World Bank President discusses Iraqi Projects

By John Lee.

World Bank Group President David Malpass met with Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi during his visit to the United States this week.

During the meeting, they discussed the cooperation in financing infrastructure projects in the fields of water, airports, natural gas and energy projects, especially solar.

President Malpass affirmed to Prime Minister Al-Kadhimi the World Bank Group’s commitment to supporting the Government of Iraq, including its progress on public sector administration reform, and strengthening the private sector as Iraq opens to business.

He also emphasized to Prime Minister Al-Kadhimi the importance of infrastructure, banking sector reforms, and accelerating private sector investment in Iraq. President Malpass was glad to highlight recent International Finance Corporation (IFC) investments in Iraq’s ports and energy sectors.

(Sources: Govt of Iraq, World Bank Group)

The post World Bank President discusses Iraqi Projects first appeared on Iraq Business News.
Source: Iraq News

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KRG receives share of federal budget, ends salary cuts

Prime Minister Masrour Barzani on Sunday led a meeting with the Kurdistan Region’s Economic Council to address the resumption of full salary pay for government employees.

Prime Minister Barzani reiterated that the KRG pays salaries from available revenue, and that they can do so more reliably if the Iraqi government upholds their budget commitments.

The Council stated that they are preparing to distribute full salaries without any cuts following the federal government’s release of 200 billion dinars to the Kurdistan Region.

The positive effects of the KRG’s efforts in internal reforms and revenue collections were another point of discussion.

(Source: KRG)

The post KRG receives share of Federal Budget, ends Salary Cuts first appeared on Iraq Business News.
Source: Iraq News

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Moody's affirms Iraq Credit Ratings

By John Lee.

Moody’s Investors Service has affirmed the Iraqi Government’s long-term issuer and foreign currency senior unsecured ratings at Caa1, and maintained the stable outlook.

It notes Iraq’s exceptionally high reliance on oil, and “very weak institutions and governance“, while adding that ongoing discussions with the IMF indicate a possibility of a supported adjustment program.

More here (registration required).

(Source: Moody’s Investors Service)

The post Moody’s affirms Iraq Credit Ratings first appeared on Iraq Business News.
Source: Iraq News

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New program to help counteract serious financial crimes in Iraq

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Iraq, in partnership with the United States Government and the Supreme Judicial Council of Iraq has launched a multi-year training initiative today, to strengthen and improve complex organized and financial crime investigations in Iraq.

The training program, called Organized and Financial Crime Investigations: An Integrated Approach, focuses on the skills, expertise, techniques, and procedures necessary for Iraqi judges and other professionals to effectively investigate complex financial crime cases.

It also makes recommendations to improve policies and procedures for the investigation and prosecution of complex organised and financial crimes and establishes a roadmap for implementing those policies.

As part of the initiative, UNDP will work with judges, prosecutors and financial crime investigators to conduct workshops for various Iraqi government institutions on organized and financial crimes, and to oversee the development of a handbook on leading and conducting complex financial crime investigations.

Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Council of Iraq, the Honorable Judge Faiq Zaidan, emphasised that the goal of the program is “to strengthen the procedures and tactics of investigative judges on approaching and leading complex financial crime investigations, in close collaboration with the colleagues from the investigative agencies” of the Commission of Integrity, the Board of Supreme Audit, the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Office of the Central Bank, and the specialised investigation directorates of the Ministry of the Interior.

U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Matthew Tueller stated that Iraq requires “efficient tools and policies to help investigate and prosecute financial crimes, because the motivation behind the majority of these criminal offenses is personal enrichment that hurts the Iraqi state and people.”  The United States Department of State was pleased to finance UNDP’s assessment on financial crime investigation capabilities in Iraq; this assessment helped lay the groundwork for the training and was instrumental in drafting guidelines financial investigation techniques for judges and investigators.

Ms Zena Ali-Ahmad, UNDP Resident Representative stated “This program and accompanying paper acknowledges how complex, organised financial crimes such as corruption, money laundering, and illicit accumulation of wealth are contributing to an atmosphere of privilege and injustice.  These crimes are a major impediment to Iraq’s economic recovery, stability, and development. UNDP stands ready to work alongside the Supreme Judicial Council of Iraq and other institutions to help put an end to these crimes and is extremely grateful to the U.S. Department of State for funding this important initiative.”

Funds from this project have been generously provided by the United States Government. The project is part of UNDP Iraq’s Security Sector Reform/Rule of Law Programme.

(Source: UN)

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Source: Iraq News

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By John Lee.

At a meeting in Brussels on Wednesday, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi  asked the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, to remove Iraq from its list of countries considered to have a high risk of money laundering.

Earlier this year, the United Kingdom removed Iraq from its list of high-risk third countries for the purposes of money laundering legislation.

According to a statement from the Prime Minister’s office, Ms. von der Leyen praised the economic reforms pursued by the Iraqi government, and said the Commission supports Iraq’s White Paper and anti-corruption mechanisms.

(Source: Office of the Iraqi Prime Minister)

The post PM asks EU to Remove Iraq from Money Laundering List first appeared on Iraq Business News.
Source: Iraq News

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