By John Lee.

Najaf Investment Commission has reportedly signed an initial agreement with a Hong Kong-based company to build a monorail for the city.

According to Xinhua, the head of the commission said:

“The project will provide an accessible and fast transportation way to the people of the city as well as all tourists.”

(Source: Xinhua)

The chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission hailed an agreement to ease visa restrictions between the Islamic Republic and Iraq as a major achievement of President Hassan Rouhani’s visit to the Arab country.

“The president’s visit to Iraq after the withdrawal of Daesh (ISIS or ISIL) from the country and the elimination of the terrorist group is important because it can develop investments and strategic relations between Tehran and Baghdad,” Heshmatollah Falahat Pishe told Tasnim.

He further emphasized that the visit is also important because Iraq can play a major role in countering the sanctions imposed by the US against Iran.

The senior lawmaker also referred to the easing of visa restrictions between Iran and Iraq as one of the most important achievements of Rouhani’s visit to Iraq, the senior lawmaker added.

Heading a high-ranking delegation, Rouhani arrived in Baghdad on Monday at the official invitation of the Iraqi government. It is Rouhani’s first official visit to Iraq during his tenure.

Iran and Iraq enjoy cordial political, security and cultural ties but due to some internal and regional problems including Daesh terrorism in Iraq, they have not been able to increase their trade volume.

Iran’s main exports to the neighboring country include agro products, foodstuff and fruits such as watermelon, tomato and cucumber, which account for 37% of the total exports.

Other Iranian exports to Iraq include canned food, tomato paste, chicken, egg, meat, construction materials (mainly rebar, tiles and ceramics), steel and evaporative cooler.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

IBBC Spring Conference 2019

Iraq – Financing a Modern Economy 

10 April, The Mansion House, London

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) invites you to attend its Ninth Annual Conference at the Mansion House on the 10th of April. This year’s conference is organised in partnership with the Central Bank of Iraq and the Iraqi Private Banking League.

With a strong focus on the Iraqi banking sector, two sessions of the conference will be devoted to financial sector issues. Other areas will focus on building human capital in the public and private sector and on oil & gas.

Christophe Michels, Managing Director of IBBC states:

“The security situation in Iraq is now much improved, with a new Government in place that has a clear mandate from the people to improve governance and to provide important basic utilities. IBBC is the Iraqi Governments private sector partner of choice for developing the private sector in Iraq. We firmly believe that only private enterprise can meet the challenges facing Iraq by developing a modern economy”.

H.E. Dr Fuad Hussein, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance will lead a high level delegation alongside Dr Mehdi Al Alak, Secretary General of the Council of Ministers, officials from the Central Bank of Iraq, a delegation from the Iraq Private Banks League and the Governors of Erbil, Sulamania and Karbala. A large delegation of Iraqi Businessmen from all governorates of the country will also be in attendance.

Round-table discussions will take place with Iraqi officials, including the Iraqi Governors, where delegates can engage in concentrated debates on country specific issues. As well as specific round-tables on Tech in Iraq and Women’s Group.

Dr Mehdi Al Alak, Secretary General of the Council of Ministers will present a paper on ‘Private Sector Development and Investment in Iraq‘. Delegates will receive an exclusive insight into the Government’s planned measures and strategies to realise this ambition. There will also be special presentations by the Central Bank of Iraq and Basra Gas Company.

Dr Renad Mansour, Research Fellow at Chatham House and the preeminent voice on Iraq in the UK is publishing a briefing paper specifically for the IBBC conference, discussing the short to medium term economic and political outlook for Iraq.

Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, President of IBBC and the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Iraq, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan & Kazakhstan will open the conference, alongside The Lord Mayor Locum Tenens, H.E. Dr Fuad Hussein, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Jon Wilks CMG, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Iraq and Louis Taylor, Chief Executive of UK Export Finance (UKEF).

Conference Sessions & Speakers 

The Banking Sector in Iraq

Chair: Gavin Wishart, Shire Oak International

Panellists: Dr Mazen Sabeh Ahmed, Central Bank of Iraq; Mohammed Delaimy, Standard Chartered Bank; UK Export Finance (UKEF); Ali Tariq Mostaf, Iraq Private Banking League; Richard Wilkins, JP Morgan

Stock Marker & Investment Opportunities

Chair: John Kemkers, Eversheds Sutherland (tbc)

Panellists: Shwan Ibrahim Taham, Iraqi Stock Exchange; Dr Alaa Abdel Hussein Al Saadi, Iraqi Securities Commission; London Stock Exchange (tbc)

Oil & Gas

Chair: Prof. Frank Gunter, Lehigh University

Panellists: Dr Mark Wharton, Shell; Lawrence Coleman BP; Bob Dastmalchi, Chevron

Capacity Building in Iraq

Chair: Ambassador Stuart Jones, Bechtel

Panellists: Dr Renad Mansour, Chatham House; Prof. Mohammed Al-Uzri, University of Leicester; Samer Al Mafraji, AMS Iraq

Dr Mai Yamani will be presenting the closing remarks for this important event.

Join IBBC, its members and the international business and finance community for a full agenda of expert speakers, UK & Iraqi politicians and many networking and business development opportunities.

You can register and purchase tickets via the IBBC website: https://www.iraqbritainbusiness.org/event/spring-conference-at-the-mansion-house

The conference is being generously supported and sponsored by Shell, Rolls-Royce, Standard Chartered Bank and Eversheds Sutherland.

