Opinion: The Inevitability of Crypto in Iraq

By Abdurrahman Bapir, for Coindesk. Any opinions expressed are those of the author(s), and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Opinion: The Inevitability of Crypto in Iraq

Despite roadblocks, crypto is becoming increasingly popular in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.

Click here to read the full article.

The post Opinion: The Inevitability of Crypto in Iraq first appeared on Iraq Business News.
Source: Iraq News

Tagged with:
 

By John Lee.

Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister has reportedly said that he supports a floating exchange rate for the Iraqi currency, the dinar.

Shafaq quotes Ali Allawi (pictured) as telling a press conference on Thursday that the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) intervenes occasionally to keep the dinar in the range of plus or minus 5 percent, adding:

“The exchange rate is not sacred as it was before. Fixing the rate leads to the accumulation of economic problems and explosion later.”

(Source: Shafaq)

The post Iraqi Finance Minister “Supports Floating Exchange Rate” for Dinar first appeared on Iraq Business News.
Source: Iraq News

Tagged with:
 

Japan extends $300m Loan for Basra Refinery

By John Lee.

Japan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Motegi Toshimitsu, visited Iraq on Saturday, meeting with Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein, Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, and President Barham Salih.

Minister Motegi announced that Japan intends to extend the “Basrah Refinery Upgrading Project (Phase 3)” Yen loan project (up to the amount of 32.7 billion yen) [$300 million], and expressed his hopes that this project would contribute to providing the stable supply of energy and to creating jobs in Iraq. In response, Minister Hussein expressed his gratitude.

Minister Motegi added that he appreciates the publication of the “White Paper for Economic and Financial Reforms“, and stated that Japan looks to support Iraq’s reform efforts together with the international community through the “Iraq Economic Contact Group.”

Both sides also exchanged views on measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and means to improve the business and investment environment in Iraq.

(Source: Govt of Japan)

The post Japan extends $300m Loan for Basra Refinery first appeared on Iraq Business News.
Source: Iraq News

Tagged with:
 

Iraq said to be Negotiating IMF Loan

By John Lee.

Iraq has reportedly restarted talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a $4-billion loan to cover its budget deficit.

More here.

(Sources: Bloomberg, Arab News)

The post Iraq said to be Negotiating IMF Loan first appeared on Iraq Business News.
Source: Iraq News

Tagged with:
 

Startups & Businesses Thrive In Iraq

By Olivia Bridge.

Iraq’s global perception might not be optimistic, but the country is proving itself as an incubator for startups and small businesses.

Why startups and businesses are thriving in Iraq

To the uninformed, the idea of Iraq being capable of nurturing online businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs might seem far-fetched. Disinformation and rumours haven’t helped either, with one website going so far as to state that there is no internet in Iraq – a complete falsehood.  The fact of the matter is that, Iraq have had internet connectivity, tightly controlled internet connectivity 2 decades ago, but connectivity none the less. According to 2020 statistics, Iraq had roughly 30 million online users and currently has its fair share of ISP’s. The fact of the matter is that Iraq has proper online infrastructure good enough to nurture the talents of small businesses, entrepreneurs and those looking to take their start-ups to the next level. The economic ramifications brought about by the global pandemic has forcefully changed the business and working landscape for almost everyone and while very few have gotten out unscathed,  opportunities have not dried up.  In fact, the online environment has gained more appeal than ever, with many realising its full potential and capabilities.

Why Iraq is on the up and up

Iraq’s online community is a thriving one and many start-ups have already proven that they’ve got what it takes.  From food delivery apps to online education to B2B business solutions, Iraq is proving that it can hit as good as it can take.  And here’s the thing, despite a false worldly perception of Iraq, it has proven itself to be an incubator for businesses and other associated endeavours.  The country’s thirst to prove its credentials to the international community can be seen in various ways and means.  It’s impossible to deny Iraq’s history and the extent of how far back it goes; biblical scholars believe that Iraq was the location of the Garden of Eden – that’s how far. The point is that Iraq has many valuable and historical monuments, of which some have been declared heritage sites. These sites now serve to drive tourisms into the country.  Despite having one of the largest oil reserves in the world, the people of Iraq have a vested interest in climate change and the positive proliferation of green initiatives and sustainability, going all the way to grass-root levels.  Iraq’s online infrastructure is mainly wireless, providing an ideal breeding ground for apps as the majority of the population uses smartphones. The Iraq Stock Exchange has been open since 2006 and in combination with technology and knowledge of the Oil Industry, it has become a popular option to invest in international shares in big petroleum companies from countries such as United Kingdom, China and USA.

Successful online startups 

Iraq is truly making a name for itself in terms of small businesses and startups that have applied their tech skill to become highly successful.  In fact, there are quite a few notable mentions. There’s Sandoog, a Baghdad-based nation-wide servicing logistics company with a B2B focus that covers everything from product handling to storage to payment processing.  Then there’s Miswag, Iraq’s very first e-commerce platform, launched back in 2014.  It may have been a startup then, but now it has an inventory of over 15 000 products and delivers quality products all around the country.  Thanks a to a large smartphone population, many startups have chosen to hone in software and the various solutions it can provide to a mobile population. A prime example of such ingenuity would be Fastwares, based in Erbil. This innovative startup has produced successful digital products such as Kawa & Khaje, a popular game based on Kurdish culture, and Lezzoo, an effective food delivery app.  The company is also responsible for the highly popular music streaming app – Awaza. The take away from all of this is that Iraq’s growth and potential in the digital realm should not be underestimated.

The post Startups & Businesses Thrive In Iraq first appeared on Iraq Business News.
Source: Iraq News

Tagged with:
 

The United Nations Compensation Commission has made available $600 million to the Government of the State of Kuwait towards the Commission’s remaining claim with an outstanding award balance.

The United Nations Compensation Commission is a subsidiary organ of the United Nations Security Council. It was established in 1991 in accordance with Security Council resolutions 687 (1991) and 692 (1991) to process claims and pay compensation for losses and damages incurred by individuals, corporations, Governments and international organizations as a direct result of Iraq’s invasion and occupation of Kuwait (2 August 1990 to 2 March 1991).

The Commission received approximately 2.7 million claims and concluded its review of all claims in 2005. Approximately $52.4 billion was awarded to over 100 Governments and international organizations for distribution to the successful 1.5 million claims in all claim categories. Successful claims are paid from the United Nations Compensation Fund which receives a percentage of the proceeds generated by the export sales of Iraqi petroleum and petroleum products.

This rate was set at five per cent under Security Council resolution 1483 (2003) and reaffirmed in subsequent resolutions. Pursuant to Governing Council decision 276 adopted in November 2017, the percentage was set at 0.5 per cent for 2018, 1.5 per cent for 2019 and 3 per cent for 2020. The rate will remain at 3 per cent until such time as the outstanding compensation has been paid in full. Payments are made on a quarterly basis utilizing all available funds in the Compensation Fund under Governing Council decision 267 (2009).

With this latest payment, the Commission has paid $51.3 billion, leaving approximately $1.1 billion to be paid towards the outstanding claim. This category E claim was submitted by the Government of the State of Kuwait on behalf of the Kuwait Petroleum Corporation and awarded $14.7 billion in 2000 for oil production and sales losses as a result of damages to Kuwait’s oil field assets.

It represents the largest award by the Commission.

(Source: United Nations Compensation Commission)

The post Further $600m Paid to Kuwait for Invasion by Iraq first appeared on Iraq Business News.
Source: Iraq News

Tagged with: