Significant developments in Iraq's external financial transactions

Central Bank of Iraq reps hold meetings with U.S. officials to increase external transfers

BAGHDAD, November 11 — An Iraqi government source shared on Saturday that intense negotiations have taken place in recent days between the Central Bank of Iraq and the United States to facilitate procedures for external transfers.

According to the official source, meetings took place in Abu Dhabi between a CBI delegation and U.S. representatives responsible for external transfer operations. The negotiations reportedly led to a series of decisions and mechanisms to facilitate procedures related to external transfers for imports via foreign currency exchanges.

The agreement is expected to bolster pre-existing U.S. dollar account balances of five Iraqi banks held in Jordanian banks, facilitating transfers through JP Morgan. Issues related to rejected transfers were resolved, and a strong basis for refusal was established.

Additional meetings between a UAE bank, the CBI, and the U.S. side concluded with a pilot plan to enhance Iraqi balances in dirhams – the UAE’s official currency. All technical details were finalized, and the plan is expected to begin in the coming days.

Negotiations are also underway to boost some Iraqi bank balances in euros with UBAF Bank to finance trade with the European Union. The number of banks with balances in Chinese yuan through the Development Bank of Singapore have also increased.

Six Iraqi banks have opened accounts with Development Bank of Singapore, with seven more expected to be added shortly to finance Iraqi imports from China, estimated at around $12 billion annually. This mechanism is anticipated to contribute to financing Iraq’s imports from India, especially pharmaceuticals and food, valued at approximately $3 billion.