IBBC to host Iraq’s President and government ministers during upcoming official visit to the UK.

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) has announced that it will be hosting H.E. Dr Barham Salih, President of the Republic of Iraq, and a number of high-ranking government ministers during their upcoming official visit to the UK next week.

In addition to their other appointments, the Iraqi delegation will be joining IBBC for an exclusive members’ dinner in central London on the evening of Wednesday 26th June, while some of the ministers will also be attending IBBC’s Cumberland Lodge Retreat in Windsor Park from 28th-30th June.

Iraqi officials in attendance at IBBC events next week include:

  • Mr Mohamed Ali Abdelamir Mahmood Alhakim, Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • Dr Qusay Abdul-Wahab Abboud Al-Suhail, Minister of Higher Education
  • Dr Aladin Abdulsahib Hasan Alwan, Minister of Health and Environment
  • Dara Rasheed, Deputy Minister of Housing, Construction & Municipalities and Deputy Head of Refaato
  • Dr Abdulkariem Faisal, Chairman of the PM’s Advisory Commission
  • Dr Hameed Ahmed, Deputy Chairman of the PM’s Advisory Commission
  • Dr Fallah Alamri, Advisor to the Ministry of Oil
  • Dr Salih Husain Ali, Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq to UK

IBBC’s events with these dignitaries offer members unique access to high-ranking Iraqi officials and industry leaders which would otherwise be unavailable.

(Source: IBBC)

EU Provides Additional EUR 2M to IOM Iraq for Critical Infrastructure Improvements in Camps

Five years after the onset of the ISIL crisis and the subsequent massive internal displacement, over half a million Iraqis continue to live in camps.

The European Union (EU) has awarded an additional EUR 2 million to IOM in Iraq to make critical infrastructure improvements in camps for internally displaced persons. This brings the total EU humanitarian contribution IOM Iraq has received in 2019 to EUR 5 million.

With this additional allocation, in coordination with the Government of Iraq and local authorities, IOM will be able to improve the living conditions of camp residents. IOM will rehabilitate deteriorating road and drainage networks in three Jad’ah camps, near Mosul in Ninewa governorate.

The Jad’ah camps currently host over 8,600 households, around 35,000 individuals, the majority from the districts of Hatra, Mosul, Al-Ba’aj and Telafar in Ninewa. These families are among the most vulnerable in Iraq; return to their areas of origin is not feasible in the near future for a variety of reasons, including damage to their houses, continued insecurity, limited access to employment opportunities, and limited basic services in their hometowns.

“While many displaced families have been able to return, we cannot forget about those who remain in camps. Ensuring that those displaced by fighting have access to humanitarian assistance remains a priority for the EU in Iraq,” said Christos Stylianides, the European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management.

During the height of the 2014–2017 crisis, IOM and humanitarian partners in Iraq developed camps to house tens of thousands of families fleeing ISIL, often constructed quickly due to pressing emergency circumstances.  Infrastructure in those camps has since become worn and needs upgrades and repair.

“With our contribution we hope to improve the living conditions of Iraqis who are still in protracted displacement, and we encourage other partners in the humanitarian community to do the same. In 2019, we look forward to continuing to address these pressing needs in partnership with IOM,” Commissioner Stylianides added.

This humanitarian contribution by the EU will complement the previous allocation of EUR 3 million, received in March 2019, being used to conduct critical maintenance activities in camps across Iraq, to replace basic household items for camp populations and provide basic relief kits, including kitchen sets, blankets and mattresses.

“The conditions in many camps in Iraq have worsened over the last year due to natural wear-and-tear and limited investments. Camps have remained in service for longer than initially expected and now need upkeep and improvement,” said IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Gerard Waite.

“This additional allocation from the EU will enable IOM to provide much needed support in some of the most populous camps, which are housing displaced families who are among the most vulnerable, with no immediate or medium-term prospect of returning home.”

Return is especially difficult for vulnerable families, including those in a situation of protracted displacement, who after years of displacement have exhausted their resources and are not able to afford to rebuild their homes.

