Iraq’s entire cabinet lands in London on Thursday on an investment drive to help build a country whose future seems increasingly linked to foreign money instead of its own dwindling oil wealth.
The fall in the price of oil and the knock-on effects of the global financial crisis have thrown the brittle nation’s budget projections into chaos, with the government admitting it faces a serious revenue crisis in 2010 that could derail almost all of its blue-sky projects.
And guess who’s coming to dinner, the neoliberals are licking their chops-
“They are still in a stage of building up private sector awareness,” said Britain’s ambassador to Iraq, Christopher Prentice. “Iraq needs a wide education campaign to re-programme 30 years of thinking.
“Public-private sector partnerships are still at an early phase. Successful joint ventures and public-private enterprises will be the agents for change.”
Al-Zubeidi said a change in thinking had been forced on the government. “I think we have to open more to the international private sector,” he said.