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The international community supports the "White paper", Iraqi Minister of Finance says DinarDailyUpdates?bg=330099&fg=FFFFFF&anim=1

The international community supports the "White paper", Iraqi Minister of Finance says

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The international community supports the "White paper", Iraqi Minister of Finance says Empty The international community supports the "White paper", Iraqi Minister of Finance says

Post by GirlBye on Fri Oct 23, 2020 2:33 pm

The international community supports the "White paper", Iraqi Minister of Finance says 1603395219744


Shafaq News / The Minister of Finance, Ali Abdul Amir Allawi, said on Thursday that international organizations and industrialized countries "fully" support the government's "White Paper" for economic and financial reform. 

Allawi said in a statement received by Shafaq News agency, "the white paper received absolute support from industrialized countries and international organizations for the first time", during the European tour of Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi and his accompanying delegation.

"The international support of the White Paper is an achievement of the Ministry of Finance", he added.

Allawi, who took a part in Al-Kadhimi's delegation, said, "the international organizations recognize the daunting economic challenges, the crisis of Corona and the drop in oil prices, that eclipsed Iraq. The White Paper is an ambitious program for comprehensive economic reform, strengthening the growth of the private sector and protecting the vulnerable groups".

"The industrialized countries and international organizations announced their support for the Iraqi government's vision of reform not only to ward off current crises, but also to create permanent economic opportunities for the Iraqi people that meet their aspirations", he continued.

A few days ago, the Iraqi government submitted a plan to the Iraqi Parliament to carry out financial and economic reforms in the country, in light of the financial crisis that the country has been experiencing since the beginning of this year due to plummeting oil prices.

https://shafaq.com/en/Economy/The-international-community-supports-the-White-paper-Iraqi-Minister-of-Finance-says
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The international community supports the "White paper", Iraqi Minister of Finance says Empty The White Paper for Economic Reforms: vision and key objectives

Post by claud39 on Tue Oct 27, 2020 1:37 pm

[size=32]The White Paper for Economic Reforms: vision and key objectives[/size]


22 Oct 2020



[size=32]The international community supports the "White paper", Iraqi Minister of Finance says Artboard-v2-1
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The Iraqi government has formally adopted the White Paper for Economic Reforms prepared by the Crisis Cell for Financial and Fiscal Reform.

The White Paper seeks to put Iraq’s economy on a path that allows the state to take appropriate steps in the future to develop it into a diversified, dynamic economy. Dr. Ali Allawi, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance
The White Paper is a comprehensive programme that sets out a clear roadmap to reform the Iraqi economy and address the accumulated, decades-old serious challenges that confront it.

Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ali Allawi said that the White Paper seeks to put Iraq’s economy on a path that allows the state to take appropriate steps in the future to develop it into a diversified, dynamic economy that creates opportunities for citizens to live a decent life.

And although the current severe fiscal crisis that Iraq is going through is related to the recent sharp decline in oil prices and to the repercussions of the Coronavirus pandemic, the White Paper makes it clear that the causes of Iraq’s economic and financial woes date back several decades.

The White Paper identifies the expansion of the role of the state as a key cause of the crisis.
The roots of the crisis


The White Paper provides a detailed outline of the factors that have distorted the Iraqi economy, undermined its capacity to provide a decent life for large number of Iraqis, and its failure to keep pace with the economic developments that the world has witnessed.

The expansion of the role of the state


The White Paper identifies the expansion of the role of the state and emergence of a command economy in Iraq as a key cause of the crisis.

From the nationalisation of vital economic sectors in 1970s, to the commandeering of all economic levers by the state to support the war effort in the 1980s, through the period of  sanctions imposed on Iraq in the 1990s, these shocks, as well as the absence of strategic planning, mismanagement, maladministration, patronage and misguided political ideology, all led to an expansion of the role of the state in all aspects of economic life in Iraq.

The Iraqi economy continued to be directed by the state after the events of 2003 because of the failure of the new political system to create a free and diversified modern economy as outlined in Iraq’s Constitution, and instead continued to rely on the state as the almost only driver of economic activity in the country.

