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[size=30]The imminent conflict and the fate of the Iraqi economy[/size]
25/09/2019 12:59 AM
Dr.. Haider Hussein Al Tohmeh
After the relative calm in the security situation in Iraq and the return of almost complete stability to most liberated areas, the danger of the US-Iranian conflict increases with the recent incidents in the Gulf of Oman.
This makes it necessary for the decision-maker to take precautions and take precautionary measures for fear of a sudden war and the consequences of economic shocks may affect the various economic and service sectors in the country.
The geographical location and other political factors impose on Iraq several restrictions and risks to economic and national security, perhaps the most important:
1- The serious threat to the oil export outlets in Basra, which provides for the export of approximately (90%) of the Iraqi exported oil. Approximately (90%) of the general budget in Iraq.
2. With the United States intending to bring Iranian oil exports to zero, Tehran has repeatedly threatened to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz, asserting that if it cannot export its oil abroad, no one in the region will export its oil through this Strait.
3 - The outbreak of military confrontations may push foreign companies operating in the oil fields to leave Iraq and the threat of the existing rates of production of oil and gas in Iraq.
4 - risks related to the suspension of imports of food and other commodities from the ports of the south will leave a scarcity in the supply of goods and push inflation rates towards the rise.
Steps to anticipate the crisis
The financial and commercial exposure of Iraq leaves little choice for dealing with the impending war between the United States and Iran. Unfortunately, previous governments have failed spectacularly to diversify their sources of income or at least secure alternative oil export outlets to spare Iraq the ravages of closing the Strait of Hormuz or threatening shipping in the Persian Gulf.
The Iraqi government has not succeeded in achieving food security and access to strategic commodities (such as wheat, barley) and other basic vegetables to levels of self-sufficiency despite the availability of material and human resources.
Therefore, all available solutions are temporary and do not amount to sustainability and inclusiveness. The most important steps proposed:
1. The Ministry of Commerce to secure strategic food commodities and the use of warehouses maximum capacity.
2- Activating the northern outlets and increasing their absorptive capacity in preparation for the shift of trade towards the north of Iraq.
3 - Try to activate the Iraqi-Turkish agreements on the export of Iraqi oil to Turkey through the Turkish Ceyhan line or oil tankers and the use of sanctions on Iranian oil to be Iraq as the main source of energy for Turkey.
4 - tightening control and toughening laws on traders to prevent them from exploiting the crisis and trading the people's livelihood to achieve obscene profits at the expense of the interests of the country and the citizen.
5 - Find real alternatives to Iranian gas for fear of interruption of supplies and the decline of electricity generation to below the existing rates.
Coordinate with the Kurdistan region and ensure that it does not exploit the northern portal paper to achieve financial, economic and political gains at the expense of the national interest.
7 - The readiness of the Ministry of Oil to a shortage of fuel may be left by the halt of the import of gasoline and other oil derivatives as a result of faltering maritime navigation in the Gulf.
8. The Ministry of Agriculture establishes a crisis cell to support and support farmers in providing basic agricultural commodities and securing water rations and other requirements.
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