Below Shredd & Timmy's notes from Strykers Web TV Call - Post From BondLadys Corner
Below is the link to the replay of the radio/webtv show :
Stryker Web /TV on Demand LINK
(When Page come up click on title or date for show to watch)
Guests - BondLady - Shredd & Timmy from BondLadys Corner
These are Shredds and timmy's notes from the show:
Shredd: Like many of us, I have friends, family and business partners invested in the dinar based on their investment strategies or their trust in my judgment. Some watch the dinar very closely while others invested and check in periodically to see how it’s doing.
When they check in with me, I often tell them what I’m about to tell you....Follow the money. Follow the money! Follow the money!
As we know, Iraq has amazing potential. The possibility of investors to make money in Iraq is huge. Why has it taken this long? Well, just as there is an appetite for Return On Investment, there is also a level of tolerance for RISK. Iraq has had the ongoing challenge of reducing the perception of RISK….and in many cases, especially in the earlier years after the war, the RISK was real—not just perceived.
Read More Link On Right
The level of risk today is more perceived than real and the ISX is a perfect example. The ISX first was incorporated and began operations in June 2004. Many gurus don’t know that. We’ve only just been hearing more about it because of some big names like Asiacell jumping onto it. An article from March 5th titled “ACL shares doubled capital of the Iraqi Stock Exchange” LINK
says it best: The capital market has doubled in the month of February…the success of IPO ACL, has given confidence to investors of Iraqis and non-Iraqis that the Iraqi market can manage this process and the biggest of them, too."
Think of it this way, all of us on this call and all those listening made a decision in the past to buy dinar. Why? Hopefully you did your homework and made a calculated decision to give up some of your hard earned cash to buy the Iraqi currency. You had to weigh RISK versus REWARD.
Investors on a global basis are doing the same thing. Some have jumped into the Iraqi market but so many are waiting. Believe it or not, investors will jump on an opportunity if others do. Going back to some of you, you may have decided to buy dinar solely based on the trust of someone else doing their diligence.
For example, what if the most trusted businessman or public figure you respect made a public statement that he/she believes in Iraq and has decided to buy billions of dinar? For some, it wouldn’t matter but for others, that may be enough for them to follow suit.
So along these lines, we are continually seeing articles on banking and investment that may largely go unnoticed. These are continually showing us the opening door to investors and the global partnership Iraq has.
Let me go to a few articles...
Rikabi: trade and investment agreement with the United States will contribute to the advancement of the Iraqi economy March 9, 2013 LINK
BAGHDAD (Iba) .. Considered a member of the Economic Committee MP Ibrahim al-Rikabi, the Convention on Iraq for trade and investment with the United States is a good agreement and appropriate their time came that Iraq needs to relations Trade and economic exchange between him and the European countries.
Rikabi, told the independent press (Iba) that "Iraq Compact with America on trade will put many positives about Iraq's trade is consistent with the requirements of the national economy, pointing out: that the United States of America with economics sophisticated it can through this agreement to achieve exchanged commercially, economically sobering rise of the Iraqi economy. "
This is a good agreement, at the appropriate time, making Iraq consistent in trade within the national economy!!!
Shaways: Iraqi agreement - U.S. entered into force and Washington confirms Iraq's recovery from the crises Thursday, 07 March / LINK
Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Rose Nuri Shaways, Thursday, entering the agreement between Iraq and the United States into force in 2005, while stressing Washington's ambassador to Baghdad, said economic cooperation with Iraq evidence recovering from crises.
Shaways said on the sidelines of a ceremony held to mark the Convention's entry into force in Baghdad for "obelisk", "Iraq wants to accomplish foreign investment and entry of foreign businessmen, especially from the United States for these companies from the experiences of leading global and huge potential."
He added, that "Iraq is seeking to make the necessary adjustments in the investment law and the laws and regulations chock him to create a fertile environment attractive for foreign investment and local levels."
For his part, the U.S. ambassador in Iraq, Stephen Beecroft, who headed the delegation of the U.S. side for "obelisk", that "economic cooperation with Iraq evidence of Iraq's recovery from the crises it also represents an important breakthrough for the two countries and investors as well."
The increasingly active U.S. companies operating in the sectors of energy, defense and information technology, automotive and transportation in Iraq .