The expansion of the role of the state, and the associated increase in the number of those employed in the public sector and the cost to Iraqi exchequer of their salaries and pensions, came at the expense of the government’s ability to invest in basic infrastructure in Iraq.

To illustrate the point, the White Paper points out that from 2004 to 2020, state expenditure on the salaries of civil servants and on public sector pensions increased by 400% in real terms, as the total number of public sector workers during the same period increased by threefold.

The cost of salaries and pensions of public sector workers is expected to be around 122% of Iraq’s oil revenue in 2020. The White Paper for Economic Reforms
And between 2006 and 2018, average public sector salaries increased by 134%, more than the increase in labour productivity, which rose by only 12%, or the cost of living, which rose by 28% during the same period.

Over the past 17 years, government spending on the salaries of state employees, and on public sector pensions became the fastest growing expenditure item in Iraq’s successive federal budgets during this period.
There are currently around 4,500,000 public sector employees and 2,500,000 pensioners.

Decline of the private sector


The expansion of the state’s role, in addition to the complex administrative system and the state’s weakness in imposing the rule of law, the militarisation of society, and the influence of non-governmental actors in public institutions, led to the decline of the Iraqi private sector.

With the exception of a number of small and medium-sized companies operating in the oil and telecommunications sectors, and very small companies operating in the fields of trade, retail, transport, construction, hospitality and textiles, there is almost a complete absence of private sector companies in manufacturing.

In addition, most of the larger private sector companies depend on providing services to the state and on government contracts.

The White Paper also identified other factors that led to the deteriorating economic situation in Iraq is, most notably:


  • The collapse of oil revenues

  • The impact of Covid-19

  • Mismanagement and lack of planning

  • The weakness of financial institutions

  • The absence of modern coherent systems for managing state revenues

  • An ineffective and outdated banking sector

  • Complex and antiquated government procedures

  • Destruction of infrastructure and the costs of the war against Daesh terrorists




Two strategic goals 


The White Paper identifies two overarching strategic objectives. The first is to initiate an immediate reform programme to address the budget deficit to create a fiscal space to give time for the process of implementing the other wider reforms over the medium term.

The second objective is to put the economy and the federal budget on a sustainable path, after which Iraqis can decide and choose the economic direction of the country.

The White Paper anticipates that the short and medium-term objectives and associated reforms will require between 3 to 5 years to implement.

The reform pillars


The White Paper identified five key pillars for the reform programmes:

1- Achieving sustainable financial stability


Key reforms include:



  • Reducing the deficit from 20% to 3% of GDP and expenditure on salaries from 25% to 12.5% of the federal budget

  • Collecting electricity tariffs from all users based on the real price of fuel on global markets

  • Recovering and returning Iraq’s smuggled and stolen money

  • Increasing revenues from customs and taxes

  • Reforming Iraq’s Pensions Fund and move to gradually end federal budget support

  • Reforming financial management systems

  • Reviewing the current exchange rate of the dollar against the dinar




2- Implementing strategic reforms and creating sustainable job opportunities


Key reforms include:



  • Modernising and rehabilitating the financial sector

  • Modernising and rehabilitating the banking system, supporting the development of private banks, reforming government banks and introducing and activating the Core Banking System in Al-Rafidain and Rasheed Banks

  • Expediting the development of e-banking services

  • Establishing new trading markets, such as a commodity market and a currency exchange market (Forex)

  • Supporting the sectors that drive the economy, such as agriculture, oil and gas

  • Introducing a private sector support fund, simplifying procedures, and providing other non-financial aid

  • Creating job opportunities in the private sector and supporting small and medium enterprises

  • Adopting a national strategy for education and training that links educational outcomes with the future need for the labour market




3- improving basic infrastructure
Building Iraq’s digital infrastructure is a key aim of the White Paper.
Key reforms include:


  • Increasing the effectiveness and improving the performance of all parts of Iraq’s electricity sector

  • Developing Iraq’s digital infrastructure, including the introduction of advanced technology (4G) at the beginning of next year, and preparing for the introduction of (5G) technology

  • Modernising the legal and regulatory framework of the transport sector, and encourage private investment in transport

