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By Veronica Cotdemiey, CEO of Citizenship Invest.

Moldova: the most cost-effective passport from Europe

Citizenship by Investment has become one of the most reliable ways to obtain a legal citizenship and passport for many nationalities around the world. Allowing the ability to travel easily and secure a better future for individuals. However, when we talk about obtaining a fast-track second passport or citizenship and without immigration requirements, many come at a hefty price.

The Republic of Cyprus has one of the world’s most famous citizenship by investment programs and it is the only country that can offer a European nationality without ever needing to immigrate or prove residence in the country to obtain it. However, the property investment required to obtain the Cypriot citizenship stands at 2 million EURO which it is not affordable to large number of potential applicants. Many consider Caribbean countries like Dominica, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, Antigua & Barbuda and Grenada through which they can achieve a second citizenship with a considerably lower investment amount.

For many investors in the region, some Caribbean countries can pose some difficulties to obtain their citizenship. In some cases, certain nationalities are banned from applying and they could encounter issues to transfer funds to the Government’s accounts due to intermediary banks based in the United States.

Moldova recently launched its citizenship program, the country is located in Europe and investors can obtain its passport without any residency requirements. The program is cost effective and has a quick processing time where applicants can obtain their citizenship in approximately 3 months. Moldovan citizens have visa-free travel to major countries around the world, most notably, Schengen countries, Russia and Turkey. The Moldovan citizenship program requires an applicant to transfer an amount of EUR 100,000 to Moldova’s Public Investment Fund. The amount goes up to EUR 155,000 for an applicant with more than 4 dependents. Another positive feature in Moldova’s CBI program is the ability to transfer citizenship to future generations without restrictions.

Moldova is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe with a 4 million population. The country is famous for its world-class wine industry and picturesque landscapes. The service sector has grown to dominate Moldova’s economy and currently composes over 60% of the nation’s GDP. In 2017, total bilateral trade between the EU and Moldova increased by 18% to €4 billion. The European Union’s imports from Moldova increased by 23% in 2017, to the value of €1.6 billion.

Although Moldova is not yet part of the European Union, the EU is Moldova’s first trading partner and the first investor in the country, accounting for over 55% of total trade. The value of agricultural, machinery and transport EU imported products from Moldova also grew confirming the positive trend of growth in Moldovan exports to the EU.

Moldova is actively pursuing joining the European Union member states through the EU Eastern Partnership policy. As part of its effort, Moldova is working on integrating various sectors such as transport, Energy, Technology, Media and Telecom with the EU for the possibility to deepen its corporation with the EU and increase the chances of becoming a member state.

EU Signs Contracts of 57.5 Million Euros with UN to Support Mosul Recovery, Promises Additional 20 Million Euros Next Month

A delegation from the United Nations in Iraq and the European Union Mission to Iraq yesterday toured a number of EU-funded and UN implemented projects in Mosul, seeing first-hand the clearance, stabilization, rehabilitation and development work undertaken in the northern Iraqi city more than a year after its liberation from Da’esh.

Illustrating the joint efforts in post-Da’esh Iraq, the EU signed a contract with the UN Development Programme (UNDP) worth 47.5 million euros, another with UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) totaling 10 million euros, and announced 20 million euros in additional support for UNESCO as well as a further 15 million support for FAO, to be signed in January 2019.

The conflict with Da’esh has destroyed many areas of Mosul and Ninewa Governorate, and displaced a large number of the population. Since the military defeat of Da’esh a year ago, many people have returned, encouraged by the efforts to ensure a secure and safe environment. Some areas still lack basic services, and the UN, in support of the Iraqi authorities, are working to ensure a decent living for the people to facilitate the dignified return of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

The delegation called on the Governor of Ninewa, Nawfal Al-Agoub, after which a signing ceremony was held.

EU Director for Development Cooperation for Asia, Central Asia, Middle East/Gulf and the Pacific Region, Pierre Amilhat, said:

“The Iraqi people have suffered enough, and the country is on the cusp of entering into a renewed phase of state-building. Today exemplifies the strong commitment the EU along with its UN partners have in shouldering Iraq in this critical phase. With the territorial defeat of Da’esh, all of us together have a window of opportunity to build an inclusive and accountable country and restore the trust between the people and their Government. This multi-pronged initiative will join the dots between the various reconstruction components, and significantly contribute to the betterment of the Iraqi people”.

