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)

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)

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is rehabilitating 15,000 houses in West Mosul, bringing the total number of houses in its stabilization portfolio to more than 30,000 – the largest of its kind in Iraq.

The project in West Mosul covers 29 neighbourhoods that were hardest hit during the fight to liberate the city from the Islamic State, including the Old City where the militants declared their caliphate. It will enable 90,000 people to return home.

“This rehabilitation project is a critical step for families wanting to settle back into their homes in Mosul after three years of turmoil and hardship,” says Head of UNDP’s Stabilization programme, Dr. Mohammed siddig Mudawi.

“We know it works. Through our successful projects in Ramadi and Fallujah, as well as Bartella and Bashiqa in the Ninewa Plains, we’ve witnessed first-hand the transformative impact that our housing rehabilitation work has had on communities,” he adds.

Priority for housing is given to the most vulnerable – female-headed households, households run by a minor, people living with a disability, and households where the breadwinner has not had employment in the last three years.

Essential elements such as rebuilding and plastering walls, securing windows and doors, undertaking electrical work and restoring sanitation are incorporated into the rehabilitation, plus additional items for people living with a disability, such as ramps and seated toilets.

Neighbourhoods were selected in consultation with the provincial government and Mayor’s office based on numbers of returnees and level of damage sustained. All housing repairs are agreed to by the homeowner and the local Muktar prior to commencement, and work is monitored by government-appointed committees.

Rehabilitation of the first group of houses will be complete by end of March. The entire project is scheduled to be completed by November 2019.

Approximately 800 stabilization projects have been completed or are underway by UNDP in Mosul, including restoring water and electricity networks, rebuilding educational institutions and healthcare facilities, and providing employment for locals to clear rubble from streets.

Photos of the West Mosul housing project are available here to download. Contact Fay Daoud on the details below if you would like to use any photos.

(Source: UNDP)

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is rehabilitating 15,000 houses in West Mosul, bringing the total number of houses in its stabilization portfolio to more than 30,000 – the largest of its kind in Iraq.

The project in West Mosul covers 29 neighbourhoods that were hardest hit during the fight to liberate the city from the Islamic State, including the Old City where the militants declared their caliphate. It will enable 90,000 people to return home.

“This rehabilitation project is a critical step for families wanting to settle back into their homes in Mosul after three years of turmoil and hardship,” says Head of UNDP’s Stabilization programme, Dr. Mohammed siddig Mudawi.

“We know it works. Through our successful projects in Ramadi and Fallujah, as well as Bartella and Bashiqa in the Ninewa Plains, we’ve witnessed first-hand the transformative impact that our housing rehabilitation work has had on communities,” he adds.

Priority for housing is given to the most vulnerable – female-headed households, households run by a minor, people living with a disability, and households where the breadwinner has not had employment in the last three years.

Essential elements such as rebuilding and plastering walls, securing windows and doors, undertaking electrical work and restoring sanitation are incorporated into the rehabilitation, plus additional items for people living with a disability, such as ramps and seated toilets.

Neighbourhoods were selected in consultation with the provincial government and Mayor’s office based on numbers of returnees and level of damage sustained. All housing repairs are agreed to by the homeowner and the local Muktar prior to commencement, and work is monitored by government-appointed committees.

Rehabilitation of the first group of houses will be complete by end of March. The entire project is scheduled to be completed by November 2019.

Approximately 800 stabilization projects have been completed or are underway by UNDP in Mosul, including restoring water and electricity networks, rebuilding educational institutions and healthcare facilities, and providing employment for locals to clear rubble from streets.

Photos of the West Mosul housing project are available here to download. Contact Fay Daoud on the details below if you would like to use any photos.

(Source: UNDP)

Basrah Museum Opens New Sumer, Assyria And Babylonia Galleries

The official opening of three new galleries in the Basrah Museum on March 19th marks the completion of a project to refurbish all major exhibition space at the complex.

It is a further important milestone in the creation of a major hub for the protection and celebration of the rich cultural heritage of Southern Iraq.

The Sumer, Assyrian and Babylon Galleries will be opened by the end of March and will showcase objects tracing the history of Iraq from c. 3000 BCE to 550 BCE, including statues, cylinder seals, tablets, jewellery, statues, glassware and pottery from many eras from the Iraq Museum in Baghdad and from the Basrah Museum’s original collection. This is the first time that the majority of the exhibits have been on public display in Basrah.

The project to open the new galleries is led by the Director of Antiquities and Heritage of Basrah Qahtan Al Abeed and supported by UK-based charity Friends of Basrah Museum. It includes training and development programmes in labelling, visitor services and museum techniques for staff and volunteers, as well as the creation of an education room for school parties and other young visitors.

The opening will be a tribute to the efforts, dedication and scholarship of leading archaeologist and FOBM Trustee, Lamia Al Gailani Werr who died unexpectedly in Jordan in January this year. Lamia was an unstinting supporter of the Basrah Museum and shared her experience and wisdom generously with cultural heritage specialists in Basrah and Baghdad as the project evolved.

This latest phase of the project was financed by the Cultural Protection Fund, managed by the British Council. It follows the opening of the Museum’s first gallery in 2016. The Basrah Gallery is devoted to the cultural heritage of the city and its environs. It was funded principally by a major grant from UK oil and gas company BP.