  • Developing industrial cities and free zones in Iraq




4- Providing basic services and protecting vulnerable groups during and after the reform process
The reforms aim at establishing a unified and financially sustainable pension system for all Iraqis whether they are working in the public, private, cooperative or mixed sector. The White Paper for Economic Reforms
Key reforms include:


  • Improving water supply for both drinking and irrigation and complete sanitation projects and networks

  • Building 1,000 new schools during the period of the reform programme

  • Reforming the social security system

  • Establishing a unified and financially sustainable pension system for all Iraqis whether they are working in the public, private, cooperative or mixed sector

  • Completing and implementing the draft health insurance law to ensure that all Iraqis have access to essential health services




5- Improving governance and introducing changes to the legal framework to enable institutions and individuals to implement reforms


  • Reviewing and amending the official guidance in relation to government contracts

  • Introducing e-governance systems to strengthen oversight of government contracting and the collection of taxes and customs

  • Working with specialist investigative international organisations to return the large sums of money smuggled out of Iraq

  • Introducing an electronic governance system in the field of government contracting and tax and customs collection

  • Completing the project establishing the National Information Centre to facilitate the introduction of government e-services to citizens, and automate the procedures for obtaining key documents  such nationality and passports and accessing pensions and social security

  • Introducing electronic signature and transactions throughout the public administration system and phasing out paper transactions


 
A detailed implementation plan of White Paper will be published later to outline the required process, identify key stakeholders and establish timelines and monitoring mechanisms.

 

https://gds.gov.iq/iraqs-white-paper-for-economic-reforms-vision-and-key-objectives/
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The international community supports the "White paper", Iraqi Minister of Finance says Empty Finance Minister: Industrialized countries and international organizations support White Paper reforms

Post by claud39 on Tue Oct 27, 2020 9:38 pm

Finance Minister: Industrialized countries and international organizations support White Paper reforms




Thursday, October 22, 2020







The international community supports the "White paper", Iraqi Minister of Finance says Mof-design-f-2-(2)-slice_03





 
The Minister of Finance, Mr. Ali Abdul Amir Allawi, announced the support of international organizations and industrial countries for the White Paper.

During his participation in the tour of the Prime Minister, Mr. Mustafa Al-Kazemi, to a number of European countries, the Minister of Finance said that "the white paper received absolute support from the industrialized countries and international organizations for the first time." 

Noting that "the international support and welcoming the white paper is an achievement of the Ministry of Finance."

His Excellency added, "The international organizations saw that Iraq faces daunting economic challenges that have been clouded by the Corona crisis and the drop in oil prices, and that the White Paper is an ambitious program for comprehensive economic reform, strengthening the growth of the private economy and protecting the most vulnerable groups."  

He pointed out that "the industrialized countries and international organizations announced their support for the Iraqi government's vision of reform not only to ward off the current crises, but to create permanent economic opportunities for the Iraqi people that meet their aspirations."

Earlier, the Finance Committee in the Iraqi Parliament announced its support for the white paper that aims to reform and activate the private sector and change the course of the national economy from the role of state control to the role of organization, law enforcement, attention to vulnerable groups and social welfare and work to introduce radical improvements to the state’s management of the public financial system. To reduce the continuous waste of resources, it also seeks to restructure the banking sector and put in place scientific and real treatments to raise the production of the public sector.

========================

Media Office of the Minister of Finance 



October 21, 2020






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The international community supports the "White paper", Iraqi Minister of Finance says Empty Ministry of Finance: The Financial Reform Paper is a step towards a diversified and integrated economy

Post by claud39 on Tue Oct 27, 2020 9:41 pm

Ministry of Finance: The Financial Reform Paper is a step towards a diversified and integrated economy






Wednesday, October 21, 2020













The international community supports the "White paper", Iraqi Minister of Finance says Mof-design-f-2-(2)-slice_03





[url=http://www.mof.gov.iq//Lists/Banner/Attachments/853/logo f.jpg][/url]

 
Within the framework of the Ministry of Finance's continuous endeavor and based on its responsibility to reform the current economic and financial reality, 

The ministry is moving, through the visions contained in the financial reform paper, towards a diversified, multi-source economy.

The reform and activation of the private sector is done by creating a stable investment environment and reviewing some self-financed public companies, in addition to activating tax collection from the electricity sector.

The reform paper also seeks to change the course of the national economy from the role of state control to the role of regulation, law enforcement, concern for vulnerable groups and social welfare, and work for radical improvements in the state’s management of the public financial system to reduce the continuous waste of resources.

The restructuring of the banking sector is an urgent necessity, as it is considered the backbone of any economic expansion through developing deposits and loans with a mechanism different from the current one.

The current decline in productivity and income due to the dominance of the unproductive public sector calls for scientific and real treatments, and this is what the financial reform paper seeks.



Information Office of the Ministry of Finance 

October 21, 2020






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The international community supports the "White paper", Iraqi Minister of Finance says Empty Malal Talal: The state's revenues are insufficient to meet the salaries of employees in the coming months

Post by claud39 on Thu Oct 29, 2020 1:00 pm

Malal Talal: The state's revenues are insufficient to meet the salaries of employees in the coming months




10/28/2020



The international community supports the "White paper", Iraqi Minister of Finance says 21614







Economy News - Baghdad



The spokesman for the Prime Minister’s Office, Ahmed Mulla Talal, announced that the state’s revenues are insufficient to meet the salaries of employees in the coming months.

Talal said the decline in state revenues in the past several months was insufficient to pay off its salaries and other urgent obligations. On this basis, the government requested from Parliament additional borrowing authority to fill the financing gap until the 2021 budget presentation .

He added that the 2021 budget will be a reform budget par excellence and based on the requirements of the white paper, and measures will be taken directly aimed at improving state revenues and controlling expenditures.





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The international community supports the "White paper", Iraqi Minister of Finance says Empty Today .. salaries are delayed at the parliament table

Post by claud39 on Thu Oct 29, 2020 1:03 pm

[size=36][rtl]Today .. salaries are delayed at the parliament table[/rtl][/size]




Wednesday 28 October 2020





The international community supports the "White paper", Iraqi Minister of Finance says Alsabaah-51823








Baghdad: Shaima Rasheed 
 

Today, Wednesday, the Parliamentary Finance Committee will host officials at the Ministry of Finance to discuss employee salaries and the borrowing law, while warning of the danger of moving towards printing a new currency to cover the financial deficit.






Committee member Jamal Cougar told "Al-Sabah": "The delay in salaries has nothing to do with the borrowing law and the government must understand the absence of this link and we will not allow it to do so," expecting that "the loan will not exceed 15 trillion dinars as an actual need for the government." 



He added that "the delay in paying salaries is not the responsibility of the Finance Committee, but on the contrary, there was a trend within the committee to reject the borrowing law, but there is pressure by some members towards its legislation," noting that "Iraq's debt has reached 124 billion dollars."



Cougar indicated that the law will not go easy this time and there will be hosting today, Wednesday, for officials in the Ministry of Finance to discuss the disbursement of employees' salaries, and there will also be hosting of the Minister of Finance and figures from the Ministry of Planning, respectively, in the coming days. 












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The international community supports the "White paper", Iraqi Minister of Finance says Empty Government Spokesperson: The 2021 Budget is based on the requirements of the White Paper

Post by claud39 on Thu Oct 29, 2020 1:55 pm

Government Spokesperson: The 2021 Budget is based on the requirements of the White Paper


28/10/2020





The international community supports the "White paper", Iraqi Minister of Finance says %D8%A7%D9%84%D9%88%D8%B2%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%A1-%D8%A7%D8%AD%D9%85%D8%AF-%D9%85%D9%84%D8%A7-%D8%B7%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%84-2-696x435








The information / Baghdad ...



A spokesman for Prime Minister Ahmed Mulla Talal confirmed today, Wednesday, that the 2021 budget is based on the requirements of the white paper.



"The 2021 budget will be reform par excellence and is based on the requirements of the white paper," Mulla Talal said in a tweet on Twitter, which she followed.



He added, "Next year's budget will take measures aimed directly at improving state revenues and controlling expenditures."