UNDP Resident Representative a.i. for Iraq, Gerardo Noto, said:

“We are grateful to EU for our excellent partnership. We jointly help people of Iraq so that no one is left behind as all UN Members Countries committed in the Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This is yet another practical example of support to the authorities and citizens of Iraq in regaining the trust of the local communities and rebuilding the state institutions towards a new social contract to sustaining peace and sustainable development”.

Earlier, the EU-UN delegation visited the Old City, site of some of the worst fighting – and destruction. They inspected the reconstruction work at the Al-Nuri Mosque, a symbol of Mosul’s history and culture that Da’esh deliberately destroyed its landmark leaning minaret before their retreat from the city. The work is part of ongoing projects to repair heritage sites by UNESCO throughout Mosul Old City’s funded by the EU.

UNESCO has launched “Revive the Spirit of Mosul”, an initiative that has the support of the Government of Iraq and in line with the Initial Planning Framework for Reconstruction of Mosul, which was jointly developed by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) and UNESCO in collaboration with the Governorate of Ninewa, to rehabilitate Mosul’s rich and diverse cultural heritage. Restoring the identities within the communities of Mosul and other liberated areas of Iraq contributes to reconciliation and promotes more just, peaceful and inclusive societies.

“UNESCO is very grateful to the EU for its contribution to the reconstruction and restoration of the Old City of Mosul, in the context of the UNESCO ‘Revive the Spirit of Mosul Initiative’. This support contributes to the physical reconstruction of one of Iraq’s most emblematic historical cities, which has been severely damaged and destroyed. It also benefits directly the local community – by providing skills and jobs to thousands of young people” stated Louise Haxthausen, Head of UNESCO in Iraq. “We are particularly pleased that part of this contribution is dedicated to the urban rehabilitation of the old city of Basra, another highly significant historical city of Iraq,” added Louise Haxthausen.

UN-Habitat and UNDP are also working together in Mosul to rehabilitate damaged houses, repair secondary infrastructure, retrofit public facilities such as schools to promote the environmental responsiveness of buildings, and involve youth in redesign of public open spaces. Yuko Otsuki, Head of UN-Habitat in Iraq, expressed gratitude for the EU support “to continue improving the living conditions of Iraqi population through urban recovery investments and job and income generating opportunities in conflict-affected areas.”

The delegation toured Mosul University, once a major centre of learning in Iraq that Da’esh turned into a command post and weapons cache. Mosul University, Iraq’s second largest university, has suffered major damage, and it is estimated that rehabilitation work would require 350-500 million dollars. The university was cleared of explosive hazards, included Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).

The work of UNMAS lies at the core of the stabilization and rehabilitation work. Mindful that no stabilization work and return of IDPs can be sustainable without ensuring a safe environment, the EU signed a contract granting UNMAS 10 million euros to continue the clearance of contaminated hospitals, schools, roads, bridges, religious sites and neighborhoods.

“We are very grateful for the support provided by the international community and more specifically by the EU. With this contribution, UNMAS Iraq will be expanding the clearance capacity in Mosul and also deploy capacity in Sinjar,” said Pehr Lodhammar, UNMAS Iraq Senior Programme Manager.

The group also visited the Ninewa Directorate of Agriculture where they were briefed about a project supported by the EU and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to support recovery of agricultural livelihoods by revitalizing of food production, value chains and income generation in Ninewa.

“I am so pleased to see the EU has agreed to help us rehabilitate key facilities and equipment of the Directorate as well as rebuilding livelihoods for so many smallholder farmers. Creating jobs in this heart land of agriculture is really key to community stabilization,” said Dr Fadel El-Zubi, FAO Country Representative in Iraq.

The EU has contributed a total of 184.4 million euros since 2016 to support stabilization and humanitarian efforts undertaken by the UN in support of the Government of Iraq.

(Source: UN)

IOM and UNODC Sign Agreement with the Government of Jordan to Upgrade al-Karamah Border Crossing Point

In partnership with the Government of Jordan, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) signed an official partnership yesterday (10/12) to upgrade the al-Karamah border crossing point between Iraq and Jordan.

The project, funded by the European Union Instrument Contributing to Stability and Peace (EU IcSP), also contributes to the stability and economic recovery in the region.

