Baghdad – December 10, 2018 – His Excellency Mr. Azzam Shawwa, the Governor of Palestine Monetary Authority, and Mr. Issa Kassis, Governor Advisor for Strategic Planning and International Relations, participated in the 4th annual conference of the Central Bank of Iraq “Development Role of the Central Bank of Iraq: Data and Trends” held in Baghdad today. His Excellency Dr. Ali Mohsen Al-Allaq, the Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq, and representatives of the Iraqi Council of Ministers and Members of Parliament and His Excellency Dr. Ziad Fariz, the Governor of the Central Bank of Jordan, and His Excellency Dr. Abdurrahman Ibin Abdullah Al Hamidy, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Arab Monetary Fund and leaders and directors of Arab banking institutions attended the conference.
Mr. Shawwa extended in his speech before the conference greetings and wishes of success from the President of the State of Palestine Mr. Mahmoud Abbas to the conference. Mr. Shawwa also briefed a session on “The Role of the Banking System in Motivating the Private Sector.” Dr. Raja Kamuni, Representative of Union of Arab Banks, Mrs. Yara Salem, the World Bank's Special Representative to Iraq, and Mr. Eidi Abd Al-Nabi, Advisor to the Central Bank of Iraq, participated in the session.
Mr. Shawwa said that Palestine Monetary Authority had taken many important steps to motivate the private sector; hence, contributing to sustainable economic development, including most importantly enhancing financial inclusions, which had been lately crowned by the launching of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy in association with the Palestinian Capital Market Authority. Palestine Monetary Authority also follows a policy of banking expansion in rural and remote areas and facilitates access of all members of the community to financial services. Palestine Monetary Authority also endeavors to increase saving rates by reviving the role of the banking sector in providing saving and investment prospects that attract local savings, and organizes children and youth money week, which is an annual event to raise banking awareness among the largest possible number of students, according to Mr. Shawwa.
Palestine Monetary Authority also focuses on small and medium enterprises since they have key role in developing the national economy and creating job opportunities; hence, reduce unemployment, boost income sources, and encourage entrepreneurship as key provider of jobs in the labor market. Small and medium enterprises constitute 90% of businesses. Palestine Monetary Authority advances safe lending to small and medium enterprises through a wise credit policy and having Bureau of Credit Information that includes large sectors in its database, which helps in accessing credit, says Mr. Shawwa.
Palestine Monetary Authority also has an important role in revitalizing mortgages by establishing special database that includes complete information about the financing portfolio of the housing and mortgage sector. The conditions to obtain mortgage – period of granting the facility and financing rate of the assessed real estate value - are linked to the level of credit classification of borrowers in accordance with Loan to Value ratio (LTV), according to Mr. Shawwa.
The efforts of Palestine Monetary Authority to motivate the private sector include stimulating bank lending and directing it towards specific sectors and activities and areas. Palestine Monetary Authority urges banks to pump more credit in the national economy and to give more credit to specific production sectors including agriculture, industry, and construction and specific geographic locations such as Gaza Strip and Jerusalem and specific economic activities such as tourism, education, health … etc. says Mr. Shawwa.
Palestine Monetary Authority gives priority to economic empowerment of Palestinian women. A banking conference was held in November 2017 to address “Financial Empowerment of Women” and other issues such as assessing the extent to which Palestinian women benefit from banking services, boosting women’s financial capacities through raising financial awareness and means of facilitating women’s access to banking services and use of such services, according to Mr. Shawwa.
Mr. Shawwa and delegates met during the Conference with the Palestinian Ambassador to Iraq Mr. Ahmad Aqel and staff at the Palestinian Embassy. Mr. Aqel briefed the meeting about the Palestinian community in Iraq.
The one-day long 4th Annual Conference of the Central Bank of Iraq was held in Al-Rasheed Hotel and addressed the future vision of relations between monetary and financial policies, international experiences of the role of the banking system in motivating the private sector and the development dimension of the monetary policies of Iraq.