Newspapers issued in Baghdad today, Thursday, October 5, followed the political and economic implications of dollar smuggling, and the Central Bank’s decisions regarding the dollar and foreign transfers.
Al-Sabah newspaper, issued by the Iraqi Media Network, said: “Specialists in financial and economic affairs have warned that the issue of dollar smuggling carries a political connotation, in addition to the economic dimension, and that influential parties stand behind its continuation.”
In this regard, it referred to the rapporteur of the Parliamentary Finance Committee for the fourth session, Dr. Ahmed Al-Saffar: as saying “The funds smuggled outside Iraq are very large, and what was recovered is perhaps less than 1% of the volume of funds accumulated outside Iraq, which belong to influential parties and were invested in giant projects that benefited the host countries,” stressing that “this matter requires a strong will on the part of the Iraqi government and a policy, organization, and committees through which coordination is made with those countries that must cooperate to recover these funds, which are, in most cases, benefiting from their presence, and thus recovery process is difficult.
Regarding dollar smuggling, Al-Saffar said: “The dollar smuggling process is a political, economic and financial process, and the main factor that prevents the recovery of the dinar’s price is the political factor. Iraq has become an arena for conflicts, interests and political conflict between countries that form entities that agree with American interests and others that are punished and prohibited economically from the circulation of the dollar, because this is a sovereign process for Washington, and there is a conflict between America and these regional countries that have a commercial, economic, political and social relationship with Iraq,” indicating that “if the political solution is achieved, the official dollar exchange rate can be restored, and the other factor is smuggling the dollar represents the structural imbalance of the Iraqi economy in light of the absence of a real domestic product, and the country’s dependence on importing all of its needs by 95%, which are paid in dollars.”
For his part, the head of the Regional Center for Studies, Ali Al-Sahib, indicated in an interview with Al-Sabah that “although the Federal Integrity Commission was able, within one month, to recover approximately (219) billion Iraqi dinars, the smuggling of dollars abroad has reached levels exceeding $600 billion since 2003.”
He pointed out that “the Integrity Commission, with its new administration, was able to manage the file with good steps and recovered to the Iraqi treasury about 300 billion Iraqi dinars from corruption files at home, but what remains important, even more important, is the amount of money looted and smuggled abroad, which figures indicate that it is around 600 billion dollars.”
Al-Zawraa newspaper, which is published by the Iraqi Journalists Syndicate, followed the Central Bank’s decisions regarding the dollar and foreign transfers.
It quoted economic expert Safwan Qusay as saying that: “The Central Bank of Iraq is trying to adopt the Iraqi dinar to sell all types of goods within the Iraqi borders, and this restores the prestige of the Iraqi dinar,” stressing the need for all regulatory agencies to cooperate with this policy, because the monetary authority is the one that has the power to regulate trade transactions in the country’s currency.
He added: “The Central Bank is trying to organize the external financial transfer process through the electronic platform, and also whoever requests the transfer to any currency in the world for the purposes of purchase, import, tourism, treatment, study, and any legitimate purpose whose owner possesses real documents gets any currency in the world that he wishes to transfer to it, provided that the supplier of this commodity is known and not subject to sanctions, as well as the ability of the Iraqi bank to transfer funds to the correspondent bank.”
He pointed out: “The process of consolidating financial transfers will lead to increasing the ability of Iraqi banks to attract international capital, and thus move the compass of global investment towards the Iraqi land,” stressing that “monetary policy is moving in this direction, although there is a need to support monetary policy by all types of businessmen according to their levels, because continuing to demand the dollar from the informal market and also trying to bring goods into Iraq in an irregular way has exhausted the Iraqi economy, and everyone should be aware of the inability to obtain the dollar for informal purposes, and gradually the dollar will become scarce from the informal market, and they will not find any hard currency in the informal market.”
Source: National Iraqi News Agency