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The international community supports the "White paper", Iraqi Minister of Finance says Empty Re: The international community supports the "White paper", Iraqi Minister of Finance says

Post by claud39 on Fri Oct 30, 2020 1:57 pm

Ahmed Tabaqchali a retweeté

The international community supports the "White paper", Iraqi Minister of Finance says PXxNablR_bigger


Government of Iraq

@IraqiGovt


Watch:
@AMTabaqchali
says that empowering young Iraqis to find fulfilling, good quality and sustainable jobs is at the heart of the
@IraqiGovt
’s White Paper for Economic Reform:
#EconomicReforms #WhitePaper





1:01 PM · 30 oct. 2020·Twitter Media Studio




https://twitter.com/i/status/1322221979785637890




https://twitter.com/IraqiGovt/status/1322221979785637890
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The international community supports the "White paper", Iraqi Minister of Finance says Empty The White Paper: When Structural Adjustment Comes to Iraq

Post by claud39 on Fri Oct 30, 2020 2:45 pm


[size=36]The White Paper: When Structural Adjustment Comes to Iraq


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[size]

Sardar Aziz

Sardar Aziz is a senior adviser in the Kurdish parliament as well as a researcher and writer. His areas of interest include civil-military relations, Middle East regional politics, and governing. He has a Ph.D. in Government from the University College Cork.


October 30, 2020

The international community supports the "White paper", Iraqi Minister of Finance says Picture1-630x356
Also available in Arabic




October 30, 2020

The Iraqi government has recently released a white paper detailing economic and financial reforms meant to lift the country out of its current economic straits. The White Paper for Economic Reforms—written by the Crisis Cell for Financial and Fiscal Reforms, established in May to manage the country’s fiscal reforms—largely proposes steps consistent with World Bank and IMF requirements for developing countries. While experts agree such tough measures are necessary, they will be difficult to implement and will likely face resistance from the Iraqi public.

In its release of the white paper, the current Iraqi government has made a new and unusual move in the country’s political history. Half of the detailed 96-page document is a diagnosis of Iraq’s economic problems and their origins. As the Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Ali Allawi tweeted on October 18, “Utilizing a scientific & objective vision, the White Paper identified Iraq's economic & financial problems which are real challenges that can only be overcome through strategic planning based on objective analysis of the reality & extracting strategic goals as urgent.”

In detailing the origins of these economic and financial woes, the white paper dates the country’s current crises back to the 1970s. The report describes how, for half a century, the state relied solely on the country's increasing oil revenues to ‘expand the public sector’ and ‘take direct and indirect state control over the economy.’ During this period, Iraq witnessed the emergence of a rentier state. These issues carried on into the 21st century through the failed implementation of "shock therapy" programs under the Coalition Provisional Authority, leaving the country with economic and financial systems characterized by a command economy, sectarian governing system, and significant degree of state intervention.

In response to the country’s troubled economic past, the white paper aims to construct a balance in the Iraqi economy by allowing the state to diversify it while creating new economic opportunities for Iraqi citizens. It builds its case for this diversity by referencing a 2019 IMF report, which warns that in “the absence of policy changes, a widening budget deficit will divert resources away from essential investment to rebuild the country and improve public services, while eroding reserves and posing risks to medium-term sustainability.” But the goals expressed in the paper are not easily achieved, as the implementation of the reforms will require harsh measures.

In 2003, then Iraq's interim trade minister Ali Allawi, the man behind the current white paper, stated, "we suffered through the economic theories of socialism, Marxism, and then cronyism. Now we face the prospect of free-market fundamentalism.” This kind of free-market fundamentalism is clearly present in the white paper. The paper’s recommendations strongly resemble the structural adjustment programs imposed on low- and intermediate-income countries by the IMF and the World Bank.

 These programs will often require governments to cut government spending on basic needs like education, health care, the environment, and price subsidies for basic necessities such as food grains. Additionally, these programs require governments to devalue their national currencies and increase exports, reducing real wages, and subsidizing export-oriented foreign investments. All these changes are meant to occur in a liberalized, open financial market.

But these types of policy changes will likely prove difficult in Iraq. In this case, reducing the rate of the wage bill to half, cutting subsidies, depreciating the currency, and borrowing are the main pillars of the white paper. None of these tasks will be simple, and many will be unpopular.

