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Reforming and Transforming SOMO

By Ahmed Mousa Jiyad.

Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Reforming and Transforming SOMO

This analysis was presented via Skype Conference to the management and staff of Iraq’s State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) on 12th December 2017:

Please click here to download the presentation.

Mr Jiyad is an independent development consultant, scholar and Associate with the former Centre for Global Energy Studies (CGES), London. He was formerly a senior economist with the Iraq National Oil Company and Iraq’s Ministry of Oil, Chief Expert for the Council of Ministers, Director at the Ministry of Trade, and International Specialist with UN organizations in Uganda, Sudan and Jordan. He is now based in Norway (Email: mou-jiya(at)online.no, Skype ID: Ahmed Mousa Jiyad). Read more of Mr Jiyad’s biography here.

Iraqi, Turkish Investors eye Iranian Petrol Stations

By John Lee.

Private investors from Iraq and Turkey have reportedly held preliminary negotiations with Iran to expand and modernize its fuel stations.

According to a report from Petrol Plaza, there are 3,600 fuel stations and 2,400 compressed natural gas (CNG) stations in Iran which need renovation and investment.

To date, more than 250 state-controlled fuel stations have been privatized in the country.

(Source: Petrol Plaza)

(Picture credit: Asadi S)

Iraq Falls in Ease of Doing Business Index

By John Lee.

Iraq has been ranked 168th out of 190 countries in the World Bank‘s recent Doing Business 2018 report, down from 165th place the previous year.

Despite the fall in the rankings, the report notes that over the previous year Iraq simplified the process of starting a business by combining multiple registration procedures and reducing the time to register a company, and it launched a new credit registry, improving access to credit information.

Top of the list were New Zealand, Singapore and Denmark, with last place going to Somalia, just behind Eritrea and Venezuela. Iran ranked 124th, with Libya 185th.

Doing Business measures regulations affecting 11 areas of the life of a business. Ten of these areas are included in this year’s ranking on the ease of doing business: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency. Doing Business also measures labor market regulation, which is not included in this year’s ranking.

(Source: World Bank)

Generous German Funding helps Vulnerable People in Iraq

The Federal Foreign Office of Germany has generously donated EUR 30 million (USD 34.8 million) to the Iraq Humanitarian Fund (IHF), a pooled fund led by the Humanitarian Coordinator and managed by OCHA.

“We are deeply grateful to the German Government and the German people for this very generous contribution,” said the Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, Ms. Lise Grande (pictured).

The German Government has already channelled USD 10.9 million to the IHF, bringing Germany’s total contribution for the year to the pooled fund to USD 45.7 million.

“The pooled fund is the backbone of the humanitarian operation in Iraq,” said Ms. Grande. “More than 125 projects targeting 4.2 million Iraqis in nine governorates have received funding through the IHF in 2017 alone.”

“The military campaign against ISIL is over, but the humanitarian crisis is not,” said Ms. Grande.

“More than 3.3 million Iraqis are displaced–hundreds of thousands are living in camps and improvised shelters. They need help.”

The IHF has provided more than USD 70 million to front-line partners in support the Mosul humanitarian operation. In October 2017, USD 14 million was allocated for the Hawiga operation. “Millions of Iraqis have suffered terribly,” said Ms. Grande.

“Our top priority now is to help ensure that people who need help receive it. In the months ahead we will be working closely with the Government so that people are able to return to their homes safely, voluntarily and in dignity.’

(Source: OCHA)

Modernization of Public Administration “is KRG priority”

KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani inaugurated the new building of Kurdistan Institute of Public Administration (KIPA) on Tuesday.

In a speech, Prime Minister Barzani stated, he hopes that KIPA “will continue to work diligently to provide the much needed services of building the capacities of Kurdistan Regional Government’s civil servants.”

Below is the transcript of Mr. Barzani’s speech:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good Morning.  I would like to welcome you all to this ceremony of inaugurating the new building of Kurdistan Institute of Public Administration (KIPA). I would like to specially welcome the Republic of Korea’s Ambassador to Iraq Mr. Song Wong-Yeob, Korean Consul General in the Kurdistan Region and the Head of Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) in Baghdad. I especially welcome Professor Park who came from Seoul specifically to this occasion and I welcome you all again.

Today, human resources’ development is important for change and progress in all sectors and major fields, especially in the fields of governance and administration. Capacity building and Development is key to the development of Administrative, economic, social and cultural sectors.

Competency and capacity are very important for human resources. One of the main pillars of human resources’ development is training. That is equipping the staff member with up-to-date information and more knowledge about their field of work. Information and knowledge get updated continuously. In order to enable the KRG institutions and their staff to cope with the progress in all fields, especially good governance, the KRG should make training and capacity building part of its human resources development strategy.

Therefore, all technical, material and moral necessities should be made available for this purpose and all parties and individuals should be urged to adhere to implement the directives and instructions related to capacity building and training. And this is, again, for the purpose of developing the civil service in administrative, technical and theoretical areas based on modern principles.

KOGAS Recoups Investment in Zubair

By John Lee.

The state-owned Korea Gas Corporation (KOGAS) has said that it has recouped its $2.49 billion investment in the Zubair oil field in southern Iraq.

According to a report from Yonhap, the company has recovered $2.53 million as of December, which exceeds its initial outlay.

The oilfield is currently producing around 360,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

The project primarily involves the drilling of more than 200 wells, the construction of treatment and storage facilities and refurbishment of the existing facilities.

(Source: Yonhap)

Iraqi Encourages French Companies to Invest

By John Lee.

Oil Minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi [Allibi, Luiebi] has hosted a meeting in Baghdad with the French Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, confirming the significance of the economic and financial relations between the two countries.

Both sides expressed hopes for major cooperation in all sectors, including oil, industrial, agricultural, commercial, transportation, and housing.

Mr. Lemoyne said that he saw a keenness from the Iraqi side to encourage and invite the French companies to invest in Iraq.

(Source: Office of the Iraqi Prime Minister)

New Report: Iraqi Security Forces, Popular Mobilization Forces

By John Lee.

The Institute for the Study of War has issued a new report — Iraqi Security Forces and Popular Mobilization Forces: Orders of Battle — in which it claimes that the liberation Daesh’s urban holdings in Iraq was necessary but not sufficient to secure America’s vital national interests.

It says ISIS has lost neither the will nor the capability to fight, even as it withdraws into desert hideouts and sleeper cell formations in November 2017.

Rather, dispersed ISIS militants have begun an insurgent campaign in northern and western Iraq as some of its foreign fighters have returned to their home countries to serve in ISIS’s external operations network.

The report includes considerable detail on the various players and agencies involved in security in Iraq.

Click here to download the full report.

(Source: Institute for the Study of War)

New Career Opportunities in Iraq

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraq:

(Source: UN)

New Career Opportunities in Iraqi Kurdistan

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraqi Kurdistan:

(Source: UN)