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SoftKitty: BE READY SO YOU DONT HAVE TO GET READY Checklist for being secure and obscure and ready for the bank exchange!
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS FROM 2013 ETC...AND THINGS ARE VERY FLUID AND DYNAMIC, HOWEVER SOME THINGS REMAIN TRUE...WORTH REVISITING SINCE MANY OF US HAVE BEEN ON THIS RIDE A LONG TIME AND SOME FOR THE LAST WEEK EVEN. WORTH THE READ AND PREPARATION. EITHER WAY, WE WAIT FOR THE FINAL PACKAGE! YOURS IN THE RV WAITING sk MEOW!
Bulldog75 "45 Security Tips" from OOM&F Forum Part 1
45 SECURITY TIPS: ARE YOUR ASSETS & FAMILY SAFE
The last few years have witnessed an all-out assault on your personal and financial privacy. Credit-reporting agencies, schools, Internet marketers, medical clearing-houses, and dozens of other private organizations, Government all now maintain detailed records on us. The worst offender has been the U.S. government.
PLEASE DO NOT TAKE THIS PERSONALLY! THIS IS STRICTLY PROTECTION MEASURES AND BUSINESS FOR ONE TO TAKE CARE OF NOW.
Herein are Great Ways To Protect Your Privacy:
#1. The first law of privacy is: TO STAY QUIET, particularly when one is in public, on the phone, or sending faxes or e-mail. DO NOT TAKE THIS PERSONAL; IT'S ALL ABOUT BUSINESS AND YOUR SECURITY! IT ONLY TAKES ONE PERSON TO 'UPSET YOUR APPLECART".
In fact, electronic communications are now so vulnerable to interception by government agencies, private investigators, and other snoops, that one shouldn't say anything in these communications you wouldn't want published on the front page of the New York Times or recorded by the IRS.
One can now get hacked into from your printer. Use separate computers and printers. One for on-line and one for off-line, IMHO.
# 2. Don't flaunt one's wealth, particularly if you have a lot of money. If you own a fancy home, make sure it looks as modest as possible from the outside. suggestion to buy cars under $75,000; Keep new homes/apartments/condo under 1 million. There is no need to advertise wealth.
The IRS regularly searches car-purchase and property records. If they suspect tax evasion – real or imagined – they can freeze your assets, and seize your car and home. When traveling overseas, you have to be even more careful.
Driving a fancy car or dressing like a "rich" American – i.e., the way you normally dress – can make you a target for robbers, kidnappers and anti-American terrorists. Also limit your credit card use. Every time you use your credit card, thieves could steal the number and rack up huge charges.
It could take months or even years to get it all sorted out. stick with a car no higher than a LEXUS, to 75k, or one's draws serious attention.
# 3. Shred or burn important documents. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that it's 100% legal for snoops to rummage through your curbside trash and keep any papers they find.
So never throw any important papers in the trash without shredding them – including bank and credit-card statements, utility bills, letters from Social Security or other government agencies, information from your stock broker, etc.
Make sure and use a cross-cut shredder ($100-$150) which reduces documents to confetti, rather than a less-expensive shredder that cuts paper into strips which can be pasted back together. For ultra-sensitive documents, nothing beats burning them.
# 4. Isolate sensitive computer files from snoops. As we use our computers more and more to keep sensitive records and correspondence, it becomes more important to protect them from snoops. The #1 threat to your sensitive files is your modem, fax, or DSL Internet connection – anything that electronically connects your computer to the outside world.
Thanks to cookies, e-mail wiretaps, and other techniques, when you're browsing the web or reading your e-mail, snoops at the other end can download files from your computer hard drive.
The only sure way to protect yourself is by keeping all sensitive information on a different computer (or at least a different hard drive with its own, separate operating system) than the computer you use for web browsing.
In other words, you use Computer #1 to browse the web and send e-mail; and you use Computer #2 for word processing, accounting, and storing important information. Computer #1 has no important files or sensitive information.
Computer #2 has no electronic connection to the outside world. To minimize expenses, your two computers can share the same keyboard and monitor, by the addition of a network hub (about $100). Warning; Now as of 11/11 printers can now be hacked into.!!
# 5. Keep your web browsing and e-mail private. Whenever you contact a company or organization on the Internet, the computer at the other end will often insert a "cookie" into your computer – enabling merchants and government agencies to keep track of your web browsing.
The information that can be collected about you in this way is absolutely mind-boggling and includes your name, address, phone number, detailed information on the type of computer you are using, your Social Security number, credit-card numbers, a list of your friends and business contacts, and much more.
To keep your web browsing private, use an anonymous connection service,
For further protection, encrypt your e-mail, using high-level, 1024-bit encryption software, such as Pretty Good Privacy (PGP). http:// www.pgp.comZero Knowledge Systems (ZKS) offers software called "Freedom" which also uses 1024-bit encryption and which: Allows you to use multi-pseudonyms that can't be traced to your real name Prevents the receipt of Internet cookies Provides multi-layers of encryption.
