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Post by Ssmith Tue Mar 07, 2023 3:22 pm

The political analyst, Imad Al-Musafer, suggested today, Sunday, that the federal budget for the year 2023 will reach the House of Representatives during the this week.
Al-Musafir told Al-Furat News that: “Confirmed sources from within the Council of Ministers suggested that the budget be sent to the House of Representatives next week (this week).
(I am told they will hold this up until the second rate change occurs. More on this rate change in the RV Update section below)
More news….

Baghdad – Nas  
The head of the National Wisdom Movement, Ammar al-Hakim, recalled, on Monday, the visit of Pope Francis to Iraq, noting that this step confirmed to the whole world Baghdad’s restoration of its regional and international standing.    
Al-Hakim stated in a statement received by NAS (March 6, 2023), that on the sixth of March of each year, we remember an important event in the history of the new Iraq, represented by the visit of His Holiness Pope Francis to our country and his historical meeting with the supreme religious authority, His Eminence Imam Al-Sistani in Najaf Al-Ashraf before he made a pilgrimage to Dhi Qar in scenes that confirmed to the whole world the restoration of Iraq’s regional and international standing. 
More news…..

The Central Bank of Iraq has decided that the main agents of international money transfer companies (Western Union, Money Gram) will commit to adopting the official exchange rate of 1320 dinars / dollars for the final beneficiary of incoming and outgoing transfers based on our instructions issued in this regard, and their requests will be accepted for the purpose of strengthening their balances with the above companies in accordance with the transfer controls external for the year 2023.
(WOW! This is all good but remember these services must go to FOREX for the official rate and so on the surface this is NOT a good thing as they are bypassing FOREX and we want them to use FOREX thus put the rate out there as, when they do, we go to the bank. On the flip side the CBI is just trying to reign in the dollars and set the rate which they need to do as a reform to combat inflation of the 1320 rate. So this is also good news. )
More news….

The Ministry said in a statement that “within the framework of joint cooperation between the Ministry of Planning, the European Union and the International Trade Center, the Department of International Cooperation held today a joint meeting with the director of the Savvy project funded by the European Union, Eric Bouchot.”
Director General of the Department, Saher Abdul-Kadhim Mahdi, who chaired the meeting, said, “Among the issues discussed during the meeting, the role of the Savi project in supporting Iraq to join the World Trade Organization, as well as discussing the project’s progress report and the challenges facing the project and reviewing the observations of the sectoral ministries partnering with the project.” He explained that the meeting also discussed notes on a draft memorandum of understanding between the International Trade Center and the Ministry of Planning.
More news….

This period of news we find once again the news is wrapped around stabilizing the rate  of the dinar to the “official” CBI rate of the dinar. Remember the process to the reinstatement I told you included first getting off the sole de facto peg to the US dollar, which has been done just about a month ago. Then monitoring for inflation for a period of 3 days, 3 weeks or 3 months or as necessary. The plan is flexible in this needed time period. We are now in this time period and it has been agreed to allow 90 days. In the meantime they would have to adjust the official rate slowly, raising the exchange rate of the dinar as they stabilize the dinar each time, taking tightening measures (they call them reforms) as they go along during this 90 day period.

Does it have to take the entire 90 days?
No, as I said already it could take 3 days, 3 weeks or even longer but the goal is to change the rate, then monitor for inflation and take what measures necessary to control it after each rate change.

So here is the latest news on the process and reforms being taken to stabilize the rate:
In this period of news, we find that the process of adapting to the new electronic platform and stabilizing exchange rates requires more time and continuous government follow-up. In other words, there are indications that Iraq is not yet met where they want to be in ditching the dollar. And stabilizing the rate of the dinar.
On Sunday, Finance Minister Taif Sami announced they are still proceeding with a package of more fundamental reforms, while confirming the continuation of bilateral coordination with the World Bank. Also, the head of the chambers of commerce in Diyala, Muhammad al-Tamimi, confirmed on  Friday, that the disappearance of the so-called “black dollar” will take about two more months to get it under control. Al-Tamimi said in (Baghdad Today), that “the exchange rate of the dollar is still very high over the “official” rate, and two days ago it approached 159 thousand dinars for every $100, while the official exchange rate is 130. This gives an indication of the size of the large difference that is exploited by some in speculation and black market dealings and requires investigation.

Remember that just less than a month ago the prime minister Al-Sudani announced to the citizens to stop buying dollars as the dinar is worth more. To me anyhow, this short statement confirmed that they are up to much more than just controlling the corruption in the currency auctions. Then a conversation with my CBI contact weeks ago I was told that the “official” rate of the dinar would change within 7 days and it did change to 1320 from 1450 and once again it was confirmed.
So, this weekend again I checked with my contact and was told to expect the second of the rate changes to occur in the coming next 7-14 days and it should be just over 1000 which is in line what they originally told me between 1000-1166. I need everyone to remember that when I tell you the official rate decreases the rate of the dinar, if it were to be exchanged for dollars, is actually going up. Get it? Please keep this fact in mind.

The government is intensifying its measures aimed at undermining the dollar and limiting its rises, which affected inflation levels, and caused the citizen’s purchasing power to drain as a result of the high prices of all goods and materials whose import is linked to foreign currency. So, we can clearly see there is still on ongoing “big” push to get all merchants on the electronic transfer platform. This effort is not yet completed especially in the Kurdistan region. The head of the Federation of Chambers of Commerce, Abd al-Razzaq al-Zuhairi, announced that the prime minister directed that there should be meetings between businessmen, merchants, and relevant authorities, including the Central Bank, tax and customs, and facilitate the entry of merchants to the electronic transfer platform.

Another of reforms being pushed by the CBI is to get all merchants on the electronic Point of Sale systems. This will take some time as this effort is big. The goal has been set to accomplish this by June 1st.

