By Amnesty International. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Protest death toll surges as security forces resume brutal repression

Chilling eyewitness testimonies and verified video analysis by Amnesty International confirm that security forces have resumed their campaign of deadly violence against largely peaceful protesters in Baghdad and cities in southern Iraq, the organization has warned.

The crackdown on renewed protests from 20-22 January saw at least 10 people killed in Baghdad, Basra, Karbala and Diyala, according to the Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights, while activists in Basra reported two additional deaths yesterday. Scores have been injured and arrested, with some subjected to torture and other ill-treatment in custody.

The organization’s Crisis Evidence Lab verified videos from several flashpoints in recent days, confirming live ammunition is once again being used against unarmed protesters, and the first use of deadly military-grade tear gas grenades observed since November.

More here.

(Source: Amnesty International)

Headquartered in the UK, Abacus Cambridge Partners, a leading consulting, technology, and outsourcing company, has announced a strategic partnership with Deep Engineering, a premier engineering company and a subsidiary of Joto Leading Group, to expand its presence in Northern Iraq by offering digital transformation solutions to the private and public sectors.

Technology plays an increasingly critical role in every aspect of a business. Leaders in the public and private sectors in Northern Iraq recognise the need to accelerate the development of digital solutions to ensure competitiveness.

The Abacus-Deep Engineering partnership brings together extensive skills in business and technology strategy, technology development and deployment, and organisational change management to help transform organisations across Northern Iraq.

Speaking on the signing ceremony, Yu Huang Chan, CEO of Deep Engineering, remarked:

“We think it’s a productive agreement as Iraq is now booming. We are happy to have this partnership with Abacus.”

Abbas Khan, CEO of Abacus, added:

“I am pleased to announce that we have now entered into a strategic framework agreement with Deep Engineering. Through this collaboration, we will be able to create massive opportunities for customers across the region. Our alliance with Deep Engineering is going to result in mutually beneficial outcomes.”

The partnership will play a fundamental role in achieving Iraq’s vision 2030, which is driven by digital transformation.

(Source: Abacus Cambridge)

By John Lee.

The Iraqi Cabinet has approved an increase in the total budget for the Kirkuk Olympic Stadium project to 33,500,000,000 dinars ($28 million).

In a statement, it said it had directed relevant ministries to take the necessary measures to implement this measure.

(Source: Iraqi Govt)

By John Lee.

Iraq’s Ministry of Oil has invited bids fto build the Iraq-Jordan oil pipeline.

The first phase will be built on the Iraqi side, stretching 700 km from Rumaila to Haditha. This will have a capacity of 2.25 million barrels per day (bpd). This will be built on an engineering, procurement, construction and financing (EPCF) contract model.

The second phase, on the Jordanian side, will run 900 km from Haditha to the port of Aqaba. This section will be built on a Build Own Operate Transfer (BOOT) model.

Bids will be accepted from qualified companies up to the end of May, with a decision to be made by the end of 2020.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

By John Lee.

Iraq has reportedly signed a deal with the Gulf Cooperation Council Interconnection Authority (GCCIA) to import electricity at a rate of 500 megawatts of electricity from Sunni Arab gulf countries before next summer, Iraqi Ministry of Electricity spokesperson a told state newspaper on Thurday.

According to Rudaw, the GCCIA will fund the cost of building the two 400-KV lines, which will run for 300 kilometers across Iraq and Kuwait.

(Source: Rudaw)

By John Lee.

An Iraqi researcher has reportedly obtained the first master’s degree in Iraq on the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) [One Belt One Road], by virtue of a thesis titled “Geo-strategic Importance of the Silk Road and its Impacts on the Future of Iraq“.

Khalaf Ayyash Ahmed told Xinhua:

“The importance of the Belt and Road Initiative for Iraq lies in investing in the infrastructure that Iraq needs as a result of its collapse because of the economic sanctions and successive wars.”

Ahmed submitted his thesis to the government-owned Al Iraqia University.

