Iraqi PM meets head of World Bank as part of US visit

David Malpass voiced the World Bank’s commitment to supporting Iraq as the country aims to diversify its economy and combat corruption.

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Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi met the President of the World Bank, David Malpass, as part of his Washington D.C. trip. According to a readout from the meeting, Malpass affirmed the World Bank group’s commitment to supporting the Government of Iraq (GOI) in its efforts to achieve public sector administration reforms and bolstering the Iraqi private sector.

“President Malpass emphasized to Prime Minister al-Kadhimi the importance of infrastructure, banking sector reforms, and accelerating private sector investment in Iraq,” the readout continued.

Malpass highlighted the importance of infrastructure as Iraq has witnessed periodic electricity outages across the country during summer heatwaves.

Successive Iraqi governments attempted to tackle corruption, address economic instability and diversify Iraq’s economy. The last example of such attempts was the 2020 White Paper which called for reform in the financial and banking sectors.

Another delegation headed by the Vice President of the World Bank Group for the Middle East and North Africa, Farid Belhaj, had visited the Iraqi PM in his office in early June this year.

In June’s meeting, avenues to enhance cooperation between GOI and the World Bank and ways to devise and implement anti-corruption mechanisms were discussed.

A World Bank report published in the spring of 2021 had called for economic reform to develop Iraqi private sector to rid the country’s reliance on its oil revenues. The same report also showed that the Iraqi government was less likely to implement economic reforms during high oil income periods.

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