By John Lee.

A Scottish sweet manufacturer is reportedly seeing sales of its fudge and toffee surge in Iraqi Kurdistan.

According to a BBC report, Golden Casket linked up with Sulaymaniyah-based businessman Farhad Haseb to sell the confectionery to upmarket stores in Erbil and Dohuk, as well as other towns and cities in the region.

The holiday of Eid al-Adha has proved to be a strong driver of sales for the business, with Iraq now being Golden Casket’s third biggest export market, after America and Ireland.

More here.

(Source: BBC)

By John Lee.

Spartan Air Academy Iraq LLC, Irving, Texas, has been awarded a $31,477,060 task order, against indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for continued Air Academy training in support of the Iraqi Air Force.

Work will be performed at Balad Air Base, Iraq, and is expected to be completed by July 8, 2020.

This award is the result of a country-directed sole-source acquisition.

(Source: US Dept of Defense)

By John Lee.

Iraq and Kuwait have selected British energy advisory firm ERC Equipoise (ERCE) to prepare a study on the development of shared border oilfields.

Ministry spokesman Assem Jihad said a contract would be concluded in the coming days with the company, which was chosen from a list of four candidates.

ERCE is a specialist in oil and gas reservoir evaluation.

The study will include the reservoirs of Ratqa/Rumaila and Safwan-Abdali.

(Source: Ministry of Oil)

By John Lee.

The Jordanian-Iraqi Forum on digital transformation in the financial sector was held on Wednesday in Baghdad.

It was organized as part of the partnership between Jordan’s Information and Communications Technology Association (int@j), the Jordanian-Iraqi Economic Association, the Iraq Private Banks League, and the International Finance Corporation, and saw the participation of 30 Jordanian IT companies.

Through the forum, int@j aims to assist Jordanian IT companies enter the Iraqi market.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors at int@j, Dr. Bashar Hawamdeh, said that the company’s role in organizing the forum is part of their efforts to bolster networking among Jordanian companies and Iraqi banks and others operating in the financial sector. int@j’s role in organizing the forum comes as well amidst efforts to enable Jordanian companies to offer their expertise in digital transformation and technology to Iraqi sectors more broadly, particularly considering there exists an urgent need on the Iraqi side to implement digital transformation projects.

Dr. Hawamdeh noted that the Iraqi market is an important market to Jordanian companies, as those companies possess significant expertise in systems building and management. He added that Jordanian companies have been instrumental in developing e-governance for states in the region and have assisted in building systems that serve digital transformation.

He added that the forum is an opportune time for Jordanian companies to explore opportunities related to cooperation and sharing of expertise, especially considering the faith the Iraqi market has in Jordanian expertise in all areas.

The following Jordanian companies are taking part in the forum: Access 2 Arabia, Bridges PR and Events, Globitel, Green Circle Co., Hayyan Horizons, MenalTech, HyperPay, MadfooatCom, Jordan Payments and Clearing Company (JoPACC), Middle East Payment Services (MEPS), and Quality Business Solutions.

Also participating in the conference are: Real Soft Advanced Applications, Sidra Electronic Payment Software, Synaptic Technologies, Trismart, VTEL Holdings, dot.Jo, Jordan Data Systems, Takamol, ProgressSoft, Al Bayanat Al-Raqamiah for Information Technology, Image Technologies (ITECJ), OPTIMIZA, Oracle, Jordan Systems Consulting Co, OFFTEC, Dell, KPMG Jordan, Virtual/Al-Nayi for Informational and Communications Consulting, and Mawdoo3.com.

(Source: int@j)

TTE Technical Institute has secured a new project with international energy and water company TAQA to provide technical training to Middle East based technicians.

A group of 13 technicians from TAQA’s Atrush Block oil production facility in the Kurdistan region of Iraq are spending three months in the UK at TTE’s fully-equipped training centre in Middlesbrough to develop practical engineering competencies to achieve internationally-recognised qualifications.

