Iraq: Private Sector Development Division of CPA

House of Lords written question – answered on 12th February 2004.

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Photo of Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay Lord Oakeshott of Seagrove Bay Shadow Minister, Treasury

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they support the privatisation programme for state-owned industries undertaken by the private sector development division of the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq; how many United Kingdom citizens are involved in the programme; and whether the programme is compatible with the aim of a democratic Iraq controlling its own economic policy.

Photo of Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean Minister of State (Middle East), Foreign & Commonwealth Office, Minister of State (Middle East)

The role and tasks of the private sector development division of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), as described on the division's website, http://www.cpa-iraq.org/economy/priv—sect—dvlpt.html, are "helping the state-owned enterprises resume normal operations, developing foreign investment, and stimulating growth of all businesses, particularly small and medium-sized businesses".

Although privatisation may be an economically desirable outcome for some Iraqi state-owned enterprises in the future, this is not a policy goal of the CPA. Decisions on this subject are being left for future Iraqi administrations to make.

The private sector development division of CPA has, however, taken many steps to promote private sector growth and employment, such as establishing the Trade Bank of Iraq, creating a legal framework for foreign direct investment, working with the newly independent Central Bank to liberalise interest rates, and providing a new framework for commercial banking.

There are currently no UK government secondees in the private sector development division of the CPA.

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