Twenty Years of Changing the Economic System: Where Are We Now?
KAPITA’s Business Hub hosted a gathering of local business leaders on April 13th. The highlight of the evening was a panel discussion on Iraq's economy, featuring a group of prominent experts and moderated by economics journalist Salam Zaydan.
The aim of this meeting was to discuss what advances, setbacks, and changes, in general, happened in Iraq’s economy for the past 20 years since the fall of the Socialist Ba’ath regime and how Iraq has recovered from the decade of economic sanctions.
The panelist that were invited to share their view on the subject matter were; Basim Antwan; vice president of the Iraqi economists cooperation, Falah Al-Ameri; former general manager of State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO), Tamara Hussein; an expert in the stock exchange market, Abbas Al-Anbori; Founder of Rewaq Baghdad Center for Public Policy.
Attendees were treated to an informative discussion, with the panelists offering a range of perspectives on the state of Iraq's economy pre and post-2003 and the potential for growth and development. Following the discussion, there was a networking session where attendees had the chance to connect with their peers and discuss the evening's insights.
Falah Al-Ameri; former general manager of State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) said: " The oil sector was used to fuel public employment rather than being used for investment. This has made the public feel that the government is entitled to provide everything for them. Which, in reality today, is infeasible given the fact that the Iraqi population has risen exponentially."
As a conclusion to the discussion: There is a long way to go for Iraq to have a free market-based economy. The past century promised a free market economy, but then it was vandalized by socialist political agendas for decades. The result today is a hybrid between the two systems that is unsustainable. There must be a serious commitment for the Iraqi government, today and in the near future, to reconsider its approach to the economy. It seems that the reality on the ground would force a free market capitalist economy to be the norm, but the question remains, at what cost would that transition happen?”
For more information on future events and initiatives from KAPITA Business Hub, visit kapita.iq
About KAPITA's Business Meetups:
KAPITA's Business Meetups serve as a space for entrepreneurs, startups, stakeholders, and interested individuals to meet and connect with professionals and help them share their experiences, expertise, and advice. As well as deliver an accurate image of the different sectors of Iraq in an open discussion that targets various topics.
They also provide an excellent opportunity to build professional relationships through networking, in addition to the valuable information that is presented.