What does this require?
-purchasing the card readers and scanners;
-installing the machines in the market place;
-getting contracts set up with the card companies ie Visa, MasterCard, etc. between the card companies, the banks and the merchants;
-it would require electricity so the electric grid must be up 24/7 or at least during shopping time periods;
-issuing the cards to the citizens;

-depositing money in their banking accounts in order to use the debit cards. This has been ongoing effort by the CBI for a decade now to get citizens o trust the banks and recipients on automatic deposit for salaries, retirement pensions and social security. The advantage is the funds are less likely to be stolen or corrupted as when large blocks of money is transferred to the Kurdistan region for instance. Where does all this money go (14%)? They will have to market the banks to the people and then train them on the use of this process to buy goods and services. My take is that they will do and the citizens will eventually come around to more and more acceptance of it. From my own experience I luv using “the card” instead of worrying about have the cash on hand. It is convenient and quicker at the store;
-Availability of Automated teller machines (ATMs) with a limit of more than 1566 ATMs nationwide. These machines will also have to be calibrated for the newer lower denominations.
You can see that getting this effort underway and completed by June 1st, is not an easy task as that’s only just over 2 ½ months from now. Can they do it?
So, now we should expect to see many articles from Iraq in the near future talking about these items I listed. We already read progress about companies coming into Iraq to help with the electric grid. Then we read about VISA contracts. Then just recently we also read about buying loads of the scanners and card readers. This was all good news and so now you know the relevance of it and how it plays into the bigger picture.

Do we need to have all of Iraq on Point of Sale (POS) prior to the reinstatement?
This was a logical question I asked in my conversation with my CBI contact this past weekend. I was told NO and that the goal is to stabilize the exchange rate and the selling of the dollars not so much to implement POS. Certainly, the wide implementation of the POS will help to drive down the use of the dollar thus the demand for the dollar, thus the driving up the price to purchase it. The dollar sales must shrink and stabilize at the level of 50-60 million per day which is the level as an indicator that the market has adjusted to the true level needed to support Iraq without money laundering and theft. This level must be maintained for a period of time and thus stabilized as the normal.
Another reform we noticed this week was that the Central Bank announced the start of expanding the push to inclusion in entering the electronic platform, and while it indicated its continuation in issuing positive steps to facilitate foreign trade financing.

Also, we heard last week that the CBI announced that the Yuan could be used in foreign trade with China. So, the CBI has now confirmed I the news its ongoing communication efforts with Chinese banks regarding dealing in the yuan currency in the exchange process. This is all good and tells me they are serious about this reform and are actually going to do it and not just talking about it, as they are often known to do. To me this was WOW!!! news when they announced this effort. We have been waiting a long time for this kind of news. Imagine no longer having to use the US dollar to pay for imports to Iraq. Well….it is being implemented and we also know that not just the Yuan but any currency can now be used. We can see that the Euro in trade with the EU is also probably next in line and so let’s watch for this news too in the coming weeks.
Another reform being implemented to help in the effort to “ditch” the dollar included the buying and selling of cars in Iraq.

A bit of history on the Iraqi car market:
So, the head of the union, Muhammad Mulla Jawad, said in an interview with Al-Maalouma, that the dollarization of the markets for buying and selling cars in Iraq began after 2005 and became absolutely controlled after 2010, as it is a financial standard for valuing cars of all kinds around the country and the decline in the use of the dinar for this purpose. He added, “The car market attracts 30% of the pressure on the US dollar and pushes to increase its exchange rates, which amounted to approximately 156 thousand per $ 100 today, which is much higher than what was set by the Central Bank of Iraq.

He pointed out that he submitted a proposal to end the file of dollarization of car markets in Iraq. This will mandate the adopting the dinar in internal buying and selling, in addition to converting existing contracts into dinars.”

And he considered that ending the dollarization of car markets will lead to a significant reduction in the rates of demand for buying dollars and lead to a balance of supply and demand in all Iraqi markets.

Do you know just how good this one article about this topic was to me? I was jumping with joy and could hardly hold back my celebration. Yes, they are now nit-picking every aspect of trade and business and reforming these sectors to the use of dinar….WOW, WOW, WOW. Can you see it too. Get that champaign in the frig as our hopes and dreams are coming true. Yes, finally they are making a push to dinar-ize their economy. This could only result in one thing in the very near future- REINSTATEMENT.
Okay, if all this other news was not good enough then yet even more very good news came out giving us an update on Iraq joining the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Then yet more good news….WOW there is so much good news!
There is a real movement for the implementation of Article (140) of the Iraqi constitution. As we all should know the new Iraqi constitution must be fully implemented or at least on it way prior to the reinstatement. This was told to me over a decade ago. This is why I would laugh about these intel gurus telling everyone it going to RV every day or every weekend. I knew this was just not possible. But now we see yet another positive sign that the Al-Sudani administration is very serious about finally implementing Article 140.  
Remember that this paragraph in the constitution is binding, but it has been suspended over the past years, because of some political parties, and these parties are still currently working to obstruct the implementation of this agreement, although it is in the interest of all political and popular parties. Some of these corrupt Iranian-backed politicians do not want Iraq to move ahead and have been part of the problem all along in Iraq holding back Iraq in making any progress.

As Iraq’s inflation crisis worsened it was compelled to repay its debts to Iran in Iraqi dinars, Iraqi officials told the news media. This may seem bad, especially if you are Iranian, but this is actually a blessing for Iraq in disguise. Can you see it? Yes, de-dollarizing…. is this coincidental? So, you can see how the US, by holding back dollars from Iraq, is forcing them to use the dinar and make some monumental changes in their financial sector. Oh. oh, it is all so good!!!!

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