The EU, through its EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid department, and IOM Iraq have been in a strategic partnership to provide camp management, camp maintenance, infrastructure upgrades and shelter and non-food items response in and out of camps in Iraq since 2014, with a total budget of over EUR 36 million, assisting altogether more than 700,000 direct and indirect beneficiaries.

Both organizations continue to play a leading role in advocating for continued support to families in protracted displacement while coordinating to find longer-term solutions for these internally displaced populations.

Across Iraq, more than 1.6 million Iraqis continue to be displaced following the conflict with ISIL. Of those who were displaced, more than 4.2 million have been able to return to their areas of origin, according to IOM Iraq’s Displacement Tracking Matrix.

For figures and analysis on displacement in Iraq please visit: http://iraqdtm.iom.int/

(Source: IOM)

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraq:

(Source: UN)

(Picture: Finger pressing a new career start button, from Olivier Le Moal/Shutterstock)

By John Lee.

The United States has imposed sanctions on an Iraqi company, South Wealth Resources Company (SWRC), which it is says is an Iraq-based affiliate of Iran‘s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

The full text of the Treasury Department’s statement is shown below:

Today [Wednesday 13th June], the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposed sanctions on an Iraq-based Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) financial conduit, South Wealth Resources Company (SWRC), which has trafficked hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of weapons to IRGC-QF-backed Iraqi militias.

SWRC and its two Iraqi associates, who are also being designated today, have covertly facilitated the IRGC-QF’s access to the Iraqi financial system to evade sanctions.  This scheme also served to enrich previously sanctioned Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, an Iraqi advisor to IRGC-QF Commander Qasem Soleimani, who has run weapons smuggling networks and participated in bombings of Western embassies and attempted assassinations in the region.

SWRC and its two associates are being designated as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.

“Treasury is taking action to shut down Iranian weapons smuggling networks that have been used to arm regional proxies of the IRGC Qods Force in Iraq, while personally enriching regime insiders,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “The Iraqi financial sector and the broader international financial system must harden their defenses against the continued deceptive tactics emanating from Tehran in order to avoid complicity in the IRGC’s ongoing sanctions evasion schemes and other malign activities.”

The IRGC-QF, designated pursuant to E.O. 13224 on October 25, 2007, is a branch of the IRGC responsible for external operations and has provided material support to numerous terrorist groups, including the Taliban, Lebanese Hizballah, HAMAS, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, making it a key component of Iran’s destabilizing regional activities.  The IRGC-QF’s parent organization, the IRGC, was designated pursuant to E.O. 13224 on October 13, 2017, and on April 15, 2019 was designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the Secretary of State.

South Wealth Resources Company

The IRGC-QF has used Iraq-based SWRC, also known as Manabea Tharwat al-Janoob General Trading Company, as a front to smuggle hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of weapons to its proxies inside Iraq, while also generating profit in the form of commission payments for Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, an OFAC-sanctioned advisor to IRGC-QF commander Qasem Soleimani, and two associates of SWRC who are also being designated today.  In addition to facilitating the IRGC-QF’s weapons smuggling into Iraq, SWRC has moved millions of dollars to Iraq for illicit financial activity benefitting the IRGC-QF and its Iraq-based militia groups.

SWRC is being designated today pursuant to E.O. 13224 for assisting in, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support of, the IRGC-QF.

Makki Kazim ‘Abd Al Hamid Al Asadi and Muhammed Hussein Salih Al Hasani

OFAC also is designating Makki Kazim ‘Abd Al Hamid Al Asadi (Makki Kazim Al Asadi) and Muhammed Husayn Salih al-Hasani (al-Hasani), two Iraq-based individuals who helped facilitate IRGC-QF shipments and financial operations via SWRC.  Both individuals and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis received commission payments for contracts with SWRC.

Makki Kazim Al Asadi has acted as an intermediary to facilitate IRGC-QF shipments destined for Iraq, and has helped the IRGC-QF access the Iraqi financial system to evade sanctions.  Makki Kazim Al Asadi is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224 for assisting in, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support of, the IRGC-QF.