# 6. KEEP YOUR HOME ADDRESS & PHONE# PRIVATE! This is the single MOST IMPORTANT step you can take to protect your privacy though all items within this POST are urgent for your welfare. Government snoops can't nose around your home, bug your computer, or listen in on your calls, if they don't know where you live or your phone number..
To keep your home address private, rent or buy your home in the name of an out-of-state corporation (Delaware and Nevada corporations are best). Also put your utilities in the name of the corporation, as well as your phone, and magazine and newspaper subscriptions.
This is precisely what TV personalities, professional athletes, and film stars do to protect their privacy. And it's not expensive. A Delaware corporation can be set up for as little as $150 and maintained for $50 a year!
Take your names off your local country tax rolls and replace your name with "property Owner". this is crucial!!!
# 6 B: Receive all MAIL personally addressed to you at a nearby mail drop, such as Mail Boxes, Etc. (about $15 a month), or an Executive Office Service ($50 to $150 a month), or at the address of a friend who owns a nearby business (free). Then use this address for your driver's license and car registration.
Naturally, your car will also be registered in the name of your corporation. Properly set up, a Delaware or Nevada corporation can also dramatically lower your taxes, if you're an independent contractor. (Please consult your attorney.)
For a private home phone, use a company name when setting up a new phone account, rather than your own, and make sure and get caller ID, complete blocking. To add a further level of phone privacy, purchase a prepaid cell phone – such as those offered by Trac Fone through Blockbuster, WalMart, and Staples.
No name, address, credit check, etc. is required to set up an account, and you can buy phone cards for cash to add more time. As of 11/11 Wal-Mart sells i-phones for less than $100 and Unlimited internet, text and talk for $55 per month. This is a fabulous rate!!!
#7 A.) (TWO PARTS) . Keep your medical records more private. Information in your medical files can be used to deny you insurance, jobs, and legal benefits. It could be even used by a government just slightly more authoritarian than the one we now have, to take away your children or commit one elsewhere.
Unfortunately, each time you see a doctor or check into a hospital or clinic, they will usually demand your Social Security Number, which in turn will be used to file and locate your medical records.
You can protect yourself from unwanted snooping by getting an alternative Medical photo ID from ID Network (IDN). No SSN is required, and medical records are kept in your own handwriting. $9.95. Call 1-888-329-3686 or 314-416-7411, http://www.idnetwork.com.
#7 PART B: In the civilized society, we each have a crucial zone of privacy shielding us from outside snooping and control. Privacy is about keeping more of what you earn – protecting the sensitive information in your computer - avoiding being hassled by the IRS or police – protecting your children – and minimizing your chances of a 2 am visit by a machine-gun-toting SWAT team.
The battle for your privacy is the battle for your freedom. Ultimately it is a battle we will win. AMEN.
#8. EXCHANGE TIME : these are suggestions to consider; you decide what IS BEST UNDER YOUR SITUATION. THERE ARE MANY OPTIONS HERE FOR PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES. The wolves inside and outside the bank can be few to many in different clothing. Your Life and Your Life Savings may be at RISK.
# 9. Do not park in the bank lot. Why show your car tags to others that will jot them down and trace u? A camera can take a photo of you and your tags for blocks away. Take a taxi or rental car to the banks.
# 10.. Go with someone to the bank; spouse, best friend who is a fellow Dinarian. Caps and glasses are nice. Make no new friends at the bank or locally who might discover your fortunes.
#11.. Make an appointment , if required, to make the 'exchange'.
#12. Know your rate before you go. Have a predetermined game plan. Shop your rates. Seek investment angles, advice also from maybe Smith Barney, Scottrade Inc, etc, various options.
# 13. Watch your body language, look and play the part of Investor. MANY maybe WATCHING. Use dressy attire but no jeans or T's.
#14.There is NO rush to cash in; supposedly many weeks and option days to have the possible 15% tax advantage with no audits (this is still a rumor; will be confirmed sooner or later next week). Seek competent tax and legal advice.
#15. If your deposit is in an acct "non interest bearing savings acct" this should be Dodd-Frank. check with your banker. NIB accts are usually unlimited in coverage.
#16. SMITH BARNEY or MORGAN STANLEY INC. OR SCOTTRADE INC ET and others can re-insure your accounts somewhere in the $600,000 TO ONE BILLION $$ range per account.
Seek legal advice and the broker / company policies. DO NOT LEAVE SIGNIFICANT LARGE SUMS IN INSTITUtIONS UNLESS ITS RE-INSURED; IE: LLOYDS IN
#17. AFTER MAKING YOUR INITIAL DEPOSIT; TRANSFER IT TO ANOTHER INTEREST FREE CHECKING ACCT WITHIN THE WEEK; SOONER RATHER THAN LATER. THIS PREVENTS WIRE TRANSFER AGENTS AND PAST BANK KNOWING YOUR NEW ACCT #!! (AGAIN, PLEASE FILTER ALL THIS DATA. YOU DECIDE WHICH WORKS FOR U, BUT TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE AND WAITING IS NOT HEALTHY FOR THESE ISSUES AND ACTIONS HEREIN "MAY SAVE YOUR LIFE".