A grant extension funding the final phase of the project has been awarded by the Cultural Protection Fund and will focus on the opening of a museum library at the complex for students and academics and members of the public. This phase is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

(Source: Friends of Basrah Museum)

Basrah Museum Opens New Sumer, Assyria And Babylonia Galleries

The official opening of three new galleries in the Basrah Museum on March 19th marks the completion of a project to refurbish all major exhibition space at the complex.

It is a further important milestone in the creation of a major hub for the protection and celebration of the rich cultural heritage of Southern Iraq.

The Sumer, Assyrian and Babylon Galleries will be opened by the end of March and will showcase objects tracing the history of Iraq from c. 3000 BCE to 550 BCE, including statues, cylinder seals, tablets, jewellery, statues, glassware and pottery from many eras from the Iraq Museum in Baghdad and from the Basrah Museum’s original collection. This is the first time that the majority of the exhibits have been on public display in Basrah.

The project to open the new galleries is led by the Director of Antiquities and Heritage of Basrah Qahtan Al Abeed and supported by UK-based charity Friends of Basrah Museum. It includes training and development programmes in labelling, visitor services and museum techniques for staff and volunteers, as well as the creation of an education room for school parties and other young visitors.

The opening will be a tribute to the efforts, dedication and scholarship of leading archaeologist and FOBM Trustee, Lamia Al Gailani Werr who died unexpectedly in Jordan in January this year. Lamia was an unstinting supporter of the Basrah Museum and shared her experience and wisdom generously with cultural heritage specialists in Basrah and Baghdad as the project evolved.

This latest phase of the project was financed by the Cultural Protection Fund, managed by the British Council. It follows the opening of the Museum’s first gallery in 2016. The Basrah Gallery is devoted to the cultural heritage of the city and its environs. It was funded principally by a major grant from UK oil and gas company BP.

A grant extension funding the final phase of the project has been awarded by the Cultural Protection Fund and will focus on the opening of a museum library at the complex for students and academics and members of the public. This phase is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

(Source: Friends of Basrah Museum)

Basrah Museum Opens New Sumer, Assyria And Babylonia Galleries

The official opening of three new galleries in the Basrah Museum on March 19th marks the completion of a project to refurbish all major exhibition space at the complex.

It is a further important milestone in the creation of a major hub for the protection and celebration of the rich cultural heritage of Southern Iraq.

The Sumer, Assyrian and Babylon Galleries will be opened by the end of March and will showcase objects tracing the history of Iraq from c. 3000 BCE to 550 BCE, including statues, cylinder seals, tablets, jewellery, statues, glassware and pottery from many eras from the Iraq Museum in Baghdad and from the Basrah Museum’s original collection. This is the first time that the majority of the exhibits have been on public display in Basrah.

The project to open the new galleries is led by the Director of Antiquities and Heritage of Basrah Qahtan Al Abeed and supported by UK-based charity Friends of Basrah Museum. It includes training and development programmes in labelling, visitor services and museum techniques for staff and volunteers, as well as the creation of an education room for school parties and other young visitors.

The opening will be a tribute to the efforts, dedication and scholarship of leading archaeologist and FOBM Trustee, Lamia Al Gailani Werr who died unexpectedly in Jordan in January this year. Lamia was an unstinting supporter of the Basrah Museum and shared her experience and wisdom generously with cultural heritage specialists in Basrah and Baghdad as the project evolved.

This latest phase of the project was financed by the Cultural Protection Fund, managed by the British Council. It follows the opening of the Museum’s first gallery in 2016. The Basrah Gallery is devoted to the cultural heritage of the city and its environs. It was funded principally by a major grant from UK oil and gas company BP.

A grant extension funding the final phase of the project has been awarded by the Cultural Protection Fund and will focus on the opening of a museum library at the complex for students and academics and members of the public. This phase is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

(Source: Friends of Basrah Museum)

Iraq’s Ministry of Planning and the Council of Ministers Secretariat, together with UN-Habitat, publicly launched the National Platform for Reconstruction and Development.

For more than one year, UN-Habitat has been working very closely with the Ministry of Planning to develop and finalize the Platform, with generous funding support from the Iraq UNDAF Trust Fund, which is a multi-donor trust fund.

The Platform provides up-to-date key information on reconstruction and development projects. It is a web-based GIS data system that contains analytical reports, statistical data for projects, as well as interactive maps of projects locations. By sharing project information, the Platform will enable relevant actors to avoid duplication and coordinate for better planning.

Now accessible to public and with interactive window, the Platform will also allow the Government of Iraq to receive feedback from its citizens on the reconstruction and development projects, helping to build trust between the Government and people.

H.E. Dr. Mahdi Al-Allaq, Secretary-General of the Council of Ministers, stated that “the Platform will advance delivery of the commitments made at the Kuwait International Conference for Reconstruction of Iraq”.

H.E. Dr. Noori Al-Dulaimi, Minister of Planning, commented that “through the Platform, projects will be managed in a transparent manner and monitored by the international community”.

Ms. Marta Ruedas, Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General/Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator, stated that the Platform provides an overview of the projects implemented, and enables evidence-based planning and decision making.

The Data Platform is accessible at: https://mnpcd.gov.iq/

(Source: UN)

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:

By John Lee.

Kuwait is reportedly planning to build towns close to the Iraqi border, and talking with Iraqi authorities to develop a “free zone” between the two countries.

According to Kuna, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah (pictured) said the plan was currently “the preoccupation and focal task” of the government and the Supreme Planning Council.

He added that Kuwait’s planned Madinat Al Harir (Silk City) is expected to attract between $400- and $650-billion in investment over 25 years.

(Source: Kuna)