“Iraq has always been a key economic partner for Jordan and a significant market for Jordanian exports. The closure of al-Karamah border point over the past years has had a significant negative impact on Jordan’s manufacturing sector and on the Jordanian economy in general. The government is working tirelessly to restore the economic ties with this important country for the benefit of the two sides, and we hope that the rehabilitation of al-Karamah will constitute another building block in this effort,” said Dr Maria Kawar, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation.

Al-Karamah is the only official border crossing point between Iraq and Jordan. Closed in the summer of 2015, it reopened in August 2017 raising the prospect of an improved economy among traders and consumers. Long-lasting crises in Syria and Iraq forced the closure of the land borders with both neighbors, namely the direct route between the ports of Aqaba, on the Red Sea, and Basra, on the Arabian Gulf.

Before the closure of the borders, Iraq was one of the main trade partners of Jordan. In 2013, 178,573 commercial trucks used al-Karamah to enter Iraq from Jordan, and 173,788 entered Jordan from Iraq. Border closures considerably increased the price of imports and exports.

“Border crossing points facilitate trade and exchange between people and communities. This EU-funded project will share the EU approach on integrated border management and adapt it to the situation at the Jordan/Iraq border with a view to facilitate bilateral trade and the movement of people,” said Mr Andrea Matteo Fontana, European Union Ambassador to Jordan.

The project will allow for the construction of a joint building for all departments operating at al-Karamah that will ease procedures and shorten the waiting time for passengers, allowing authorities to process a higher number of passengers per day.

The security of the passengers and the Kingdom will continue to be at the centre of the operation, with enhanced trainings on document forgery detection and other techniques related to border management.

Communities at both sides of the border will benefit from the improved border crossing point.

“I am from al-Anbar and I study pharmacy in Amman. I used to pay around 200 dollars to fly to Baghdad, and then I had to take a bus to al-Anbar from the capital. With the border post re-opened, I save money and time, and I can come home more often,” one young student told IOM staff.

“Communities in remote border regions need additional support to take advantage of the opportunities and overcome the challenges associated to a border context. The project will contribute to revitalize the economy of Mafraq and al-Anbar regions that used to rely on the livelihoods directly or indirectly created by the movements through the border post, before its closure,” said Enrico Ponziani, Chief of Mission of IOM Jordan.

The project will also improve cargo control procedures to secure and facilitate trade with the extension of the UNODC/World Customs Organization Container Control Programme at the al-Karamah border crossing point, and the establishment of a Border Control Unit.

“UNODC’s contribution to this project is two-pronged. Firstly, it aims at further securing the Al Karamah-Turaibil border crossing by strengthening the capacity of Jordanian and Iraqi law enforcement agencies to prevent trafficking of illicit goods. Secondly, it serves to facilitate trade across the border by strengthening cooperation with the private sector and streamlining cargo clearance and control processes”, said Ms. Cristina Albertin, Regional Representative of UNODC.

(Source: IOM)

In the framework of the financing agreement signed yesterday by the Government of Iraq (GoI) and the European Union (EU) committing €14 million (US$15.8 equivalent) to support the government’s efforts to ensure increased and more reliable energy access for the Iraqi population, the EU and the World Bank Group (WBG) have signed today a €12.85 million (US$14.5 equivalent) implementation agreement to provide the needed technical assistance.

The initiative complements the ongoing and upcoming World Bank interventions in support of the GoI’s energy sector reforms, including those embedded in the budget support operations series (Development Policy Financing programs – DPFs), the Reimbursable Advisory Services (RAS) for structuring the Gas Value Chain and Gas Marketing in Iraq, and the support to subsidy reforms funded by the ESMAP’s Energy Subsidy Reform Technical Assistance Facility (ESRAF).

Supporting Iraq’s private sector enabling energy sector reforms is a priority development objective in the country both for the EU and the WBG. In a country where the energy sector accounts for more than 90% of central government revenues, addressing energy sector challenges is an essential and complementary action to any public finances related reforms, an area in which the European Union and the World Bank are also partnering in Iraq.

The country is also the world’s 3rd largest exporter of oil and its untapped natural gas reserves are the 12th largest in the world, yet it is forced to import fuel to meet its domestic energy demand, which imposes significant economic and fiscal strain on public finances. Equally important, Iraqi citizens are regularly faced with power shortages and have to resort to more expensive and pollutant sources of energy.

