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Iraq looks to gold for economic recovery

10 Mar 2012
After decades of sanctions, war and sectarian violence, Iraq is struggling to maintain it's economy and looking forward to increase gold production along with oil and natural gas. According to Iraq's mineral ministry, country's western desert contains huge reserves of gold and likely platinum and diamond resereves. The Iraqi government recently announced a 30 year economic plan for mines and minerals by granting production licenses to foreign mining companies. The Iraqi government is thus hopeful that gold mining can be an increasingly profitable venture for the country. However, official gold trade in the country remained in doldrums as Iraq's banking sector required proper training and guidance from foreign banks, analysts said. Iraq's northern neighbor Turkey offered to support country's banking sector in gold trade. Turkish Banks Association (TBB) said the Turkish banking industry, which developed new ways of bringing in individual gold savings to the economy, will train Iraqi bankers on how to trade with gold. The scope of the training will be determined depending on the demand stated by the Iraqi government. The TBB has started a study in regards to the training, which will take place in Baghdad and Erbil following a recent visit by an Iraqi delegation of the Federation of Private Banks to Turkey. Analysts said Turkey has carried out important studies in trading gold, which is a significant saving tool in Iraq, and we want to benefit from Turkey's experience. TBB has provided training to countries such as Albania, Azerbaijan as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina and has also been working on training programs for Syria and Lebanon.
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