Challenges of 2018

Wadih al-Hanal *
There is no doubt that Iraq will face difficult economic challenges in 2018, no less than the challenges it has faced over the past two years, although some of the reasons for the financial crisis that hit the country due to the low prices of oil have disappeared even relatively after the recovery of crude oil prices globally during the past two months, By winter, the world's oil reserves have declined.
The rise in oil prices in the global market will certainly contribute to the deficit in the 2018 budget, at a rate of up to 12 billion dollars.
However, the economic challenges remain in 2018 as long as the Iraqi economy as a whole is still largely dependent on consumption of 90% of oil imports from the sale of oil, while the other economic sectors, including agriculture, industry and services are almost paralyzed, which is not allowed to create jobs New and additional financial resources that provide the budget and relieve heavy burdens.
And the Iraqi economy still think that it will remain during the year 2018 unilaterally, while the remaining agriculture and industry development wing is disabled because of the need for large capital and huge domestic investments and foreign plans and clear, may not be available in the near future, in the absence of economic outlook and sector management able to lift These two important sectors of their long-term dormancy.
What is required then to make 2018 a year of economic breakthrough and real development? The answer starts with taking into account the diversification of resources and the creation of suitable land for foreign investment.
And we must talk about the challenges of 2018 to emphasize the role of public and private banks, without which no development is established and no economic and financial reform occurs despite all the fuss mounted on private banks, and related to the window selling currency, it remains one of the health phenomena in the country that could be better investment Has played a prominent role in development despite the losses resulting from the decline of the majority of shares to less than one dinar per share, and buy it at the time of incorporation.
As we speak of the challenges of 2018, we must overlook the internal and external religion. As it represents one of the biggest challenges faced by the government and still face, because of the size of the high debt and the benefits of these debts, which are becoming more burdensome budget of the country, so the International Monetary Fund felt the need to strengthen the budget in 2018 three axes, "reduce the accumulation of debt, Necessary, and maximize non-oil revenues "to address the dominance of bilateral oil resources and internal and external debt on the total operational and development expenses.
Therefore, borrowing in the future must be governed by the ability of Iraq to pay, interest rate and repayment period. The amounts derived from the loans should go to development projects, not to spend on operational doors and unnecessary government expenditures. The volume of borrowing should not exceed 60% Gross Domestic Product.
The fight against corruption and the reconstruction of terrorism in the liberated cities remains the most difficult issue and the biggest challenge to the government in 2018, which is to prevent the government from dealing with them and to confront them as a prelude to embarking on the desired sustainable development.
* President of the Association of Iraqi private banks