participation of the private sector in accordance with the government not to look dispense with its employees and their investment to increase and improve production.

3. Encourage and support the private sector and building strong ties with him.

Reduce government spending in all areas.
4. re-examine tax policy.

5. analysis and study of the economic consequences of the political transformations in the world and particularly in the countries of the region and the economic effects on Iraq.

6. Follow-up to the repercussions of the sudden drop in oil prices in the global market rate (60 percent) for prices eight months ago, and their impacts on the economies of oil-producing countries, including Iraq.

Taking into consideration the Iraqi experience in monetary policy applications since the issuance of the Iraqi Central Bank Law No. (56 of 2004) and up to the present time and what you need to re-consider the modification of the instruction, which is leading this policy with Turkazaaly monetary policy fundamentals in Iraq and its negative impacts and positive economic construction proper and the contribution of the Iraqi banking sector in economic development.

7. Implementation of the economic and banking reform policies in Iraq in light of the new government program of economic reform and activate the law and strategies for economic sectors that have not seen the light and did not do in spite of their preparation periods before not too long ago.

Third topic: the effects of the crisis on the economic and financial Iraqi economy

Since the state budget is detailed statement certified contain general revenue, which is expected obtained from oil by (95 percent) and public expenditures that requires spending during the budget year are financial program with the general plan for economic and social development of the state, so the achievement of budget allocations for 2015 (119 trillion dinars) billion dollars and the adoption of the price of oil ($ 56) a barrel with a deficit up to 25 trillion dinars due to lower global oil prices and internal conditions of Iraq and the war on terrorism and the problem of displaced people, numbering up to two million six hundred thousand displaced people and the problem of liquidity should address the effects Economic budget before the direct implementation of the provisions of the new strategy for economic reform, as follows:

1. instability of the Iraqi dinar against the US dollar and get a temporary gap between the two markets in recent times.

2. stagflation which could happen as a result of the worsening unemployment rate and the lack absorbed.
Stop or postpone infrastructure projects and investment giant investment plans.

3. higher prices for materials and services due to developments the gap between supply and aggregate demand which will lead to economic recession.

4. having to borrow from the International Monetary Fund and the postponement of the payment of Iraq's obligations with respect to compensation and indebtedness of some countries.

5. decline in the cash balance of the Development Fund for Iraq and foreign cash reserves with the Central Bank of Iraq.

The fourth topic: the role of the private sector in economic decision-making

Therefore requires that there be an effective role of the national private sector and in particular the private banking sector because without sound banking sector can not build a sound national economy, and this means the involvement of the private banking sector and the private sector a greater role in economic decision-making through the following:

1. contribute to the improvement of the business environment in Iraq and the provision of encouraging investment climate to attract national and foreign capital and encourage the achievement of partnerships between the public and private sector.
Contribute to the creation of new legislative environment based on terms of reference to Article 25 of the Permanent Constitution and the laws and strategies for economic reform and private sector development to ensure activated and its leadership of the market in the future.

2. sustain and activation of partnership, dialogue and cooperation between the private sector and government.

3. contribute to the policies, mechanisms and strategies and to participate in follow-up implementation put to resolve the transition stages programmed in time to a market economy.

4. action to provide additional sources of financing of the general budget of the State to adopt the development and diversification of resources towards raising the proportion of other resources in non-oil GDP.

5. Work on promoting the establishment and development of micro, small and medium enterprises Pmaahakq comprehensive and sustainable including the formation of specialized institutions for this purpose development.

6. cooperation in ensuring the implementation of the central plans in the provision of infrastructure for the promotion and development of the private sector in industry, commerce, agriculture, tourism and mineral resources, energy and services.

7. Adoption of monetary and fiscal new policy lead to a comprehensive reform and restructuring of the financial and banking sector of Iraq, with an emphasis on the restructuring of the government banking sector as stated the memorandum signed with the World Bank several years ago have not been implemented in reality and support the private banking sector and strengthening of the existing potential.

8. activating the role of the specialized banks and private banks to provide soft loans to the private sector as well as the national and find solutions to the problems of taxes and accrued interest resulting from the owners of the stalled production projects and the development of short and medium-term fiscal policy solutions.

9. The current private bank financing structure mired with many failures and constraints, and in order to increase the credit and total funding from private banks and activate their contribution to various aspects of the reconstruction investment, and push the development process, and moving the economic cycle in Iraq, we see a serious need to begin to expand the project financing as an essential step for micro, small and medium, as a target of a social and economic private and urgent priority.

10. activation of pre-emptive censorship and re-examine the instructions and implementing regulations and guidance on the applications of monetary policy and a precise regulatory system to follow up implementation and in particular with regard to foreign exchange and currency auctions overseen by the Central Bank of Iraq.

11. Coordination and cooperation with the ministries of Finance and statistical and institutions involved in the construction of the base and statistical financial information and ensure transparency.

12. active participation with financial and monetary institutions in coordinating the implementation of fiscal and monetary policies applications.

13. actively participate with the government in the implementation of the restructuring of public companies and facilitate partnerships with the private sector procedures.

14. contribute to ensure the quality of the products and services of local and imported standards.

15. cooperation and contribute with relevant institutions in the rehabilitation and training specialized in the private sector human resources.

16. encourage private banks to invest in economic projects so as to enhance the proportion of its contribution to the GDP and to accelerate the legislative amendments to achieve this goal.

Work on private institutional governance and adoption in the government and private institutions, and seeking to enact legislation that will allow the involvement of specialists and professionals from the private sector as members of the boards of directors of public companies regulations legislation.

17. adoption of a framework for the definition and identification and evaluation of entrepreneurs and help them and support them to establish relations with their counterparts regionally and internationally (through business incubators).

(*) Economist at the Gulf Commercial Bank

(**) This research has been prepared on 5 / March / 2015 and the number of magazine publishing Union of Arab Banks in the same month in Beirut

Network Iraqis economists SOURCE