Efficiency in the management of public resources and delivery of services are critical to the achievement of public policy objectives, especially for a resource-rich upper-middle income country like Iraq, as well as fundamental to restore the trust and social contract between Iraqi citizen’s and the country’s institutions, especially in a post-conflict era of stabilisation and reconstruction. “As pledged in the Kuwait Conference, the European Union is committed to help Iraq’s reconstruction efforts and economic and political reforms to secure a better future for its citizens,”

(Source: Relief Web)

The European Union has adopted today a €56.5 million package to promote sustainable job creation and strengthen support to refugees, internally displaced populations and their host communities in Iraq.

This brings the total EU development assistance mobilised in favour of Iraq in 2018 to €129 million and it is part of the €400 million pledged by the EU at the Iraq Reconstruction Conference held in Kuwait in February 2018.

Iraq is facing enormous challenges to rebuild the areas affected by the conflict and assist people in need. The purpose of the programme adopted today is to contribute to the development of the urban areas of Mosul and Basra, and of the rural areas of Nineveh governorate.

This will help returning displaced populations, vulnerable youth and women find income opportunities and obtain services to respond to their essential needs. The assistance will also be used to promote youth entrepreneurship notably via start-up services. By supporting sustainable and inclusive economic growth in Iraq, the help is delivering also on the Sustainable Development Goals and the priorities of the Government of Iraq.

Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica said:

“The EU is delivering on its commitments made last February at the Iraq Reconstruction Conference in Kuwait. This new support will create opportunities and jobs, helping some of the most vulnerable communities to get back on their feet and rebuild their lives.”

The measure adopted today also includes a €15 million contribution to the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis, the central aim of which is to provide a coherent and swift response to the needs arising from the massive displacement and returns caused by both the Syrian and the internal Iraqi crises.

This action aims to enhance public service delivery in sectors like education and health. It will enhance access to livelihood opportunities for refugees, internally displaced persons, returnees and their communities. It will also uphold the long-standing Iraqi policy of protection and support of people residing and seeking protection in the country.

Today’s measure complements the €72.5 million package adopted last October to foster stabilisation and socio-economic development through support to basic service delivery and improved living conditions in conflict areas. This package included measures to reactivate economic activity and entrepreneurship, assistance to facilitate the clearance of lands previously contaminated by explosives, and support to reforms in the energy sector.

These measures are in line with the 2018 EU strategy for Iraq and the Council Conclusions of 19 May 2017 on Iraq as a pilot country for implementing the Humanitarian-Development Nexus, and reaffirm the EU commitments as stated during the Kuwait Conference for the Reconstruction of Iraq. The total EU development assistance to Iraq amounts to €309.8 million since the beginning of the crisis.

(Source: EU)

(Picture: Realistic wavy flag of European Union, from NiglayNik/Shutterstock)

The World Bank Group and the European Union have signed a €15.6 million (US$18.1 equivalent) technical assistance program to strengthen public financial management (PFM) oversight and accountability Institutions in Iraq and increase the efficiency in the management of public resources and delivery of services.

The initiative, which will be implemented jointly by the European Union and the World Bank, complements the $41.5 million “Modernization of Public Financial Management Systems” program launched by the World Bank in 2017. It addresses some of the key vulnerabilities in Iraq’s PFM and supports the commitments and objectives for PFM reform currently under implementation.

“PFM is an essential part of any development process”, said Saroj Kumar Jha, World Bank Mashreq Regional Director. “Sound PFM supports aggregate control, prioritization, accountability and efficiency in the management of public resources and delivery of services, which are critical to the achievement of public policy objectives, as well as to restoring the trust and social contract between Iraqi citizens and the country’s institutions”.

As aid is increasingly provided through modalities that rely on well-functioning systems for budget development, execution and control, a sound PFM system is fundamental to the appropriate use and effectiveness of donor assistance. A more efficient PFM system is also instrumental in reducing inequalities in wealth distribution and promoting a dynamic and prosperous economic environment more conducive to business development.

“As was pledged in the Kuwait Conference, the European Union is committed to stand by Iraq in reconstruction and economic and political reforms,” said Ramon Blecua, European Union Ambassador to Iraq. “Our cooperation with the World Bank has been very fruitful and this project complements ongoing efforts supporting public finance management. The focus of the project we are signing today will be on the coordination of government and donors, more efficient management of resources, enhanced oversight and accountability, and fighting corruption. The EU is ready to help Iraq in facing the challenges ahead to secure a better future for Iraq”.

The program comprises of three pillars and nine sub-components. Each sub-component corresponds to a specific Government reform commitment/objective and has been assigned to a lead government institution/department acting as WBG-EU counterpart. While some components will be recipient-executed with support from the World Bank, others will be initially WBG-EU executed on behalf of the recipient due to capacity constraints.

The program envisages the creation of a Donors’ Coordination Committee, where all decisions regarding public finance management reforms and donor support to reforms will be discussed under the supervision of the Government of Iraq to ensure ownership, coordination, complementarity and overall reforms.

(Source: UN)

BP, Shell, Basra Gas Company, LUKOIL, Petronas and Chevron discuss Basra’s oil and gas megaprojects

The 5th annual CWC Basra Megaprojects Conference – Oil, Gas & Environment will be held from 9-10 October in Istanbul, Turkey chaired by the EU Ambassador to Baghdad, Ramon Blecau.

In a show of support for the rebuilding of Iraq, Ambassador Blecau and industry experts will highlight the business opportunities available in the resource-rich South of Iraq with the aim of driving more investment to develop the country’s industrial infrastructure.

The conference takes place under the patronage of Basra’s Governorate, Council and oil company and looks to find solutions to the challenges of Basra’s oil and gas megaprojects and increasing Iraq’s oil and gas production, as well as highlighting the upcoming infrastructure projects for: gas, water, electricity and environment. All the major operators will be participating in discussions including: BP, Shell, Basra Gas Company, LUKOIL, Petronas and Chevron.

Further to these discussions, there will be a strong focus on Iraq’s environment and how to build a legislative framework to tackle Basra’s environmental issues; tackling all types of challenges including the demining projects.

New technology will play a significant role in achieving operational excellence in the execution of Iraq’s projects; whilst Iraq’s new generation of workforce are eager to embrace the technologies, the conference will touch upon the training programmes that are imperative for helping Iraqis compete for job opportunities and increase the role of the Iraqi local workforce in the execution of the latest projects.

Water and desalination projects will be the centre of discussion on the second day of the conference as well as the electricity requirements for such projects and ideas for renewable projects in Iraq.

Gas and petrochemical projects will also be covered by industry experts, which will be instrumental in creating new jobs for Iraqis but raise further questions on how the environment can be preserved during these processes. During the conclusion of the Conference, all the available tenders for the new projects will be outlined.

The interactive networking sessions will be at the centre of the conference with great number of functions including the Gala Dinner at the end of the first day of the Conference. The achievements of individuals in environmental technology projects will also be celebrated at the Environmental Awards Ceremony, which will take place during the Gala Dinner with awards being given out by the Iraqi delegation.

We look forward to seeing everyone at the Intercontinental Istanbul from 9-10 of October. To download the latest programme, please visit www.cwcbasraoilgas.com/brochure-download/.

Distinguished Speakers to include:

  • Ambassador Ramon Blecua, Ambassador / Head of Delegation, Delegation of the European Union to Iraq
    • HE Kameran Ali Hassan
    , Deputy Minister of Environment, Ministry of Environment, Federal Government of Iraq
    •       HE Asaad Abdulamir Abdulghafar Al – Idan
    , Governor of Basra, Federal Government of Iraq
    •       HE Engineer Mohammed Al Tamimi
    , First Deputy Governor of Basra, Governorate of Basra, Federal Government of Iraq
    •       Ihsan Abduljabbar Ismaael Al – Saade
    , Director General of the Basra Oil Company, Ministry of Oil, Federal Government of Iraq
    •       HE Dara Reshid
    , Deputy Minister, Deputy Head of Reconstruction Fund for Areas Affected by Terroristic Operations (REFAATO), Ministry of Construction, Housing & General Municipalities, Federal Government of Iraq
    •       HE Ali Dawai Lazem
    , Governor of Maysan, Federal Government of Iraq
    •       Nafaa Abdulsada Ali Al-Hmidawi
    , Director General of Training & Development Office, Ministry of Electricity, Federal Government of Iraq
    •       Mohammed Hashim
    , Director General of Electricity Distribution, Ministry of Electricity, Federal Government of Iraq
  • MP Dr Jamal Abdul-Zahra Muhammadawi, Member of the Parliament Representing Basra, Federal Parliament of Iraq •                   Kevin J. Kveton, Ph.D.Director, Iraq Exploration & Business Development, Chevron  Europe, Eurasia & Middle East Exploration & Production
    •       Zaid Elyaseri
    , Country Manager, BP Iraq
    •       Dr Mark Wharton
    , Development & JV Manager Shell Iraq, Shell EP International Ltd.
    •       Abd Malik Jaffar
    , Iraq Country Chairman, PETRONAS Carigali Iraq Holding B.V.
    •       Yaroslav Okulov
    ,  Financial Director, LUKOIL Mid-East Ltd
    •       Dr Jaafar Oklany
    , Commercial Director, Basrah Gas Company