# 18. ONLY USE YOUR PASSPORTS FOR IDS: IT DOES NOT HAVE YOUR HOME ADDRESS, SOCIAL SECURITY # TIED IN. Avoid using your Drivers License for anything but the cops and court when or if mandated!
#19. Use UPS postal drop for home address or your attorney's office work address until you get things squared away about physical addresses. Never use one's home address for anything, especially: mail, fed ex, UPS, !!! Have your bank statements go to a Po Box! Never let one's attorney know how much money you have.
#20. IMHO, "Irrevocable Business Trust" or a "Irrevocable Spendthrift Trust" saves your wealth, health and happiness from the tax man. . It's Worth every penny and more. Trusts are much more apt to protect large estates. Revocable Trust hold little or no water with the IRS & States.
#21: IMHO: Legalshield.com or in some states, PREPAID LEGAL INC.: for family, business, Wills, IRS audits, Citations, legal situations. 100's of legal help issues that may give legal piece of Mind and ease the pocketbook too. Attorneys are assigned within your State to handle your cases. Some situations are outsourced to qualified attorneys within your state and they contact you. Fees average $17-49 monthly.
#22: BEWARE/ ALERT: RFID )))) RADIO FREQUENCY ID. RADIO CHIPS MAYBE INSIDE YOUR CREDIT CARD. IT IS ELECTRONIC ‘PICK-POCKETING’ OF ANOTHER’S CREDIT CARD # AND EXPIRATION DATE. LOOK FOR SYMBOL)))) OR POSSIBLE OTHER SYMBOLS. ONE’S CARD # AND EXPIRATION DATE INFO CAN BE COPIED ONTO SOMEONE’S ‘HOTEL ROOM KEY’.
THEFT DEVICE CAN BE BOUGHT FOR $100. KEEP ALL CREDIT CARDS INSIDE ALUMINUM /METAL SLEEVE OR CASE.
HACKERS CAN GET YOUR CARD #S VERY EASILY. SEE THIS VIDEO AND BEWARE. ‘RFID’ CHIPS ARE IN 33% OF CREDIT CARDS MADE TODAY. TAKE CAUTION NOW. THESE CHIPS CAN ALSO BE IN YOUR SOON TO BE BANK “BLACK DEBIT CARDS”. THIS COULD GET COSTLY AND DANGEROUS AT THE SAME TIME. IT’S BEST NOT TO HAVE ‘RFID’ CREDIT CARDS.
CHECK WITH YOUR BANK ON ‘CASH-IN’ / ‘CURRENCY EXCHANGE’ TO MAKE SURE YOU ARE NOT ISSUED ANY TYPE OF “ RADIO FREQUENCY RFID )))) “ CREDIT CARDS ON ANY OF YOUR CURRENT (AND FUTURE) ACCOUNTS.
#23 (#23-36 WERE ADDED 7/16/12): Reduce Your Risk of Identity Theft: Traveling (for business or pleasure) can increase your exposure to financial risk. Here are some simple tips to protect yourself and reduce the risk of identity theft as you head out on your summer vacation.
#24: Clean out your wallet: Take only your essential documents, like your driver’s license and just 2 credit cards – one to carry and one to leave in the safe at the hotel in case your wallet is lost or stolen. Don’t carry your social security card in your wallet – ever. Leave your extra credit cards or identifications documents at home. Men – keep your wallet in a buttoned pocket, women – wear a purse with wide straps and locking clasps, and don’t hang it on the door when you use a public restroom.
#25: Leave your checkbook at home: You shouldn’t need it if you have credit cards. Leave your bills and private papers at home, too.
#26: Make a copy of your travel documents: Copy your passport, driver’s license, airline confirmations, etc. Leave it with a trusted friend in case you need help, or keep a copy safely tucked inside a suitcase pocket in case the original gets lost or stolen. Make a list of what you have in your wallet, along with the phone numbers on the back of your cards.
#27: Stop your mail or have a neighbor pick it up: A full mailbox with bank statements and credit card bills is a sure sign for hackers and thieves that you are not at home. Also, stop the newspaper, and don’t broadcast your travel plans on social networking sites.
#28: Alert your credit and debit card issuers: Let them know where you are traveling, how you may be reached, and when you will return. This helps the fraud department stop charges that may not be yours, and reduces the risk that your cards will be “frozen” due to unusual activity when you are away from home and can’t be reached
#29: Keep an eye on your cell phone: Many people are storing user ID’s and passwords and other personal information on their cell phones. Secure your phone with a security code so that it can’t be accessed if it is lost or stolen.
