Ministry of Planning: Achieving Sustainable Development in Iraq

Ministry of Planning: Achieving Sustainable Development in Iraq

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Under the directives of the Iraqi government headed by Haider al-Abadi to all ministries and state institutions to promote the Iraqi reality and achieve stability and food security, he stressed the adoption of policies that will reduce poverty rates in the country, and provide employment opportunities for young people and promote the establishment of leading villages in the Iraqi countryside.

He stressed the need to continue to evaluate alternatives to the construction of economic housing to deal with random housing, and launch funding for completed projects (unpaid ones) for the housing of the poor and build schools, and adopt a national strategy, with the cooperation of all relevant ministries, to alleviate poverty in Iraq for the period 2018-2022.
Abadi stressed, during his chairmanship of the meetings of the Higher Committee for Poverty Alleviation Policies, the adoption of policies to reduce poverty rates at a clear rate and follow up those policies.
In the same context, the Committee approved the emergency project to support (social stability and steadfastness) and the distribution the loans of the World Bank to the projects of employment and for business purposes.
Within the framework of the plans for the next phase of development and reform, the Ministry of Planning under the chairmanship of Salman Jumaili will set out its tracks for achieving sustainable development and building a stable and secure Iraq, namely the 10-year reconstruction plan, the five-year development plan 2018-2022, the poverty reduction strategy and the development of the private sector. All these paths are part of Iraq’s vision to achieve the goals of sustainable development 2030.
Al-Jumaili stressed that Iraq is on the verge of a new stage of building, reconstruction and opening up to investment and seeking to attract large investors to the country, and this necessitates giving the Iraqi private sector the opportunity to be a strong competitor to companies and foreign investors. He pointed out that Iraq’s economic and investment relations have witnessed a significant development during the last close period including relations with brotherly countries.
The ministerial economic affairs committee, headed by Jumaili, decided to approve the mechanism of financing the project of the western breakwater of the port of Faw in Basra province, which is one of the important strategic projects, with a length of more than 16 kilometers. Al-Jumaili directed the relevant ministries to address problems and obstacles which face the completion of the implementation of the project.
The meeting was attended by the Ministers of Transport, Industry and Agriculture, the Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq, the Chairman of the National Investment Commission, the Economic Adviser to the Prime Minister, the Head of the Legal Department of the Prime Minister’s Office, the deputies off Ministers of Finance and Trade, the Director General of Rashid Bank and the General Manager and members of general company for grain manufacture.
The committee issued a statement that included a number of resolutions, including permitting Iraqi publishing houses and authors of books in Iraq to export their publications without obtaining the export license and approval of the importation of wheat by the two companies for the manufacture and trade of grain in the ministry of commerce to the account of private mills for the production of flour( zero flour ) according to mechanism set by them in coordination with the owners of the mills provided that the imported wheat is not leaked to the marketing outlets in coordination with the Ministry of Agriculture that the experiment is reviewed every six months.
The committee also decided to adopt a policy of supporting the national industry and the employment of local workers by encouraging exports by allowing the export of a number of materials including gravel, stone, broken stone, lime and sand, and urging the private sector to export manufactured dates, and to establish competitive companies to export dates and encourage the food industries. He added that the committee also decided to approve the completion of the building of Al-Nu’man Hospital in Adhamiya with the aim of upgrading medical services provided to citizens, developing the health situation in the capital and training doctors.
Al Jumaili said that the committee’s decisions are aimed at supporting the private sector, providing food security for the citizens, improving the sound economic policy, providing foreign currency and employing national manpower.
He added that the Ministry of Planning aims at developing the development process in line with the new economic developments of the country, disseminating the concepts of informatics, developing governmental performance, activating the role of international cooperation in the development process and raising the efficiency of government performance in preparing plans, developing statistical methods of work and integration of databases and upgrading quality as the final outcome of the development process. .
Jumaili called on the private sector to present its appropriate vision on the investment operations in the country, discuss with them the reality of the private sector and ways to expand its participation in the development march in the light of the next development plan and the economic openness of Iraq and reconstruction operations, especially that Iraq is coming to a new stage of construction and reconstruction and openness to investment
He stressed that the government wants the private sector to be effective and influential in achieving the development goals in the field of investment.
Al-Jumaili added that Iraq is on the verge of a new stage of building, reconstruction, opening up to investment, seeking to attract large investors to the country and being an active development partner in all investment sectors.
In the context of the Ministry of Planning has signed an agreement at the beginning of this year with the United Nations Development Program for the development of the private sector
The ministry explained its continuation in cooperation with UNDP and other development programs to implement a national strategy which came at the recommendation of the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers by the Ministry of Planning represented by its departments, the Department of Economic, Financial and Private Policy and other departments.
Al-Jumaili stressed that the great challenge is the economic advancement, which should be comprehensive for all citizens, especially young people, noting that the development of the private sector and its development is part of the strategy of the Ministry of Planning, which represents the nature of its cooperation with the United Nations Development Program through a cooperation agreement.
The Ministry of Planning focuses on the role of the private sector, as explained by Undersecretary of the Ministry of Planning for Technical Affairs Maher Hammad Johan, focusing on employing the bulk of the labor force to eliminate the expected unemployment due to the cessation of employment opportunities provided by the state to the public sector. As more than 200000 graduates graduated annually from Colleges and institutes, stressing the need to provide a place in the labor market for them, and to be partners in the development and beneficiaries or winners of all the economic development experienced by the country.
Johan expressed the hope that this partnership or agreement would put the country on the right track to implement the development goals. The aim of the agreement is to provide a framework of cooperation to facilitate coordination between the parties and mutual interest, monitor and evaluate the strategy for the implementation of the private sector development and provide funding and technical arrangements related to the implementation of the strategy of the Development of the private sector in Iraq.
Johan said that there are efforts to prepare for the five-year development plan 2018-2022, which resulted in important steps, will take into account the economic conditions that Iraq will pass during the next five years, calling for working to improve the management of assets to achieve the best results of the five-year plan,
In the view of the professor of economics at Mustansiriya University Wafa Al-Mahdawi, the population is the goal of development and its means and the basic engine of the wheel of growth and development, so Iraq was keen to localize its variables in the National Development Plan 2013-2017 in order to bridge the gap between population and development through a set of strategic objectives raised by the previous plan and The higher planning authorities have sought to implement various projects in the fields of health, education and other basic services that affect the quality of the life of Iraqi people in different age groups, especially young people.
The Director General of the Department of Economic and Financial Policies in the Ministry of Planning Alaeddin Jaafar, said that the macroeconomic plan, is that the non-oil revenues in Iraq to achieve a tangible development in light of the continuation of the current economic reality resulting from the financial crisis and the decline of economic activity and stop many development projects, Public or private sector. However , the concerned government’s corrective measures to enhance the public budget and the search for new revenues have contributed to improving the financial space available to the state.

Shatha Khalil
Economic unity
Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies