Iraqi Finance Minister Rafie al-Issawi: We seek to reduce the budget deficit

10.23.2011 | (Voice of Iraq) - Add comments - Dead Sea (Jordan) (Reuters) said the Iraqi Finance Minister Rafie al-Issawi said Iraq is seeking to reduce the budget deficit by two-thirds in three years by increasing oil production and promote the participation of the private sector in the economy which is dominated by the state. told al-Issawi told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum at the Dead Sea on Saturday he expected the deficit to five trillion dinars from the expected level for this year at 16.6 trillion dinars (14.2 billion dollars). The minister said "there will also be spending is verified will eventually bridge the budget deficit and therefore the deficit is not a concern. " He did not disclose the size of the projected deficit as a percentage of GDP, but official figures set the budget for 2011 at 82.6 billion dollars and expects a deficit of about 17 percent of revenue. Issawi said he hopes to economic growth accelerated slightly to about five percent this year and nine percent in the next three years as Iraq begins to end the legacy of the adoption of economic activity on the state and violates the slow years in the economies of the region. He added that spending will increase by eight trillion dinars in 2012 as a result of extra spending to lift the wages and training of security forces and the purchase of F-16 military and the high import bill commodities. But he added that the increased spending would be offset by expected growth in revenues to about 95 trillion dinars next year with the increase in oil output and where would reduce the privatization pressure on public finances of the government. Iraq currently produces about 2.7 million barrels per day and seeks to enhance the production capacity to 12 million barrels per day by 2017. based on the 2011 budget to an average oil price of $ 85 a barrel and export volume of 2.2 million barrels per day of crude, while expecting the budget for 2012 to export 2.6 million barrels per day in the same average price expected for this year. The budget deficit is a challenge to Iraq's ability to rebuild. The country has huge projects to build hundreds of thousands of new homes and promote the production of electricity that the country suffers from interrupted frequently as a result of war and sanctions over the past twenty years. Issawi said "the main challenge today is the infrastructure destroyed and in need of more capital spending and this means opening the door for the sector private sectors. " He added that the government intends to accelerate the pace of privatization of industries belonging to the state and it now offers the ground free of charge to investors to encourage investment. and said: "We are convinced that part of the solution in the hands of the private sector." He said the main challenge facing the Iraqi economy still is to reduce dependence on oil to stimulate growth. "The diversification is limited in light of the economy's dependence on oil. This restricts the growth and investment." After eight years from the overthrow of Saddam Hussein after the invasion led by the United States, the country's economy is still Iraq's isolation in large part to the global financial system is dominated by by oil as a crude exports more than 95 percent of Iraq's revenues, which has some of the largest oil reserves in the world. Issawi said that current oil prices that exceed government estimates help secure the financial position of the government. "The price of oil remains near $ 100 or more This makes us in the safe zone. " He continued by saying that Iraq did not pass after the budget for 2012, but revenue growth is expected next year will lead to more capital investment. and campus violence, corruption, Iraq from investments during the years of conflict, which began after the US-led invasion of the country in 2003 to topple Saddam, while moving the process of rebuilding slowly. Issawi said "The challenge is infrastructure destroyed in the transition. This does not need financing, but also of time. even if you have the money will not solve the problem without more time." by Suleiman al-Khalidi (the U.S. dollar is equal to 1170 Iraqi dinars)