#30: Consider a temporary credit freeze: A freeze will deny access to your credit history, so ID thieves can’t open accounts while you are away. Setting up a freeze through the three credit reporting bureaus – Transunion, Experian and Equifax – takes time and money, so this is the most beneficial if you are planning a period of prolonged travel.
#31: Look for safer ATMs: If you need cash withdrawals, ATMs in bank lobbies are less vulnerable to devices used to capture your information, and are usually better lit and safer in general. They are also more likely to have surveillance cameras.
#32: Be careful with computers in hotels and other public places: Don’t access your financial data on hotel or other public computers or public Wi-Fi networks. Public computers may have spy-ware or malware installed which could record everything you type. Be sure to log out of any sites that you may access before leaving the PC.
#33: Beware of front desk calls: If you receive a call from a “clerk” saying that they need to re-enter your credit card number, hang up and call the front desk yourself. You don’t now who is at the other end of that call.
#34: A few simple steps will go a long way in protecting you and your information and prevent your vacation or business trip from turning into a headache. If you have any concerns about your personal information, notice any suspicious account activity, or experience a customer information security-related event, contact your bank branch immediately so that they can assist you.
#35: ONLY PUT ONE'S PO BOX ADDRESS ON THEIR CHECKS. NEVER PLACE BIRTHDATE OR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS OR EVEN PHONE NUMBER ON YOUR CHECKS. MAKE IT DIFFICULT FOR THE WOLVES/THIEVES IF THEY TAKE ONE'S CHECKBOOK.
#36: ACT IMMEDIATELY AND ACCORDINGLY TO PROTECT ONESELF, FAMILY, BUSINESS. ONE OR TWO MINUTES COULD SAVE : TIME, MONEY, GRIEF, UNTOLD PAPERWORK & CHAOS!
#37: Any major ideas or investments, always bounce it off someone you trust like your CPA, Attorney or Investment advisors. Many are ashamed to admit they've been taken advantage of or conned. Do not be over-trusting, nieve or gullible.. When or if someone tries to interest you in a venture involving money /investments, say, "I'll discuss this with my real estate agent, CPA or lawyer and get back to you." Then talk with someone you trust.
#38: further info on personal identity: Scam-proof your communications by taking control of your personal information. Put your phone numbers (home and cell) on the Do Not Call Registry. Opt out from the sale or sharing of your personal information by contacting the three credit bureaus, your state department of motor vehicles, the Direct Marketing Association and companies with which you do business. Thieves cull your information and use it to open bogus accounts that can ruin your credit scores, credit and make your life absolutely miserable.
For more information on how to remove yourself from these databases, see the Federal Trade Commission's Web page on sharing your personal information.
#39: Don’t Trust Your Caller ID: Never do business over the phone, unless you initiate the call. Here's why: No matter what your caller ID might say, you don't really know who's on the other end of the line. If you place the call yourself, divulging personal information isn't as risky. If you receive a call from someone who claims to be with your bank, insurance company or some other place where you do business -- unless you recognize the caller -- say you'll call back. That will give you time to make sure the number is legitimate. Simply call the company's published number and ask to speak to the individual who called you, or to someone in the appropriate department.
#40: Ways to make using a debit card safer include the following: Run your purchases as credit so you don't have to input your PIN. & Always double-check your card when a clerk, cashier or waiter hands it back to you and make certain it's the same card you handed over.
Be suspicious of people who want to stand too close to you when you're using your debit card, particularly when they are using a cellphone. They could be recording your debit card information with their camera
#41: Regard All Links With Suspicion: Social networking can be a great way to keep up with friends and family, but scammers have found the Internet a gold mine of opportunity. Most of us know not to click on links in emails from people we don't know or to acknowledge those silly get-rich-quick schemes from strangers, but you should never underestimate a con artist's creativity.
For instance, a recent scam on Facebook involves a fake game based on the "Twilight" series. Fans are prompted to click on the link, exposing their personal information to scammers.
Best rule of thumb: Be on your guard and never click on links of unknown origin. Check on them by running a search with the relevant keyword (in this case, "Twilight") and "complaint" or "scam."
42# Safeguard Online Activities: Don't join the thousands who fall victim to online identity theft schemes each year. Some are as simple as planting a keystroke logger on your computer to copy your private information, while others involve complicated email exchanges.
Here are some of the best strategies for avoiding online fraud:
Don't ever respond to emails asking for your account information since they are almost always fakes.
Never click on links embedded in emails (even a friend or relative can accidentally pass along a virus). If you must see that funny video, type the URL directly into your browser.
#43: When you decide to purchase from an online merchant, always make certain that you're dealing with a reputable site. Check for complaints and never click on a link; instead, as with email links, type the company's correct URL into your browser.
Make it a habit to double-check that order forms are secure before completing them. Instead of the standard "http," the URL will begin with "https," which indicates a secure transmission.
