The inaugural session of the Annual Iraqi Banking Conference in the Kurdistan Region, organized by the Iraqi Private Banks League, has kicked off under the theme "The Banking Sector's Role in Catalyzing Growth and Investment."
The session convened prominent figures, including the Chairman of the National Investment Commission, Dr. Heydar Makiya, the Deputy Vice Minister of Finance, Mr. Masoud Heydar, the Chairman of the Kurdistan Region Investment Commission, Mr. Mohammed Choukri, the World Bank Group's Representative of the International Finance Corporation in Iraq, Bilal Al Zighayir, and moderated by Ali Tariq Mustaf, the Executive Director of Iraqi Private Banks League.
Heydar Makiya, the Chairman of the National Investment Commission, stated that the banking sector is capable of financing development projects in Iraq and leading the development in the economy. He also added that the Investment Commission had urged the need for private banks to participate in lending to the investors or beneficiaries of development projects.
On the other side, the Deputy Vice Minister of Finance, Masoud Heydar, confirmed that the Ministry of Finance has been working on the governmental banks reforming, implementing the comprehensive banking system, and transforming the work into electronic. The Ministry of Finance wishes to support private banks to encourage economic activity and provide loans to investors.
Mohammed Choukri, the Chairman of the Kurdistan Region Investment Commission, stated that the Kurdistan Region welcomes all investors with open arms to invest in projects. The Investment Commission is working continuously to create an ideal environment for investors and resolve any issues they may encounter.
On the other hand, the Representative of the International Finance Corporation in Iraq, Bilal Al Zighayir, pointed out that the banks need to develop their abilities, starting with employees and not ending with the banking system, the work model, and providing comprehensive banking services. He also cited that Iraq needs financing of 233 billion dollars by the end of year 2040 to finance the private and governmental sector projects.
Al Zighayir called for an office of credit information that enables banks to recognize the economic conditions of companies wishing to loan. Banks are entrusted with depositors' money, so when lending money, it must go to the right place without any significant risks.
The session concluded with a note of gratitude from Ali Tariq, the Executive Director of the Iraqi Private Banks League, to the session members and attendees. He emphasized that the private banking sector is experiencing significant growth and requires state support by increasing its deposits, which will help resolve credit issues encountered by investors.