View the full list of speakers here: http://www.cwcbasraoilgas.com/speaker/

The renowned Conference will address opportunities, projects and tenders in each one of these industries through its 2 day Strategic Programme. Attendees can expect the following topics to be discussed:

  • Current updates on Basra’s oil fields
  • Iraq’s Environment
  • Infrastructure for Upstream Oil & Gas Projects ( Technology Showcasing- upstream activities suppliers, pipelines suppliers, demining technologies, logistics suppliers, security suppliers ) & Training on the New Skillsets
  • Finance, Laws & Regulations & Procurement
  • Water Projects: Increasing Efficiency for the Oil & Gas Projects
  • Electricity Expansion & Renewables for the Oil & Gas Projects
  • Gas & Petrochemicals
  • Energy Tenders Announcements; Downstream, Midstream, Petrochemicals & Electricity projects

View the full programme here: www.cwcbasraoilgas.com/brochure-download/

(Source: CWC)

BP, Shell, Basra Gas Company, LUKOIL, Petronas and Chevron discuss Basra’s oil and gas megaprojects

The 5th annual CWC Basra Megaprojects Conference – Oil, Gas & Environment will be held from 9-10 October in Istanbul, Turkey chaired by the EU Ambassador to Baghdad, Ramon Blecau.

In a show of support for the rebuilding of Iraq, Ambassador Blecau and industry experts will highlight the business opportunities available in the resource-rich South of Iraq with the aim of driving more investment to develop the country’s industrial infrastructure.

The conference takes place under the patronage of Basra’s Governorate, Council and oil company and looks to find solutions to the challenges of Basra’s oil and gas megaprojects and increasing Iraq’s oil and gas production, as well as highlighting the upcoming infrastructure projects for: gas, water, electricity and environment. All the major operators will be participating in discussions including: BP, Shell, Basra Gas Company, LUKOIL, Petronas and Chevron.

Further to these discussions, there will be a strong focus on Iraq’s environment and how to build a legislative framework to tackle Basra’s environmental issues; tackling all types of challenges including the demining projects.

New technology will play a significant role in achieving operational excellence in the execution of Iraq’s projects; whilst Iraq’s new generation of workforce are eager to embrace the technologies, the conference will touch upon the training programmes that are imperative for helping Iraqis compete for job opportunities and increase the role of the Iraqi local workforce in the execution of the latest projects.

Water and desalination projects will be the centre of discussion on the second day of the conference as well as the electricity requirements for such projects and ideas for renewable projects in Iraq.

Gas and petrochemical projects will also be covered by industry experts, which will be instrumental in creating new jobs for Iraqis but raise further questions on how the environment can be preserved during these processes. During the conclusion of the Conference, all the available tenders for the new projects will be outlined.

The interactive networking sessions will be at the centre of the conference with great number of functions including the Gala Dinner at the end of the first day of the Conference. The achievements of individuals in environmental technology projects will also be celebrated at the Environmental Awards Ceremony, which will take place during the Gala Dinner with awards being given out by the Iraqi delegation.

We look forward to seeing everyone at the Intercontinental Istanbul from 9-10 of October. To download the latest programme, please visit www.cwcbasraoilgas.com/brochure-download/.

Distinguished Speakers to include:

  • Ambassador Ramon Blecua, Ambassador / Head of Delegation, Delegation of the European Union to Iraq
    • HE Kameran Ali Hassan
    , Deputy Minister of Environment, Ministry of Environment, Federal Government of Iraq
    •       HE Asaad Abdulamir Abdulghafar Al – Idan
    , Governor of Basra, Federal Government of Iraq
    •       HE Engineer Mohammed Al Tamimi
    , First Deputy Governor of Basra, Governorate of Basra, Federal Government of Iraq
    •       Ihsan Abduljabbar Ismaael Al – Saade
    , Director General of the Basra Oil Company, Ministry of Oil, Federal Government of Iraq
    •       HE Dara Reshid
    , Deputy Minister, Deputy Head of Reconstruction Fund for Areas Affected by Terroristic Operations (REFAATO), Ministry of Construction, Housing & General Municipalities, Federal Government of Iraq
    •       HE Ali Dawai Lazem
    , Governor of Maysan, Federal Government of Iraq
    •       Nafaa Abdulsada Ali Al-Hmidawi
    , Director General of Training & Development Office, Ministry of Electricity, Federal Government of Iraq
    •       Mohammed Hashim
    , Director General of Electricity Distribution, Ministry of Electricity, Federal Government of Iraq
  • MP Dr Jamal Abdul-Zahra Muhammadawi, Member of the Parliament Representing Basra, Federal Parliament of Iraq •                   Kevin J. Kveton, Ph.D.Director, Iraq Exploration & Business Development, Chevron  Europe, Eurasia & Middle East Exploration & Production
    •       Zaid Elyaseri
    , Country Manager, BP Iraq
    •       Dr Mark Wharton
    , Development & JV Manager Shell Iraq, Shell EP International Ltd.
    •       Abd Malik Jaffar
    , Iraq Country Chairman, PETRONAS Carigali Iraq Holding B.V.
    •       Yaroslav Okulov
    ,  Financial Director, LUKOIL Mid-East Ltd
    •       Dr Jaafar Oklany
    , Commercial Director, Basrah Gas Company

View the full list of speakers here: http://www.cwcbasraoilgas.com/speaker/

The renowned Conference will address opportunities, projects and tenders in each one of these industries through its 2 day Strategic Programme. Attendees can expect the following topics to be discussed:

  • Current updates on Basra’s oil fields
  • Iraq’s Environment
  • Infrastructure for Upstream Oil & Gas Projects ( Technology Showcasing- upstream activities suppliers, pipelines suppliers, demining technologies, logistics suppliers, security suppliers ) & Training on the New Skillsets
  • Finance, Laws & Regulations & Procurement
  • Water Projects: Increasing Efficiency for the Oil & Gas Projects
  • Electricity Expansion & Renewables for the Oil & Gas Projects
  • Gas & Petrochemicals
  • Energy Tenders Announcements; Downstream, Midstream, Petrochemicals & Electricity projects

View the full programme here: www.cwcbasraoilgas.com/brochure-download/

(Source: CWC)

Advertising Feature

By Veronica Cotdemiey, CEO of Citizenship Invest.

Recently Cyprus has been recognized as the ‘super star’ of the citizenship by investment programs worldwide. The country has the most appealing second citizenship program being the only European country which grants the nationality in only 6 months without ever having to reside there. Cyprus has officially and by far, the fastest form of legally obtaining a European citizenship and passport which enables living, working and studying in any of the 28 countries members of the European Union.

Moreover, Cypriot passport holders can travel to major destinations without applying for visas. It allows instant visa free travel to over 170 countries including the UK, UAE, European Union countries, Canada, Australia among other major countries and often allows a stay from 30 up to 90 days at a time depending on each country.

Most importantly, the citizenship can be inherited by family members and future generations. Children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and beyond also have the right to obtain the citizenship and passport through a very simple process which takes only two weeks.

Unlike many of the fast track citizenship programs which require a non-refundable financial contribution to a Government fund, Cyprus offers its investors the possibility of earning a good return while obtaining the citizenship. The Cypriot citizenship law requires a temporary investment of EUR 2 million in a Real Estate investment in Cyprus which is required to be held for 3 years and thereafter can be sold while maintaining a property worth 500,000 EUROS. It is certain that not everyone can afford it, but for those who can, this is potentially on of the best investment they would have made in their lifetimes, leaving their families a great legacy.

The program has become so popular among HNWI citizenship applicants from all over the world especially Asia, Middle East and Russia, that the Cypriot Government has recently announced a cap of only 700 applications per annum to maintain its high standards. According to Cypriot news agencies, the Government of Cyprus has released reports of issuing passports for over 3,300 families bringing into the economy approximately USD 4.5 Billion. This has helped turning the Cypriot economy around becoming one of the fastest growing GDP’s in Europe. At the moment, Cyprus GDP levels are considerably higher than those of the Eurozone and the European Union according to a report released by the international firm KPMG.