Muhammed Hussein Salih Al Hasani is the authorized agent and representative of SWRC, which he registered in Iraq in 2013.  He has signed weapons contracts for SWRC.

Al Hasani is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13224 for acting for or on behalf of SWRC.

Sanctions Implications

As a result of today’s action, all property and interests in property of these targets that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC.  OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit all dealings by U.S. persons or within the United States (including transactions transiting the United States) that involve any property or interests in property of blocked or designated persons.

In addition, persons that engage in certain transactions with the individuals and entities designated today may themselves be exposed to sanctions or subject to an enforcement action.  Furthermore, unless an exception applies, any foreign financial institution that knowingly facilitates a significant transactions for any of the individuals or entities designated today could be subject to U.S. sanctions.

View identifying information related to today’s action.

(Source: US Treasury Dept)

The President of Lukoil, Vagit Alekperov (pictured), has met with Thamir Abbas Ghadhban Al Ghadhban, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Oil of the Republic of Iraq, at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

The parties discussed the progress of West Qurna-2 project and agreed to consider the possibility of early commissioning of Eridu field (Block 10). The Minister of Oil of Iraq expressed the support of Lukoil’s initiatives aiming at development of Iraqi projects, fulfilling obligations under the Service Contracts.

The parties have also expressed their interest to consider gas ​processing and petrochemical projects in Iraq.

(Source: Lukoil)

GE Power (NYSE: GE) has installed and commissioned a new advanced 9E gas turbine at the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity’s (MoE) Al Qudus Power Plant.

The site was previously capable of generating up to 1,125 megawatts (MW) of power. With the addition of the new turbine, it can generate an additional 125 MW, which will contribute to meeting the higher demand for power during the summer months. GE is also providing maintenance services, parts and rehabilitation works at the site, helping to enhance the reliability of operations at the plant and maintain a stable supply of electricity over the course of the year.

Musaab al-Mudarris, Director of the Media Department of the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity said:

Delivering additional power for the hot summer months is a priority for the Ministry of Electricity. One of the quickest and most cost-effective means of adding efficient, reliable power to the national grid is to enhance the productivity of existing power generation facilities.

“GE can help us meet this objective with its industry-leading solutions, large installed base of power generation equipment across Iraq and local team of experts. The successful delivery, installation and commissioning of a new gas turbine at Al Qudus Power Plant just 5 months after the contract was awarded is a testament to the Ministry and GE’s joint commitment to powering Iraq.”

GE’s 9E technology is capable of running on more than 50 different kinds of fuel. This provides the MOE with the flexibility to operate the unit on the most economical source available and to keep generating power using liquid fuels when gas is unavailable.

Joseph Anis, President and CEO of GE’s Gas Power Systems and Power Services businesses in the Middle East and South Asia, said:

“GE is committed to delivering reliable, efficient and affordable power to help the Iraqi people strengthen their economy, re-build conflict-affected areas and support progress for present and future generations. Our teams were among the first to enter Mosul after its liberation, helping to rehabilitate the Al Qayara power plant; we are supporting the development of the country’s largest power plant in Baghdad province; and we have facilitated the Ministry of Finance to unlock over $2 billion of funding for the power sector.

“We have a strong, successful track record of delivering results under the toughest of conditions across Iraq and remain committed to building upon this legacy.”

GE employs up to 300 people in Iraq, more than 90 percent of whom are Iraqi nationals, and has supported the development of Iraq’s energy sector for more than 50 years. From Zakho to Basra, GE-built solutions are helping to enable growth, health, connection and safety in communities across Iraq.

Today, GE-built technologies contribute up to 55 percent of Iraq’s current electricity production, GE and its partners power more than 90 percent of the aircrafts operated by Iraqi Airways and nearly 4,000 GE Healthcare products are deployed in hospitals and clinics across Iraq.

(Source: GE)

By John Lee.

The National Investment Commission (NIC) has published details of a new investment opportunity in the Roads and Bridges Sector:

Design, implement, operate and manage of rehabilitation project to the road connecting entrance No. (5) of Bismayah City with Muhammad Al Qasim Highway

The National Investment Commission and the Ministry of Construction, Municipalities and Public Works / Roads and Bridges Department are pleased to announce an investment opportunity to design, rehabilitation, operation and management of the road connecting entrance No. 5 of Basmaya residential City with Mohammed Al Qasim Highway.We invite Iraqi, Arab and foreign companies with experience and specialization in investment to participate and submit their offers for this project in accordance with the Investment Law No. (13) for 2006 (amended). Interested companies in the project (Rehabilitation and widening the (Kut – Baghdad) road connecting entrance No. (5) in Basmaya residential City and the intersection of Mohammed Al Qasim Highway from the Army Canal Street inside the city of Baghdad with 20 km length . The project consists of two parts, the first is outside the borders of Baghdad and the second is within the borders of Baghdad).Terms and Conditions are attached to the advertisement in our website

www.investpromo.gov.iq

www.moch.gov.iq

Bids may be sent to the National Investment Commission by an authorized person provided with a letter of authorization signed by the CEO no later than eleven o’clock on the closing day (Monday, 10/6/2019). No bid shall be submitted after the closing date.

Arab and foreign companies that do not have a branch in Iraq can send their offers through the international express mail and deliver it before the closing date. In case of the closing date is an official holiday, the following official working day will be the closing date.NIC and the Ministry are fully prepared to provide possible facilities to visit the project site and both are pleased to respond to queries received through the e-mail addresses oss@investpromo.gov.iq andinvestment@moch.gov.iqFor more information, please visit the below websites www.investpromo.gov.iq www.moch.gov.iq Rules and regulations for advertising investment projects, including the following:

Regarding the technical part, the following information must be attached to the offer:

  • Documents and data about the biding company with its professional biography and for other supporting companies and their nationalities.
  • A list of similar previous works carried out by the company in the field of investment or other works.
  • Determine the implementation period with a schedule that includes the business
  • implementation program for all project items.
  • Description of the tariff systems, mechanisms and management methods.
  • Determining the proposed duration of project implementation.

An integrated technical and economic feasibility study for the project:

The technical aspect of the study includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Project description
  • Engineering design limits
  • Geotechnical and hydrological study.
  • Detailed traffic study.
  • A study of the pavement layers of different sections of the road.

The economic study includes, but is not limited to the following:

Analysis of financial information to determine indicators of success or failure of the project and represent the cash flow table (capital assets – operational costs – project years (service age) with time change accounts and the expected interest rate on funds.The financial indicators of the project will be measured by the following criteria:

  • Simple rate of revenue

Breakeven

  • Recovery period of the invested capital
  • Guaranteed methods of the cash flow
  • Net current value of the estimated flows over the life of the project
  • Net current value rate to the current investment rate
  • Internal revenue rate
  • Sensitivity factor for the financial analysis inputs
  • financial analysis as in paragraph 1 “annex”
  • Investment period
  • Tariff
  • The governmental share
  • Insuring investment funds

With regard to the company’s obligations and documents, the following information must be provided:·          The company’s registration certificate (colored copy) certified by the concerned authorities for the national companies valid for the current year. The Arab and foreign companies shall be authenticated by the Iraqi Embassy in the country of incorporation and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs valid for the current year.·         The financial status of the company and its financial efficiency supported by a solid bank.·         The winning company shall pay the cost of the publication and the last announcement.

The data and information for the project are as follows:1.      Introduction to the project / importance of the project – the service provided by the product.2.      Historical background of the project / date of the idea and the beginning of its implementation – the year of listing.3.      Project data, including the project site, positioning with GPS and aerial imagery of the site.

Note: The investment project application form prepared by the National Investment Commission and the data and information contained herein are considered to be an integral part of the data referred to above.

(Source: NIC)

The Rumaila oilfield produced 1.467 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2018 – the oilfield’s highest annual rate of production for 30 years. 2018 also saw the milestone of four billion barrels of oil produced since the Rumaila Operating Organisation [ROO] began operating in June 2010.

The results were reported in the 2018 Rumaila Annual Report, submitted by the Basra Oil Company (BOC) to the Iraq Ministry of Oil.

In accordance with BOC’s objectives, Rumaila continued its journey to becoming a more advanced oilfield in 2018. New infrastructure played an important part in the year’s success, with three major projects completed that help Rumaila’s capacity to produce its current high production rates, as well as contribute to securing the field’s long-term future.

The new Rumaila Power Plant began operating, providing 150,000kW of electricity to the Iraq National Grid and supporting Rumaila facilities; three new dehydrator and desalter production trains were commissioned – increasing production capacity by 124,000 bpd; and two degassing facilities installed new large-scale ‘free water knock out’ vessels that ensure oil quality remains high by stripping water from the hydrocarbons.

The introduction of new technologies continues to play a vital role in the field’s advancement. In 2018, this included: the further expansion of the ‘digital oilfield’ (with 2,000 digital sensors now providing instant data from wells, facilities and manifolds to guide production performance), the completion of a field-wide TETRA radio communications infrastructure, and new data analytics tools and frameworks that visualize, interpret and reveal meaningful insights to improve day to day working.

Underpinning the 2018 results has been the ongoing programme to drill new wells, optimize existing wells, and the injection of industrial-use water to restore pressure to reservoirs in the north of the field. Thanks to the water injection programme and its supporting operations, Rumaila has been able to produce oil from historically harder to access reservoirs: in 2018, the oil produced from the Mishrif reservoir was more than triple the amount of oil extracted from that reservoir in 2010 and generating results never previously achieved at the oilfield.

The 2018 Annual Report also highlighted:

  • 59 Iraqi contracted companies won 85 contracts worth $650 million
  • 220,181 training hours were delivered to Iraqi staff
  • 31 new wells were drilled
  • 23.5km2 of land was cleared of unexploded ordnance
  • 206,675m2 of land was remediated
  • $5 million spent on supporting Iraq’s oil and gas industry via the Rumaila Education Fund

Rumaila General Manager, Hussein Abdul-Kadhim Hussein, commented:

“2018 was a remarkable 12 months in the 70-year history of this oilfield, as well as another exceptional year for the Rumaila Operating Organisation. The partnership goes from strength to strength: our success derives from the way BOC, BP and PetroChina continues to operate as one integrated team.”

BOC Director General, Ihsan Ismael, said:

“On behalf of BOC, I’d like to thank every single BOC staff member who has ensured that Rumaila continues to deliver successful oil production for Iraq, as well as pay tribute to the support of our partners, BP and PetroChina.”

ROO Deputy General Manager, Julian O’Connell, said:

“Rumaila is in service to Iraq. Our objective is to provide oil to support Iraq today, as well as create a legacy for the future. Our strategy and programme for field rejuvenation and training Iraqi personnel is helping us to achieve these twin goals and to overcome the multitude of challenges Rumaila faces.”

Rumaila Special Deputy General Manager, Fan Jianping, added:

“We are very pleased to report another successful year at Rumaila. Equally important is the fact that we have achieved this within a safe working environment. We of course want to increase production, but we also want Rumaila to be the pride of Iraq, which can only be achieved by having safety as the number one priority.”

(Source: Rumaila Operating Organisation)

By John Lee.

The National Investment Commission (NIC) has published details of a new round of solar energy projects:

The Ministry of Electricity is please to invite local, regional and international Independent Power Producers (IPP) to submit Expressions of interest (EOI) to embark into a proposed reverse auctioning round for SEVEN (7) Green field solar PV IPP projects (each a “project”) with a potential combined capacity of 755MWp.

A project involves the design, finance, construction operation and maintenance of a utility scale solar power project to the Ministry on a Build, Own and Operate (BOO) basis. A dedicated Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) shall be established to undertake the construction and operation of each project.

The Ministry, in its commercial capacity as a grid operator, will connect the SPV to the Iraqi transmission grid under a Transmission Connection Contract (TCC) and, in its capacity as owner of the land, will lease the land to the SPV under a Land Lease Contract (LLC). Also, the Ministry will purchase produced electricity from the SPV under the terms of the power purchase Contract (PPC).

The Ministry expects these project(s) to employ around 1300 people in the Republic of Iraq and supply more than 250,000 households with critically needed electricity supply.

The following projects are available :

  • Sawa-1 Solar PV IPP with a capacity of 30 MWp to be located in Muthana Province,
  • Sawa-2 Solar PV IPP with a capacity of 50 MWp to be located in Muthana Province,
  • Khidhir Solar PV IPP with a capacity of 50 MWp to be located in Muthana Province,
  • Iskanariya Solar PV IPP with a capacity of 225 MWp to be located in Babil Province,
  • Jissan Solar PV IPP with a capacity of 50 MWp to be located in Wassit Province,
  • Karbala Solar PV IPP with a capacity of 300 MWp to be located in Karbala Province,
  • Al-Diwania Solar PV IPP with a capacity of 50 MWp to be located in Diwania  Province,

The above project(s) may, at the Ministry’s discretion, be tendered on a standalone basis or grouped. For the proposed tender, the Ministry will conduct a transparent, fair and competitive reverse auctioning process to select a developer or a consortium for a single or a group of project(s).

Parties interested in participating (the “respondent”) in the process must fulfill the following pre- requisites for short listing:

  • Successful, proven and verifiable technical and financial capability and experience of no less than 10 years in developing renewable energy IPP Project(s) of no capacity less than 50 MW on an individual and not collective project basis, particularly utility scale solar PV projects.
  • An average annual turnover of more than US$ 10 Million for the last three years solely from revenues obtained via renewable energy projects development and operatorship, preferable majorly from solar PV projects.
  • Previously awarded projects should have been tendered according to the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model on similar auctions regionally or globally.
  • The respondent must have registered and licensed official regional and international offices.
  • The respondent must demonstrate previous initiative towards social responsibility and willingness to contribute to capacity building, to integrate local content, and to support the nascent renewable energy manufacturing and service sectors in the republic of Iraq.
  • The respondent must have never been barred by the Government of the Republic of Iraq, or any entity controlled or regulated by them, from participating in any project or conducting work of any form in the Republic of Iraq, including the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Also this applies to any other government, or any entity controlled or regulated by any other government.

Respondents that fulfill the requirements above shall express their interest to participate in the tender process by 29 April.2019 and the finnnal time to receive the (IPP) documentation 60 days from the announced date.

The number call of is MOE- HQ5/ 2019 An package (the “package”) must be sent in electronic copy format (a single PDF file) from an official business email address to 32_contracts@moelc.gov.iq

The requirements set herein;

  • Name of the respondent
  • Name and contact details (Postal address, telephone number, and email address) for the appropriate point of contact (Point of Contact) to whom future correspondence may be sent; and
  • Where the respondent is considering potential consortium partners, an indication of such intention and details of potential consortium partners (to the extent it is known).

The Ministry will not consider any proposals or packages submitted by mail, in person, or via liaison.

The following submission of the EOI, and after passing this stage this stage the respondent will bay the documentation (RFQ). The RFQ will include further information, including a description of the project(s), an outline of the tender process and eligibility criteria for pre- qualification.

The announcement shall not constitute in any way a commitment by the Ministry to proceed with the next stage, hold the proposed reverse auction, announce the tender, award any project or comply with the information provided herein. The Ministry retains the right to amend the scopes of the project(s), modify, extend, cancel or suspend the project(s), at any time for any reason without clarification or any liabilities for the Ministry or any other entity of the Government of the republic of Iraq.

This announcement shall be considered a complementary and integral part of the Project(s) Documentation.