For more information email london@webuildiraq.org or telephone 020 7222 7100.

(Source: IBBC)

By John Lee.

The head of Iraq’s National Investment Commission (NIC) has said that the Iraqi provinces are “fertile lands for investment” and have natural and human resources that enable them of making any investment project succeed.

Dr Sami al-Araji added that if capital is looking for a secure environment, then Iraq welcomes it under the umbrella of the investment law and a solid legislative environment.

(Source: NIC)

By John Lee.

Iraq’s National Investment Commission (NIC) has hosted a workshop on investing in the tourism sector and hotels business in Iraq.

The event was prepared in cooperation with the US Department of Commerce and the US Embassy in Baghdad, and was attended by the heads of the five-star hotels in Baghdad and other provinces.

NIC Chairman Dr. Sami Al-Araji emphasised the importance of the tourism sector for the GDP of any country and especially in Iraq, which has religious shrines and archeological sites.

(Source: NIC)

By John Lee.

NIC Hosts Franchise Workshop which Aims to Expand the Activities of International Commercial Brands in Iraq

Iraq’s National Investment Commission (NIC), in coordination with the US Department of Commerce and the US Embassy in Baghdad, has hosted a franchise granting workshop over four days for the Iraqi private sector to expand the activities of international commercial brands in Iraq.

Dr. Sami Al-Araji, NIC Chairman, said in his opening speech that Iraq is on its way to opening up its services sector by providing support to the Iraqi private sector, adding that obtaining the licenses of international commercial brands can provide important economic revenues represented by the opening up of the big world companies towards Iraqi Market and creating many job opportunities all over Iraqi provinces.

The US Counsel said that US franchisers are looking to Iraq as “a unique key market“.

Ms. Mays al-Ebosy, the coordinator of the US Department of Commerce and the and the supervisor of the session, invited the attendees to open discussions to listen to the obstacles that face the Iraqi private sector. The second and third days of this workshop were dedicated to the provincial investment commissions (PICs) and promoting investment in provinces, while the fourth day focused on hotel investments to Iraq.

(Source: NIC)

By John Lee.

NIC Hosts Franchise Workshop which Aims to Expand the Activities of International Commercial Brands in Iraq

Iraq’s National Investment Commission (NIC), in coordination with the US Department of Commerce and the US Embassy in Baghdad, has hosted a franchise granting workshop over four days for the Iraqi private sector to expand the activities of international commercial brands in Iraq.

Dr. Sami Al-Araji, NIC Chairman, said in his opening speech that Iraq is on its way to opening up its services sector by providing support to the Iraqi private sector, adding that obtaining the licenses of international commercial brands can provide important economic revenues represented by the opening up of the big world companies towards Iraqi Market and creating many job opportunities all over Iraqi provinces.

The US Counsel said that US franchisers are looking to Iraq as “a unique key market“.

Ms. Mays al-Ebosy, the coordinator of the US Department of Commerce and the and the supervisor of the session, invited the attendees to open discussions to listen to the obstacles that face the Iraqi private sector. The second and third days of this workshop were dedicated to the provincial investment commissions (PICs) and promoting investment in provinces, while the fourth day focused on hotel investments to Iraq.

(Source: NIC)

By John Lee.

NIC Hosts Franchise Workshop which Aims to Expand the Activities of International Commercial Brands in Iraq

Iraq’s National Investment Commission (NIC), in coordination with the US Department of Commerce and the US Embassy in Baghdad, has hosted a franchise granting workshop over four days for the Iraqi private sector to expand the activities of international commercial brands in Iraq.

Dr. Sami Al-Araji, NIC Chairman, said in his opening speech that Iraq is on its way to opening up its services sector by providing support to the Iraqi private sector, adding that obtaining the licenses of international commercial brands can provide important economic revenues represented by the opening up of the big world companies towards Iraqi Market and creating many job opportunities all over Iraqi provinces.

The US Counsel said that US franchisers are looking to Iraq as “a unique key market“.

Ms. Mays al-Ebosy, the coordinator of the US Department of Commerce and the and the supervisor of the session, invited the attendees to open discussions to listen to the obstacles that face the Iraqi private sector. The second and third days of this workshop were dedicated to the provincial investment commissions (PICs) and promoting investment in provinces, while the fourth day focused on hotel investments to Iraq.

(Source: NIC)

By John Lee.

A delegation of major Lebanese companies have arrived in Baghdad for a series of meetings with Iraq’s National Investment Commission (NIC).

The were accompanied the Lebanese Minister of Telecommunications, Dr. Muhamed Shuqair, and the opening meeting was attended by the Iraqi Minister of telecommunications, Dr. Naeem Al- Rubaiee; NIC Chairman, Dr. Sami Al- Araji; Chairman of the Damaged Areas Reconstruction Fund, Mustafa Al- Heti; and the Head of the International Finance Corporation (IFC) office in Iraq, Mr. Ziad Badr.

In his opening speech, Dr. Al-Araji invited Lebanese companies to get involved in the Iraqi market “in a way that is consistent with the historical and social relations between the two countries“.

(Source: NIC)

From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

In Iraq, reconstruction remains a daunting obstacle to displaced people returning home.

The government has allocated money and established commissions for people to file for assistance.

But there is little sign of that money being used for reconstruction after years of war that devastated the country.

Al Jazeera’s Natasha Ghoneim reports from Mosul: