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IBBC hosts ‘privatisation in Iraq’ seminar
Professor Frank Gunter presented the advisory panel’s paper on Privatisation of State Owned Enterprises in Iraq to IBBC members and audiences. The presentation was followed by expert comments and a discussion.
Two key themes emerged as to why privatisation is important; To develop and advocate for the private sector in Iraq to enable the profitable evolution of Iraq SOE’s for the good of the economy, efficiency, competition and a diverse economy, and to have a private sector that can, in addition to achieving economic growth, address the pressing need to provide new jobs and opportunities for the increasingly unemployed Iraqi youth ( now 16.5% , up from 13.5% in 2021), as the public sector is no longer able to generate additional employment as a growing private sector is really the only solution.
Other points made included the need for investment, according to a structured plan, into old-fashioned industries and marketing expertise, as well as the upgrade the skills and technical knowledge of older and less skilled employees.
Historically Iraq had a plan for development from the early 50s to the late 60s of the last century with a development council that managed Government money to deliver infrastructures and development needs, education in particular, which was successful and led to Iraq having most of its key mega infrastructures and regional educational leadership, perhaps a similar structure is now required.
The legal basis for privatisation is to be made and the use of the term privatisation needs to be explicit, as does the political groundwork to allow commitment, consistent policy and dedication to ensuring the process and methods are bespoke to Iraq and work well.