Final statement of the fourth economic forum
Fourth Economic Forum
Ladies and gentlemen, the honorable attendees all
Peace be upon you
The Iraqi alliance for transparency in extractive industries and boosting resource management is a first step to build a transparent democratic Iraq so the Iraqi people can enjoy its benefits through wise management of its natural resources that have been gifted by God. Therefore, based on the coalition’s message that calls for enhancing the transparency of extractive industries resources as well as activating the role of governance in its management, the Iraqi alliance for transparency in extractive industries convened on Saturday 21 November 2020, the fourth economic forum. In this regard, the forum was mainly funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation. Remarkably, the forum was discussed the fundamental issues in related development with the extractive industries revenues in Iraq as its formulated in a set of axes that occupied our attention and our lives, with the hope that together we would paint the features of a bright future free of crises for our future generations.
The forum discussed the OPEC+ agreement and its effect on the decline in oil revenues as well as the Iraqi economy. In addition, the discussions attempt to draw expectations of oil revenues until 2022 due to the Iraq's commitment to OPEC+ agreement and the continuing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the world economy. Moreover, set of discussions had rose in the 4th economic forum to identify the reform opportunities and changes in the structure of the Iraqi economy. Set of reform in axis of Iraq budgets were discussed in order to reduce the risk on the rest of the basic economic sectors. This will be achieved by improving the Iraqi budgets in a way that reduces dependence on oil revenues and apply a methodology that allows achieving sustainable development for Iraq through adopting transparency in extractive industries and reducing corruption which contributed to the erosion of oil resources.
The following are the most important recommendations reached by the researchers, speaker and the participants in their involvements within the three axes:
- Expanding the manufacturing industries and refineries in Iraq and exporting oil products instead of crude oil to achieve higher revenues and support the effective contributions of the private sector in this field.
- Shifting towards program budgets and linking them to sustainable development in line with the Iraqi constitution.
- Reducing operating expenses to the maximum possible and reviewing the administrative structure and structuring salaries, bonuses, allowances, and benefits.
- Activating the e-government, especially about public finance, to control expenditures and revenues with the use of the unified account for government expenditures.
- Activating and protecting the productive sector by protecting border crossings and solving the problem of electricity and infrastructure.
- Development of other sectors such as agriculture, industry, and tourism to reduce dependence on oil revenues.
- Improving the implementation of the extractive industries transparency will be achieved by reducing the corruption in Iraq. In addition, the recognition of the full role of civil society as a partner in the implementation and decisions within the Council of Stakeholders for the initiative and not being alone in the decision by the government or violating the powers of the Council.
- It is important to deal with civil society to recognize the building of a broad civil space by spreading the rights of individuals in the revenues of extractive industries and increases the strength of the initiative and its impact on society.
- Civil society should be empowered to deliver its message.
- Finally, we would like to present our appreciative gratitude to the ladies and gentlemen who took the effort to attend and participate. Our thanks are also extended to the session chairs and the distinguished speakers who enriched and expanded upon what they presented, and thanks go to all those who contributed word and effort to the success of this forum.
Iraqi Alliance for Transparency in Extractive Industries
Wrote in Baghdad