The project is also supporting TAQA’s development of women technicians in the Kurdistan region with one member of the group a female process technician.

Within the group are three technicians working towards Level Performing Engineering Operations (PEO) Level 2 in mechanical engineering and three technicians aiming to achieve the PEO Electrical & Instrumentation Level 2 standard.

The seven remaining technicians are working towards the Process Industry Operations Level 2 qualification. Once completed, all of the qualifications allow for continual development to achieve Level 3.

Working with TTE’s internationally-experienced trainers, the technicians will utilise the training centre’s industry-standard facilities and equipment undertaking a programme of practical, hands-on modules and assessments.

TTE has an established reputation for providing on-site skills and competency assessments for international companies such as TAQA, which is headquartered in Abu Dhabi operating in 11 countries across four continents.

This is one of the first significant contracts TTE has secured since it became a Technical Institute earlier this year.  Marking its 30th year in operation, becoming TTE Technical Institute supports its strategy to increase the export of its services to international markets.

Technical Institutes are globally-acknowledged as centres of vocational training, providing learners with skills, competencies and qualifications to enter or advance a career in industry, which is in keeping with TTE’s existing, comprehensive provision.

Contracts such as this also support the training of young people in the North East of England. As a charitable, not-for-profit social enterprise, TTE gift-aids the surplus revenues generated from its commercial training to support the funding of training for apprentices and young learners from schools and colleges in the North East.

Steve Grant, Managing Director of the TTE Technical Institute, said: “We are very proud to establish this new relationship with such a globally-recognised company as TAQA to support the development of its workforce.  This is the another group we have welcomed to TTE from Kurdistan, further extending the reach of the organisation into international markets.

“Exporting our expertise to areas of the world such as West Africa, the Middle East and Asia plays an important role in the training of young people in the North East through the gift-aiding of commercial surpluses into our charity. Increasing our presence in key international markets and securing important projects with companies such as TAQA will generate more opportunities for local young people.”

(Source: TTE)

By John Lee.

The Turkish charter company Freebird Airlines will reportedly offer flights from Eindhoven Airport in the Netherlands to Erbil and Sulaymaniya throughout the summer.

According to Eindhoven News, flights depart once a week from April to October.

(Source: Eindhoven News)

By John Lee.

Kuwait’s Qualitynet is reported to have been granted a licence to provide internet, telecommunications and satellite services in Iraq.

According to CommsMEA, the move makes it the first Kuwaiti telecommunications service provider to win a service licence in the country.

Said Qualitynet CEO Mohammed Nizar Al-Nusif is quoted as saying:

Winning this licence comes after an extensive study of the needs of the Iraqi market, the estimation of investment volumes and feasibility studies for the establishment of infrastructure, and will complement our strategic plan for regional and international expansion.

“Our experts are currently working on deploying the network and infrastructure to provide our services to our customer base across Iraq, and to provide the network with point-of-presence devices through Qualitynet Iraq, for which it was officially established.

(Source: CommsMEA)

(Picture credit: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

By John Lee.

UK-based recruiter Samuel Knight International has reportedly announced plans to open a new office in Baghdad.

According to Business Leader, the company focuses on the rail and energy sectors, and recently received investment from Gresham House Ventures.

In recent days, another British recruitment agency, SSK Recruitment, was reported to be looking to open an office in Erbil.

(Source: Business Leader)

By John Lee.

UK-based recruitment agency SSK Recruitment is reported to be looking to open an office in Erbil.

Bdaily quotes Managing director Adam Smith as saying:

With all the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, we decided to focus on building relationships in the Middle East.

“The margins are significantly higher in the Middle East than here in the UK and we’ve been lucky that through existing relationships we’ve formed with our current clients, they have in turn recommended us to other companies.

It adds that the company is looking to engage with more companies in the oil and gas sector and is holding meetings in the UK, Dubai and Iraq.

(Source: Bdaily)