Iraq wants and is seeing foreign investment and there are increasingly more US companies coming into Iraq and this is a breakthrough for not only the US and Iraq, but for investors as well…..even at the local level!
And another related article, here’s an excerpt:
America and Iraq are close to trade and investment agreement after eight years of negotiation Friday, 08 March LINK
Said the U.S. Trade Representative's office said an agreement between the United States and Iraq to promote trade and investment links are expected to come into force later this year after eight years of negotiation.
So, a trade agreement which will promote not only trade but INVESTMENT will come into FORCE this year!
Lastly, I wanted to point out that there is work that needs to continue to be done….
Economist: the development of the banking system will contribute to the promotion of investments in the country
Date: 03/10/2013 14:24:30 Sunday LINK
Hashemi said (of the Agency news): The development of the banking system will contribute significantly to advancing investment through encourage investors to come to the country for the purpose of work and investment. added: must amend the investment law according to developments in the world to encourage investors in terms of granting facilities and assistance to them and to reduce red tape. explained: that failure Iraqi banking system has a big role Ptlka investment process in the country, calling for new legislation for banks format makes local banks to meet the needs of investors.
When we see the word “investment” in many of these articles, you can tell that it means different things depending on the speaker. For some, investment means global institutional investors, like the audience of the banking and investment seminar last fall. For others, investment means at the grass roots or “street” level like this article implies.
So, this is just a sample of what we have been seeing around banking and investment but if you look at the big picture of the final preparations as well as the beginning signs of a flood of investment coming to Iraq, you just can’t help but to be excited!
WTO ascension and an internationally recognized dinar is part of this equation and I believe we are very close to seeing this unfold. How will the dinar grow in value? That remains to be seen but any way you look at it, we win!
So many of you are anxious to cash in and perhaps frustrated, but you need to understand that so much has been and continues to be accomplishes. The stage is being set and money, and the power it brings, is KING. Our day is coming and each and every day we are seeing proof of progress. Hold on and hang in there and train yourself to look for the progress and not just the rate because it will give you tremendous peace of mind and the hope we all crave!
I am going to talk about the world trade organization. Trying to get an inside look into the WTO accession process has been one of the hardest things I have done to date. The whole process is shrouded in secrecy while documents reviewed by the accession working party remaining restricted until negotiations are completed. In many cases, both parliament members and citizens of the country do not know what is at stake.
The accession process forces the applicant country to make many concessions to the members of the WTO as well as changing their domestic and national regulations in order to conform to the new agreements.
So the first thing I looked for was information about the working party, what and who are they? I stumbled onto a website (US govt) that would only allow me a 3 second view before going blank so after about 20 times I was able to find out who some of the working party is for Iraq's accession.
They are the US, no surprise there and China, Brazil and European Union I am sure there are others but thats what I caught. In 2007 The Chair of Iraq's Working Party was H.E. Claudia Uribe, Ambassador for Colombia. So each country has a representative on the working party.
As I said the information is difficult to find for Iraq so I studied Saudi Arabia and their accession. It took Saudia Arabia 10 years to accend well 12 really if you count the 2 years prior to the formation of the WTO. They officially accended 11 dec 2005.
The intersting thing about Saudi Arabia is that I was able to see the process in the official documents as they were released after the accession. In 2005 the last hurdle, and one of the toughest, were the talks with the US, which were completed in September 2005. Bilateral agreements with most other countries were completed the year before.
Saudi Arabia had been changing its commercial and economic laws over those past few years to comply with the WTO’s rules. Where it has been noticeable and where it had the greatest effect so far is in the distribution, telecommunication, banking and insurance sectors.
Its my impression that these "agreements and laws" are the last step in the accession process. The agreements are you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours. Let me quote
"Bilateral negotiations: The applicant government engages in bilateral negotiations with interested Working Party members on concessions and commitments on market access for goods and services. The results of these bilateral negotiations are consolidated into a document which is part of the final “accession package”.
We will allow your accession if there is something in it for us and that is exactly what Saudi Arabia did ! So where is Iraq ? Well we know for a fact that a trade agreement with Unites States has been signed and I confirmed that on the website of the Executive Office of the President of the United States ( ustr.gov ) so thats one member of the working party happy.
So I needed to find out about the rest of the working party and did my research and found Iraq signed agreements and passed two laws in 2012 with China and the European Union and have signed agreements with Brazil. So I would say we could check off the agreements.
