News from a short visit to Iraq – April/May 2011

Lord Hylton

News from a short visit to Iraq – April/May 2011

1:  The situation for some may be slowly improving.  Private housing construction in Baghdad is to be seen all over.  The rush hour traffic is intense.

 2:  But unemployment remains high in a young population.  Public services remain poor, especially in electricity, water, sanitation, public transport, health and education.  Lack of government revenue and administrative capacity mean that improvements will be slow.

 3:  There have been public protests against corruption and the shortcomings mentioned above.  Key posts in Government have not been filled, leaving the Prime Minister overburdened.

 4:  Parliament has not yet decided on a new oil and gas law, a constitutional issues and on the future of Kirkuk and Mosul, important cities in the north.

 5:  Violence against Christians and other minorities has dropped off sharply in the last 3 months.  The occasional bomb or rocket can still be heard.

 6:  Urgent issues affecting the security and sovereignty of Iraq remain to be resolved, before the remaining US forces leave at the end of 2011.

 7:  The Rule of law and full parliamentary democracy will take a long time to become fully established.

 8:  Iraq needs inward investment urgently.  I can nevertheless understand that entrepreneurs may find more attractive opportunities in rapidly growing economies elsewhere


May 2011

4 comments for “News from a short visit to Iraq – April/May 2011

  1. Gareth Howell
    06/05/2011 at 5:14 pm

    Thanks to the noble Lord, conflict resolver, Hylton, for the update on Iraq.

    “Iraq needs inward investment urgently. I can nevertheless understand that entrepreneurs”

    No Production Sharing so no investment. Not really surprising! If they were masters of their own oil revenues, that would not be so.

  2. Twm o'r Nant
    07/05/2011 at 8:19 am

    The burgeoning of the mega-metropolis of Lagos Nigeria is in small part due to the Oil revenues, albeit corrupt ones, that the country enjoys.

    The main cause of the sudden and vast expansion of the city is the flight to the city of all rural workers in Africa over the last 20 years or so; their industrial revolution,(industrial revolutions having become shorter and shorter since the British experience between 1780-1920)

    But where has oil revenue left Iraq by comparison with Nigeria? Probably worse off.

    Why? PSAs (Production Sharing Agreements) are the basis of the profit in the business, and they are written by lawyers in London and Chicago to exploit the maximum profit for those who draw them up.

    Geography may be another reason, for greater maximisation in the Gulf.

  3. Senex
    08/05/2011 at 2:43 pm

    I put the success down to the BBC and the ‘Top Gear’ trio in Iraq.

    Ref: Top Gear: Middle East Special

    • maude elwes
      11/05/2011 at 3:12 pm

      If I were you, I would ask the infamous T.Blair to transfer all his investments into the needy situation in Iraq. After all, he destroyed it as an ongoing modern society. He should therefore be willing to impoverish himself to give them a leg up.

      The tax payer of the UK has done all it can for that country. It’s time Bush and his cohorts clubbed together and lived in lesser comfort to help out those they exploited there.

      Or, you could ask the rich Arab nations to do their duty toward their fellow Muslims.

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