Sinan Al-Shabibi


January 18, 2022

Sinan Muhammad Reda al-Shabibi "Sinan al-Shabibi" (July 1, 1941, Baghdad - January 8, 2022) is an economist and Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq from September 2003 to October 2012. He is the first governor of the Central Bank after the occupation of Iraq by the coalition forces.

His upbringing and education

Al-Shabibi was born in Baghdad on July 1, 1941, his father, Muhammad Rida Al-Shabibi, a prominent Iraqi poet, thinker and politician. Al-Shabibi attended the College of Economics and Political Science at the University of Baghdad and graduated in 1966 with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics. He also received a Postgraduate Diploma in Development and Economics, a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Manchester in Manchester, United Kingdom (1970-1971) . He also received a Ph.D. in Economics from Bristol University in Bristol, United Kingdom in 1975.

Beginning of his career

From May 1975 until March 1977, Sinan al-Shabibi was the head of the Import and Marketing Department in the Iraqi Ministry of Oil, and from April 1977 until December 1980, al-Shabibi was the head of the Planning and Coordination Department in the Iraqi Ministry of Planning. After the outbreak of the Iran-Iraq war, Al-Shabibi moved to Geneva, Switzerland, where he remained from December 1980 until October 2001 and worked as an economist at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq

Since assuming the position of Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq, he has introduced modern accounting and payment systems for the financial institution, replaced manual printers and computers with modern computer systems, and accounting tools such as currency auctions, and replaced the pre-2003 cash currency to the new currency between October 2003 and January 2004. He also involved the Central Bank of Iraq in the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, in addition to the Paris Club negotiations, where 19 countries agreed to exempt Iraq from 80% of the pre-2003 debts to help Iraq recover from the post-war phase led by the United States in 2003. Despite the local and regional instability in the region, al-Shabibi was able to maintain the Iraqi dinar exchange rate against the US dollar at 1190 dinars per 1 US dollar (while the exchange rate was 2214 dinars per 1 dollar in 2002), and reduce the inflation rate (from 64% in 2006, to 5.2% in 2012), doubled gold reserves to 32 tons, and remained a strong defender of the independence of the Central Bank. His use of these policies and rising oil revenues helped raise foreign exchange reserves to nearly $67 billion (in September 2012) compared to 2002 ($2.7 billion in December).

His Publications

OPEC Aid, Topics and Performance in OPEC Review, Vienna, Spring 1987. share

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