With regard to borrowing, the Iraqi government seeks to borrow $35 billion to finance its operations. The Iraqi parliament is not allowing the government to borrow from abroad, so domestic borrowing is the only option. But in a war-torn state, sources of domestic financing are slim.

Similarly, improving efficiency and spending in Iraq’s public sectors—especially through currency depreciation and cutting subsidies—will not be simple. For example, electricity, one of the main areas of public spending in Iraq, is a complex economic, technical and geopolitical problem in the country. IMF report 248/19 “recommended that spending measures should give priority to containing the growth in the wage bill and lowering subsidies to the electricity sector.”

However, these measures conflict with standing practices. In Iraq, there is an assumption that the state will provide and subsidize energy.

As former Iraqi Minister of Electricity Luay Al-Khatteeb put it, “Iraq’s power sector suffers from a plethora of problems. The country’s complex bureaucracy often hinders progress by focusing on ineffective short-term micro-technical solutions, instead of longer-term macro-institutional reforms. There is also a chronic inability to manage raw material for fuel in tandem with other energy portfolios and the wider business value chain. The sector is susceptible to the conflicting agendas of Iraq’s wide array of political actors that undermine a unified national vision for running it, entrenching it in mismanagement, and miring it in corruption.”

Given the complex nature of these issues in Iraq, political resistance to these reforms is likely. The white paper has arrived as Iraqis are discussing the process and outcomes of the general election next year, scheduled for June 2021. At such a time, it is hard to expect any political bloc to openly commit to such tough measures proposed by the White Paper. Critics also argue that it is not the duty of a caretaker government to come up with such medium-term economic reforms that will last until 2023, years into the term of the upcoming government.

Most of the measures are likely to be unpopular among Iraq’s populace as well. The focus on cutting wages is a double-edged sword. Public sector salaries are the only part of state spending that ends up in the local market and circulates among small and midsize businesses. Salaries therefore constitute an important benefit for ordinary people. The Iraqi government must execute the reduction of public wages gradually and carefully; halving salaries and devaluing the Iraqi currency would be a recipe for even more widespread poverty, already a crippling issue in Iraq.

Furthermore, devaluing the Iraqi currency may be difficult in the current global economy. From the state perspective, it is understandable to suggest devaluing the Iraqi dinar. Allawi appeared to suggest that a weaker dinar could help Iraqi goods become more competitive, potentially providing a boost to sectors like agriculture and manufacturing. “All of the countries that export to Iraq, like Turkey, Iran, China, and Saudi Arabia, have depreciated their currencies," Allawi said. "We can't be competitive if we keep staying with the same, stable dinar value."

But devaluing the dinar will help to improve Iraqi exports only if it drops to a value even lower than that of the currencies of those trading partners, which are already quite low. The Iranian rial has plummeted against the dollar, and the Turkish lira is in similar freefall. To depreciate the value of the dinar even lower than these currencies would be drastic and potentially dangerous.

As such, the Iraqi economy is trapped in a catch-22: experts have warned that Iraq will face insolvency without drastic action, but such drastic plans will likely result in great suffering for the majority of the Iraqi people. Critics have argued that the country should focus on cutting its large security and its defense budget.

The security issues in Iraq are conundrums. In destabilized areas, the Iraqi government employs youths in security sectors as a means of providing employment, which further inflates the security budget. Those who work in the security sector do not contribute to the economy, while mass employment in the security sector creates premises for corruption, ghost employees, and dual salaries. And in the case of popular mobilization forces, with an annual budget of two billion dollars, their security contribution is conditional. 

With an overall annual budget of $8 billion for the Ministry of Defense, critics have identified this sector as also needing reform, especially as throwing money at Iraq’s security challenges—a method loved by politicians everywhere—has not been demonstrated to solve Iraqi security issues.   

The white paper is a sign that Iraq needs a radical change not only in its economic policy but also in its other areas of governance. While all Iraqis rhetorically agree on the need for change, very few agree on the practical nature of what that change should look like. Nevertheless, the country has no easy choice even if it can agree on a way forward. The price of oil is not expected to rise soon, and budgetary issues are therefore not likely to improve. Since the current bleak outlook has convinced the Iraqi political class that the White Paper has to be supported, much will depend on the government’s decisions in managing its implementation.  
 
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