#44: DOUBLE REMINDER : Don't forget to maintain up-to-date, functioning security software and a firewall WITH latest up to date Online Protection.
#45: Guard your medical insurance information and ALL PERSONAL INFORMATION OF ANY NATURE with the same zeal as you do your financial data. the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association says the fallout from medical fraud can damage your credit rating, open you to litigation and even result in your receiving improper medical care. "Always examine your explanation of benefits for treatments that you didn't have," he says.
THE LESS INFO there is out there about you, the harder you are to target. Make the con artists' jobs difficult by avoiding their scam tactics. They don't deserve to score off your hard work.
* #s 37-45 contributed in part by : Former policewoman Carole Moore,author of "The Last Place You'd Look: True Stories of Missing Persons and the People Who Search for Them."
Read more: 8 ways to avoid getting conned
ALL CONTRIBUTORS, INFO, IDEAS ARE SINCERELY APPRECIATED TO HELP DINARIANS AROUND THE PLANET. I LOVE YOU ALL. BLESSINGS. LAST UPDATE 11/11/12.
- on Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:58 am
- Search in: CHATTER from DINARIANS
- Topic: ..Security Checklist Tips Posted by SoftKitty at TNT 3/10/19
- Replies: 0
- Views: 893
Sunkissed » January 14th, 2018
BF Samson Post #32 01-10-19 (see below)
I have highlighted the sections that apply to my comment below, because I think we didn't really see the significance of this article on first blush. Also, if you have read MM post 202 - (see below) there is some overlay in this article with his compilation.
In my opinion, the TIMING of this article is utterly FANTASTIC!
Did you all see this article gives us the DROP DEAD DATE? (imo)
FEBRUARY 02, 2019
1). JORDAN IS RACING AGAINST TIME.
Well... imo... it looks like...
2). February 02, 2019 is a deadline date to IMPLEMENTATION. For what??
3). Remember that December 29-30 meeting when many contracts were signed?
Looks like Jordan signed some "old" deals that were "renewed" - I suppose we would use the word "updated" (to reflect a new rate? a more competitive price, since so many contractors are FLOODING into Iraq?)
So... there's the PRESSURE! Contracts were signed on December 29-30 and to be IMPLEMENTED BY FEBRUARY 02, 2019!
Then we need to ask, why were they updated? Looks like it's because Jordan's bid was too high as Iraq didn't think they were competitive enough -- because their manufacturing is controlled by the government, and they want their share of the profits!!
Well... sharpen your pencil Jordan! And... Iraq isn't dependent any longer, so Jordan has to improve their quality too if they're going to be doing significant trade with Iraq.
But -- Jordan wants a guarantee for trade (like in the old days). Ha! They (Jordan) don't want to have to compete, because with their government influence taking part of the profit, they can't trade competitively against other countries all vying for a piece of the pie!
So, Jordan attempts a "work-around:" Build a factory & warehouse on the border with Iraq to reduce shipping costs. Plus, they need to be exempt from Taxes and Tariffs if they are going to compete with everyone else -- not to mention retool their production to improve their quality of goods! WOW. Iraq is calling the shots!!! They are not used to this for sure.
All of this tells us that Iraq has evolved, and now they can be selective in who they trade with and the quality of goods they provide for their citizens! Unless Jordan can upgrade her energy sector, and quality of goods, it doesn't look very promising that they will regain their position as a major trade partner with Iraq, save for the area of minerals such as phosphorus, et al.
BUT HERE'S THE RUB:
After all the haggling and demands that Iraq has served up to Jordan... the bottom line actually rests with Iraq:
THEY MUST HAVE PURCHASING POWER to be able to absorb the MASSIVE QUANTITIES of goods, minerals, etc., coming INTO Iraq!!
Ball is DEFINITELY in Iraq's court!
Promises were made in the BEGINNING of 2018!! (Respect the first quarter!!! Sound familiar?? -- Walkingstick was accurate!)
And now, the longer they wait, the more difficult, if not impossible it will be for Jordan to perform in time!!! --- BUT....
in order to perform on their contract... Iraq MUST FIRST HAVE PURCHASING POWER!!!
Iraq HAS TO BE READY AND ABLE TO PAY THEM!!!
Therefore, February 02, 2019, appears to be the back-wall, Drop Dead Date, "to be an exquisite mutual-beneficial relationship."
If February 02, 2019 is the Drop Dead Date, then we are looking at Feb 02 - 04 (Monday) for the IQD to go live.
However... imo.... it certainly could go before that date!!
Samson » January 14th, 2018
JORDAN IN RACE AGAINST TIME TO RE-PENETRATE IRAQI MARKET AS REGIONAL COMPETITORS SCRAMBLE FOR FOOTHOLDS
Economists, exporters weigh in on historic Jordan-Iraq deals to rejuvenate trade, voice concerns about competitiveness of exports
The governments of Jordan and Iraq, two weeks ago, concluded talks to facilitate economic, trade and power cooperation and development, including three major trade agreements, aside from the memorandum of understanding on power linkage.