Next comes the laws . BondLady has continually said that the remaining laws are critical to Iraqs progress and she is absolutley correct ! If 90 % of the countries export is oil then of course a reasonable person could assume you will need the HCL law in force. Another critical law that has already been passed is the Copyright protection law (Intellectual Property Law) so why is that important ?
Let me quote Ms Urbine the chair of the working party " Next steps :Iraq will prepare documents on agriculture, services, technical barriers to trade, sanitary and intellectual property. It will also prepare a general legislative action plan providing members with a state of play of current and future legislation. "
A free market economy is another requirement as well as Members must allow international transfers and payments for current transactions relating to specific commitments entered into under that agreement.
So the WTO wants Iraq to be specific about payments and they have because on Feb 25, 2013 Finance Committee MP Bayati said " be directed the Central Bank to support investment in dinars will support the national currency and the Iraqi economy, calling to rely on the dinar all insider and external to increase its value and enhance the confidence of the world and be a competitor of currencies International. " LINK
Check that off the list too. One of the last things is according to article 4 of the WTO requirements is
(a) the strengthening of their domestic services capacity and its efficiency and competitiveness, inter alia (latin = amoung other things) through access to technology on a commercial basis;
(b) the improvement of their access to distribution channels and information networks; ( so the wto wants an electronic system) LINK
I know that Iraq is getting ready to fully implement the tariffs for two reasons, one its a requirement and two because they have requested from the WTO "We are prepared tables within the Harmonized System which was released in 2002, which consists of eight figures, and asked the organization to work on a modern system consisting of ten figures add another digit tariff," LINK
this is kind of like a bar code for everything taxed.
The Harmonized System – Tariff Classification
The HS is a structured, hierarchical system; meaning it has progressively more specific levels of detail. then adds Tariff items for additional detail and to assign rates of duty, and statistical WTO Requirements
Foreign exchange and payments
Applicants need to describe how their exchange rate is determined, whether their currency is convertible, whether foreign exchange is freely available for trade and payments purposes, whether any regulations exist relating to the retention of foreign currencies, or repatriation or surrender requirements. Applicants should also describe their balance of payments situation.
While foreign exchange questions are within the jurisdiction of the IMFand trade policy questions within the competence of the WTO,128foreign exchange questions and trade policy questions are interrelated. Of most direct relevance to the WTO is whether foreign exchange is freely available in payment for current account transactions, as exporters need to know how they will be paid. The WTO therefore recognizes this interrelationship.
The GATT 1994 provides that Members must not, by exchange action, frustrate the intent of its provisions and that they must either be members of the Fund or enter into a special exchange agreement with the WTO.129GATS provides thatMembers must allow international transfers and payments for current transactions relating to specific commitments entered into under that agreement. ( General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade ) LINK
In the agreements: more time, better terms
The WTO agreements include numerous provisions giving developing and least-developed countries special rights or extra leniency— “special and differential treatment”. Among these are provisions that allow developed countries to treat developing countries more favourably than other WTO members.
The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT, which deals with trade in goods) has a special section (Part 4) on Trade and Development which includes provisions on the concept of non-reciprocity in trade negotiations between developed and developing countries— when developed countries grant trade concessions to developing countries they should not expect the developing countries to make matching offers in return.
Both GATT and the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) allow developing countries some preferential treatment.
Other measures concerning developing countries in the WTO agreements include:
extra time for developing countries to fulfil their commitments (in many of the WTO agreements)
provisions designed to increase developing countries’ trading opportunities through greater market access (e.g. intextiles, services, technical barriers to trade)
provisions requiring WTO members to safeguard the interests of developing countries when adopting some domestic or international measures (e.g. inanti-dumping, safeguards, technical barriers to trade)
provisions for various means of helping developing countries (e.g. to deal with commitments on animal and plant health standards, technical standards, and in strengthening their domestic telecommunications LINK
One last note we have seen 5 articles since August talking about Iraq's mission to promote the maritime sector through the help of the International Maritime Organization which will help facilitate trade and the International Maritime Organization is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships.
So now we know Iraq is on the verge of accession and with that comes a currency with value and status !
To follow up on the question asked on the show about the frequency of WTO meetings below is the link to the WTO schedule of meetings for 2013. thank you !