(Source: NIC)

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) held Iraq’s first International Tech Conference in Baghdad at the Babylon Rotana Baghdad Hotel on 30 April, hosting government ministers, private industry, entrepreneurs, investors, and representatives from the leading UK and Iraq Tech companies.

The purpose of the Conference was to drive confidence, investment and awareness of the power of the new tech economy and how it can benefit Iraq.

The event – Iraq Tech Conference – was led by Ashley Goodall, IBBC’s Marketing Adviser. Keynote addresses were given by H.E. Dr Sami Al Araji, Chairman of the National Investment Commission and Mr Ashraf Al Dahan, Chairman of the CMC Board of Commissioners.

The agenda for the day comprised four panels: Consumer Tech panel, E-Government Panel, Business Fintech and a Consumer Fintech Panel.

Fintech in particular is making strides forward with the blessing of the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI), as Mr Waleed Eidi, Advisor to the Governor of the Central Bank, explained and encouraged the adoption of steps to include Women, those excluded from banking and the digital economy and young people.

The CBI is being ambitious in encouraging banks and financial institutions to modernise and offer new ways to distribute the flow of funds for investment and those who need it. This will also have a big impact on the overall economy and growth.

Ahmed Elkady of EY echoed the importance of Fintech as he led the Consumer FinTech Panel discussion onto technical infrastructure and what needs to happen to grow the opportunity for financial transactions. He was ably supported by National Bank of Iraq’s Eyad Mahmoud and Roger Abboud of Arab Payment Systems – who are modernising banking transactions – and Douglas Way of Almaseer Insurance – who are enabling business to reduce risks and transact insurance products rapidly and scalably.

The conference also embodied eight presentations:

  • “How technology is driving the business and consumer world in Iraq and Internationally” by Zain Iraq;
  • Online Literacy” by Dr Victoria Lindsay, Country Director – Iraq for the British Council;
  • Automating & digitising BP and Iraq” by Zaid Elyaseri, Country Manager-Iraq for BP;
  • Restrata Product Announcement” by Botan Osman, CEO for Restrata;
  • “Five One Labs” by Patricia Letayf, Co-Founder and Director of Operations for Five One Labs;
  • Blockchain and AI – The Future Talk” by Muhana Almrahleh, Director – Head of Information Technology Advisory for KPMG (Jordan); and,
  • How Re:Coded are Training the Next Generation of Technology Leaders in Iraq” by Zahra Shah, Country Manager-Iraq for Re:Coded.

Attendees were able to enjoy one-to-one meetings and conversations.

As part of the Tech Conference on April 30, IBBC hosted an Evening Reception for Entrepreneurs and Start-ups at The Station, Baghdad, the evening prior on 29 April. The evening, planned in partnership with Iraq Tech Ventures and Arabnet, showcased the growing tech community in the country and gave an outstanding platform for some of the leading start-ups and entrepreneurs in a more informal setting.

The participating start-ups pitched their business in 5 minutes to a panel of seven judges composed by: Mohammed Khudairi, Managing Partner of Khudairi Group and Founder of Iraq Tech Ventures; Hal Miran, CEO of MSelect and Founder of Bite.Tech and TechHub; Richard Greer, Venture Capital Investor in Asia, Middle East, & UK and Philanthropist in Northern Iraq; Zahra Shah, Iraq Country Manager for Re:Coded; Ali Ismail, Co-Founder of Fikraspace and Co-Founder & Partner of Solo Creative Studio; Patricia Letayf, Co-Founder and Director of Operations for Five One Labs and Maryam Allami, Advisor for Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.

Through this first international Tech Conference in Iraq, IBBC aims to provide a foundation, a platform and focus for Tech in Iraq and give inspiration and confidence to those building a modern Iraq.

For more information on the Iraq Britain Business Council, visit our website at https://www.iraqbritainbusiness.org/

To contact IBBC for Interviews, registration and sponsorship please contact london@webuildiraq.org

(Source: IBBC)