(Source: Xinhua)

The National Investment Commission (NIC) in coordination with the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA) are pleased to announce the investment opportunity of the construction of Diwaniya New Airport according to the provisions of the investment law No. 13 for the year 2006 as amended, and the international general technical and operational requirements for constructing the civil airports stipulated in the ICAO policies, taking in to consideration that the announced airport is to be constructed in Diwaniah province on a part of the lot numbered (10/1 m 24 Al- Fawar)

Local and foreign specialized companies willing to participate  are hereby invited to apply through filling in the application form available on the NIC website (investpromo.gov.iq)

During a period of (60) days from the date of publishing this announcement , enclosed below the ICAA requirements which must be taken in to consideration when the form applied and for any further information please visit the office of the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority:

Baghdad International Airport- 3rd Floor

info@icaa.gov.iq

P.O Box: 23006 BIAP

ICAA requirements

  • Approving the establishment of any civil airport is exclusively limited to Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA) based upon the provision No. (16) of the Civil Aviation Law No. (184) for 1974, as amended.
  • ICAA is working on preparing a master plan for air transportation in Iraq in cooperation with the International Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which will be a foundation to gear up the air transportation in the country by developing policies, developing and upgrading the national airports and the institutional rehabilitation of the Civil Aviation Authority.
  • Until the master plan, referred to in paragraph  (2) above is fully prepared,  and in order to obtain the ICAA approval to establish any commercial civil airport through investment, we hereby recommend the authorities requiring the establishment of any airport (as a province) to prepare a detailed feasibility study, in cooperation with sober consultations institutions (fully credited in technical, legal and financial aspects) approved by the Ministry of Planning or the country of the foreign consultations institutions, and submit it to the Civil Aviation Authority in order to be studied and approved after ensuring that the project idea meets all economic and servicing stipulations (including the primary written agreement with one of the national carriers which will operate the airport within the required capacity) required to construct and operate any airport.
  • After obtaining the initial approval of the Authority referred to in paragraph (3) above , the province shall ask the NIC in written letter to announce the project as an investment opportunity according to investment law No. 13 for 2006, as amended providing the application of the following requirements:
  • Economic feasibility study ( in order to be compared to the one prepared by the consultations institution referred to in paragraph (3) above providing that it meets the basis of the developmental projects feasibility studies prepared by the Ministry of Planning in minimum)
  • Develop the Airport master plan
  • Develop the Airport conceptual plan

(Source: NIC)

(Picture: Business opportunity word cloud, from ibreakstock/Shutterstock)

Australian construction giant CIMIC, formerly known as Leighton Holdings, has reportedly settled a long-running class action with investors over allegations its senior executives had knowledge of corrupt behaviour relating to the Unaoil bribery scandal that hit the company’s share price.

The class action alleged that CIMIC failed to comply with its continuous disclosure obligations and engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct by withholding from shareholders that its executives “were, or may have been, aware of conduct which was corrupt or potentially corrupt.

The settlement follows the US Department of Justice revealing last month that Cyrus and Saman Ahsani, the two brothers who ran Unaoil, had pleaded guilty to conspiring to facilitate bribes on behalf of multinational companies to secure contracts in Africa and the Middle East.

In a statement on Friday CIMIC said:

“CIMIC Group Limited has reached a conditional settlement agreement in relation to a class action brought by certain shareholders who acquired an interest in CIMIC between23 November 2010 and 3 October 2013. The settlement will have no material impact on earnings or profit forecasts, and is subjectto approval by the Federal Court of Australia.”

More here.

(Source: WA Today)

By Daniel L Byman, for Brookings Institution.

The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq is facing serious unrest that is likely to force limited reforms in the political system but not wholesale change.

The current Iraqi power structure, with Iranian support, will use a mix of repression, cooptation, and limited concessions to weaken the opposition.

The opposition’s lack of clear leadership makes such tactics more likely to succeed.

The U.S. position in Iraq is weak, and Washington — even if it so desired — will probably have little impact on the events there.

The full report can be read here.

(Source: Brookings Institution)

In continuing of training sessions conducted in 2017, 2018 and early 2019 for the potential firms/companies throughout Iraq, UNDP Country Office Iraq is planning to conduct E-Tendering training session for firms/companies who have not yet registered with the E-Tendering portal of the UNDP based in Kirkuk Governorate.

The training sessions will be conducted on 23 December 2019 in Kirkuk.

* Firms/Companies who are not previously registered on the E-Tendering portal are requested to send the following information to the UNDP focal point Sana Jalal: sana.jalal@undp.org.

a) Name of the company;
b) Name of Representative/s (Maximum two person from each firm/company are allowed to take part in the training session).

Note: The training venue will only be communicated to those firms/companies who will show their interest to participate by sending an email to the above focal points.

(Source: UN)

(Picture: Call for tender written on a folder, from Olivier Le Moal/Shutterstock)