According to Prime Minister Omar Razzaz, two of those trade accords will reflect positively on Jordanian exports to Iraq within the upcoming months, mainly the restoration of custom exemptions for Jordanian goods that do not compete with Iraqi products and the door-to-door freight transport agreement. It will “substitute the back-to-back freight shipping mechanism, which is inefficient, both in terms of cost and time wasted”, the premier explained to the reporters he met on the sidelines of his visit to Iraq. Entailed in these new trade measures are new allowances to ease visa protocols for freight transport through the Karameh-Turaibil Border Crossing, he added.
Iraqi Minister of Industry and Minerals Saleh Jubouri also sounded hopeful when he told The Jordan Times that he expected Jordanian exports to Iraq to double in 2019. Notably, exports to Iraq dropped from nearly JD883.1 million in 2013 to around JD367.7 million in 2017, followed by a 36 per cent increase in July 2018, compared with the same month in 2017. Nonetheless, “the Iraqi market is overrun by Turkish products, as well as Iranian exports, though to a lesser extent”, Jubouri warned.
Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries are now exporting to Iraq, a source with the direct foreign investments office at the Jordanian Embassy in Baghdad told The Jordan Times. Jordan is not going to be without competition in its pursuit of a slice in the Iraq reconstruction project, Razzaz acknowledged. However, head of the Direct Investment Department at the Jordanian Embassy in Baghdad Riyad Ababneh argued that “Iraqi consumers have confidence in Jordanian products, which is an advantage for [our] exports over competitors’”.
Against reassurances by Iraqi Ambassador to Jordan Safia Al Suhail on the outstanding trade relationship between Iraq and Jordan and the promises of exempting Jordanian exports, Jubouri subtly reaffirmed that the issue of costs may very well prove to be a challenge for Jordanian exporters to secure a significant share of the Iraq market. To that, Razzaz promised that the industrial estate agreed to be built on the border during the talks, over an area of 24 square kilometres, would drastically cut costs for exports and boost bilateral trade ties between the two countries.
Additionally, Razzaz and his Iraqi counterpart, Adel Abdul Mahdi, announced work was underway to settle Iraqi debts to Jordanian enterprises and claims dating back to the era of the trade protocol before the occupation of Iraq in 2003. Still, some industrialists and exporters, as well as economists, remain sceptical of the practical outcomes of all these pledges, despite the fixed timeline set by both governments for the implementation of these agreements, to launch on February 2, according to the joint statement issued at the conclusion of December 29-30 visit, last year.
Most of the deals signed are old agreements, merely renewed, economist Mazin Marji highlighted. “None of it is bad for business. Some will help, yes, but in reality I think restoring the scale of Jordanian exports to 2013 levels, before the border closure, is not doable within a year, or two for that matter. In three years, maybe,” he argued, “provided that the current political, security and other variables do not change, let alone restoring the volume of exports to pre-occupation levels”.
Economist Mufleh Akel agreed. “The [Iraqi] minister’s expectations are a little too optimistic,” he said.
Talking about restoring the glorious days of exportation to Iraq, however, is an entirely different story, according to the economist. “The truth is that the pre-occupation Iraqi authorities imposed Jordanian products on the [Iraqi] market, granting [our] exporters an absolute advantage, especially under the oil-for-food programme, which was an internationally endorsed agenda. We need not forget that the Iraqi leadership was willing to overlook the shortcoming quality of our exported goods in favour of supporting Jordan,” Marji said “This is no longer the case.”
Jordan does not any more have an absolute advantage over other competitors in the Iraqi market. “We need to look to our comparative, relative advantage and capitalise on it, that is if indeed we wish to restore our share of the Iraqi market,” he added.
One of the issues facing the Jordanian exports economy, Marji explained, is that the private sector wants the government to secure the market share for their exports, instead of competing for it. “This is not going to happen. Competition over Iraq is intense,” he added. “Exemptions for Jordanian goods will help boost exports, but the whole door-to-door, instead of back-to-back freight shipping arrangement, is merely a technicality. Combined, they probably will make a difference, but ever so slightly. For one, Jordanian commodities are not competitive in terms of quality or price. Two: We do not produce enough of the products that actually do have a market in Iraq.”
Noteworthy is the fact that the exemptions decision is not a new one, said financial economist, head of Al Ghad's business department and columnist, Yousef Damra. “Jordan used to export more than 500 products exempt of custom duties and fees to Iraq. This agreement cuts the list of exempt Jordanian exports to a little over 360 products,” he noted.
Vice Chairman of Petra Engineering Industries Company and Jordanian Exports Association President Omar Abu Wishah believes otherwise, namely, that the door-to-door arrangement will increase the operational capacity of the land shipping sector.
In regards to boosting exportation to Iraq, he also believes it can be done in a year’s time. “In fact, with the exemptions, and if we really play fair-game with our competitors, it is possible that Jordan doubles it exports to Iraq within 2019,” he said. His position is that there are a number of quality Jordanian products that the Iraqi market can absorb, provided that costs are cut to boost competitiveness, and that Jordanian exports can be set to rival even Turkish producers.
It is not that the Jordanian private sector is relying on the government to secure a share in the Iraqi market for them, he said, but rather “that much of the costs of producing and exporting to Iraq are controlled by government regulation and policy. The government has a part to do in this”. “Authorities need to facilitate exportation to Iraq and cut costs, which include power and transportation costs,” he said.
If the costs of manufacturing, production and transport are not optimised to boost exporter profitability, the quality of the products in export will be questionable and the overall operation may not be feasible for exporters to engage, he argued. “This is aside to the issue of taxation under the new Income Tax Law. The government has to compensate for these increased costs, all of them, for businesses to retain a level of profitability that would allow them to export with ease,” Abu Wishah underlined.
Without such exemptions, facilities and privileges, he insisted, Jordan will never be able to compete with Turkey, Iran, the US or the Saudis and Emiratis in Iraq.
Akel agrees that the door-to-door mechanism will help boost the profitability of exportation for Jordanian producers, but argues that exports lack competitiveness as well. “Aside from the absolute economic overlord in Iraq, [the] US, Jordan is up against the Iranians and the Turks, in a race for the Iraqi market. We are on relatively good terms with the Iranians, who have political leverage in Iraq to funnel their products, and the price offering to back its competitive advantage. The Turks, on the other hand, have the combined advantage of quality and pricing,” he said.
To that, Media Minister and Government Spokesperson Jumana Ghunaimat confirmed during the closed press meeting with Razzaz in Baghdad that work was under way to construct renewable energy facilities for industrial use, to lower the costs of energy for Jordanian manufacturers and exporters. She also added that the exemptions on the Iraqi side will add to the comparative cost advantage of Jordanian exports.
Doubling down on the reassurances, Razzaz followed up with promises to see the imminent implementation of the oil pipeline, which will allow Jordan to procure 10,000 barrels of oil on a daily basis. “But is that enough?” Akel asked.
Short on competitiveness
Much of the cost structure is energy, not only in terms of powering structures and industrial facilities, but also in terms of transportation costs, as well as in terms of input costs for manufacturing, he said. “The oil pipeline will take years to construct, and it will meet Israel’s resistance, for geopolitical reasons that have to do with the Iranian influence and the unsavoury relations between Iraq and Israel. I mean, we have seen this before. The pipeline is an old project that has never come through and is unlikely to see the light of day. And without the low-cost oil, regardless of the pipeline, much of the competitiveness of Jordanian exports will be lost, regardless of the exemptions,” Akel underlined.
As for the industrial estate, “I doubt the Iraqis have much interest in it,” he said. “The Iraqis want to build their domestic economic and industrial capabilities, and to be honest, the border is too far removed from the industrial centres in Iraq, making transportation domestically, to and from the estate, too costly and uncompetitive. In other words, the hopes hung on these deals to rejuvenate trade and exports are a little too out of proportion,” warned Akel.
Like Ababneh, but contrary to his optimism, Marji also agrees that Jordan has lost its exclusive export advantage, “with Turkey, Iran and the US being the largest shareholders in the Iraqi market. There are also Saudi Arabia and the UAE to watch out for”. There are still political barriers to the restoration of trade and ties in general between Iraq and the Arab Gulf, but it is only a matter of time, Marji noted.
Scrambling for foothold
“In almost all fields of exportation, the Saudis have developed industries that can easily drive Jordanian goods out of the Iraqi market, due to the competitive price offering and quality, not to mention that Jordan will soon be competing with the US via Saudi Arabia, as some of the world’s most prominent corporations — Procter and Gamble for instance — are producing and exporting out of Saudi Arabia.”
What remains for Jordan are some of the raw materials and minerals produced locally, such as phosphate and cement, which can hold a massive share in the Iraq market, but are not produced in enough quantities to compensate for the shrinkage of Jordan’s exports in foodstuffs, for example, or chemicals, Marji underlined. “We can, of course, export ICT expertise and services, both directly and indirectly. This is a field we have a relative advantage in, compared with other economies in the region. We can certainly help with the Iraqi government’s digitisation effort, as well as other related fields,” the economist highlighted.
In regards to commodities, traditional exports in particular, Jordanian products stands a small chance, if the private sector does not immediately turns inwards to boost the quality of their exports, Marji stressed.
He contended that the Iraqi consumer would soon see less costly options, and that the confidence they have in Jordanian products will not withstand the abundance of suitable choices. “There is appreciation for the Jordanian role over the years and confidence in Jordan, as a country, but there is little trust in Jordanian products, as Jordanian industrialists had often exploited the loose standards Iraqi authorities had set for Jordanian products,” Marji noted. This came at the expense of confidence in Jordanian commodities, he continued.
Abu Wishah agreed with Marji, but argued that some exporters maintained a reputable level of quality and service, since before the US occupation of Iraq in 2003. He stressed that the Iraqi importers do not stick to their previous impressions on the shortcomings of some of Jordan’s exporters in the time of the embargo on Iraq.
Apart from supply issues, there is the question of the Iraqi market itself, its own purchasing power and demand. “Aside maybe to ICT, the Iraqi market has neither the demand nor the purchasing power to absorb massive quantities of other Jordanian exports, even if [our] industrialists magically managed to produce the quantities in question of specific commodities that other economies in the region do not produce,” Marji suggested.
For example, Jordan’s total exports of phosphate in 2017 stood at some 5.2 million tonnes, amounting in value to some JD586 million, a Jordan Phosphate Mining Company (JPMC) statement in April 2018 said. Data provided by the Department of Statistics puts phosphate exports to Iraq in 2016 at JD371.6 million. It should be noted that this particular mineral is readily available for export as a raw material, with minimal processing and manufacturing or development needed.
If Jordan were to focus solely on exporting phosphate to Iraq, the JPMC has to double its exports and split it evenly between Iraq and the rest of the world, for the economy to begin to compensate for the decline in demand for other exports driven out from the Iraqi market by competitors.
Combined, Jordan’s total exports of pharmaceuticals, fertilisers, raw phosphate and potash in 2017 amounted to some JD1.03 billion, at 23 per cent of the total export mix. Jordan’s overall exports amount to around JD4.35 billion worth of goods and commodities, including national products and re-exports.
Although data by the Department of Statistics does not show Jordanian exports of phosphate and potash to Iraq in specific, they do show that among the Kingdom’s top industrial goods exported to Iraq in 2017 were pharmaceutical products and fertilisers, at JD61.8 million and JD47.3 million, respectively. That said, Marji argued, is there demand in Iraq for these raw minerals and materials? If so, is there the purchasing power to consume and absorb these quantities?
Contrarily, Akel suggests that Jordan focuses on low-tech, low-cost products in order to re-penetrate the Iraqi market and not clash against the tides of Turkish and Iranian products. Abu Wishah disagreed. “We must not deny any exporter the chance to benefit from the opportunity presented by the underway and coming facilitation of exportation to Iraq.”
Focusing on one, two or three products will be counterproductive, he warned.
The governments of both Iraq and Jordan must do their part in regards to tax, custom and fee exemptions, as well as power cost reductions.“Leave the rest to the private sector and the market to sort itself out, and our exports will surely regain their competitiveness and shares, not only in the Iraqi market, but beyond. The government must hurry in its promised facilities, which we have been waiting for since the beginning of 2018, before time runs out and our regional competitors leave no place for us; then the mission will be doubly impossible,” Abu Wishah concluded.
Achievable as it may be, Jordanian exporters are hopeful, yet worried, that the needed facilities to boost trade and competitiveness for their products may not come in time before the Iraqi market is completely overrun by rival commodities.
February 2 is the hour-zero for Jordanian-Iraqi trade ties, as much is promised to change, to rejuvenate what the Iraqi ambassador reaffirms to be an “exquisite”, mutually-beneficial relationship.
MilitiaMan post #44 01-10-19
This is a long article be sure, but, clearly Jordan wants a hand in the cookie jar.. Contracts!! Many are in progress and underway..They are waiting on promises from 2018.. Well, it sure seems they took time to tell us the pros and cons.. They mean business.. A good thing.. (IMO) lol imo ~ MM
Popeye7 » January 14th, 2018
SK... As I was reading the article that date 2 February stood out like a sore thumb... Groundhog Day as well... IMO, you did a great synopsis of this article... Got to the meat of the matter so to speak... Thanks to you, and to Samson for posting the article... The 2nd of February is on a Saturday, which would make the 1st of Feb. Friday... Perfect time to post that new rate IMHO...
MilitiaMan » January 14th, 2018
It was a good and long article that has the pros and cons of what Jordan has before her as a country in trade competition with other nations.
Their King arrived today and according to the articles they have deals in place that will be and are underway already.
As earlier noted today about the pipeline out of Basra in the south going to the north. So, the other many items to a lesser extent may / will be sorted out. The fact that so many heads of state are showing up into Iraq lately is phenomenal and a show of solidarity in the re construction effort of and in Iraq.
Yes, and you touched on the mineral trade Jordan has her eyes on, as has the USA, Great Britain, China, etc..
Lets not forget that in the American Gold Rush days, the miners made a killing but the merchants selling to the companies and their employees made the lion share.. Every new good paying job supports 3-10 more in cases...
A very powerful time to the in Iraq's new found system.. imo ~ MM
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Sent in by One Pissed Off American
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Thanks to: https://mainerepublicemailalert.com