The Cypriot citizenship by investment program is one of the many incentives established by the Government to attract foreign direct investment to the country. The first amendments to the citizenship law were introduced back in 2013. Since its inception, the program has undergone various improvements to make it more accessible and attractive for investors. In September 2016, the Government of Cyprus introduced an amendment which reduced the minimum investment amount to EUR 2 million (from EUR 2.5 million) and the option to add the parents of the main applicant for an additional EUR 500,000 plus VAT investment in a property in Cyprus.

According to official statistics from the Department of Land and Surveys, in 2017 Cyprus has recorded a 24% increase in real estate sales contracts, 30% of which accounted to non-nationals. Not surprisingly 31% of the real estate transactions in 2017 were properties valued at around 2 million EUROS, which indicates that a high number of investors are purchasing real estate as a mean to obtain the Cypriot citizenship.

The contribution of real estate to Cyprus’ GVA amounted to EUR 2,4 Billion in 2017. Construction activities from 2013 onwards indicate to have broken through the slowdown of the financial crisis, which has been clearly left way behind, and entered into an expansion period which until 2019 is set stretch to pre-2013 levels where Cyprus recorded all-time highs in real estate transactions.

From a taxation point of view Cypriot passports holders actually benefit. Non-tax residents are not liable for income tax generated outside the country. More importantly Cyprus does not impose inheritance tax on property, which gives the ability to pass it down to future generations without incurring costs.

So how does all this benefit investors? Cyprus has become one the of the most attractive real estate investments in Europe. This injection of billions of Euros in luxury real estate and infrastructure is turning the Cypriot landscape around. Limassol will soon have ‘One’ the tallest residential tower in Europe, Ayia Napa is undergoing the non-stop 24/7 construction of the most luxurious marina in the region with high end international restaurants and villas worth EUR 5 million with their own private berths. The whole country is having a radical facelift with modern contemporary architecture of glass and refined design are taking over. In the next 3 years, when allowed to re-sale, investors will be able to appreciate the growth of their investments as part of this radical transformation.

One can understand the excitement of savvy businessmen when considering buying property in Cyprus, after all they know that they are purchasing luxury real estate in a newly booming property market.

It is clear that Cyprus has not only become the ‘super star’ of citizenship programs but also earned a prime position amongst the most profitable real estate investments worldwide. Demand translates into growth which then translates into high profits. Whether applying for citizenship or not, Cyprus seems to be the place to invest in.

Experts: Ensure the investment is the basis of development

9/17/2018

Baghdad / Emad Al-Amara Iraq is suffering from the problem of the slow arrival of international and regional investments to be present in the local business arena, despite the great tendency to open up to foreign investment, especially after the achievement of the Central Bank achievement in getting out of the list of sanctions in the European Union to contribute to attract money and create the investment environment in the country and ensure the flow Investments to Iraq \ Attract investments between the academic economist d.

"The success of the entry of foreign investment into Iraq requires the creation of an appropriate environment for the process of attracting these investments, after reforming the financial structure with procedures to facilitate the entry of investors’ funds," he said.

"The institutional and legal frameworks must be set up to instill confidence in the foreign investor, Which is stipulated in the investment law is the basis for organizing any economic activity.

" Conflicting policies
He continued: "It is necessary to achieve general stability, so if the investor enters its money, it must be dealing with the administrative policies and decisions in force in Iraq smoothly and without obstacles and away from routine."

He stressed the importance of directing foreign investment first in the infrastructure, especially in the energy sector, transport and basic services as it is the basis for the success of other investments, while encouraging joint investments between foreign and national capital to transfer expertise to local investors to develop their capabilities and potential.

He explained the importance of pushing foreign investors to use national labor after being given the possible facilities and exemptions from duties and taxes levied on such investments, and obliging foreign investors to run specific percentages of the labor force to absorb the phenomenon of domestic unemployment. "

Infrastructure
For his part, the academic economist Amr Hisham need to "overcome the challenges facing foreign investment to enter the country through upgrading the infrastructure in Iraq, especially in energy sources, roads, transportation and basic services necessary for the success of investment projects."

"This requires directing the state’s effort to rebuild the basic infrastructure of the society so that the process of reconstruction and foreign investment can succeed," he said.

Investment flows
Hisham pointed out that "the absence of sophisticated financial markets able to meet the requirements of the investment sector in all forms is another obstacle to the success of any investment," but the central bank opened the door to enter the money to Iraq after he managed to get the country out of the list "The presence of such sophisticated markets helps the process of investment flows and motivate citizens to invest their savings, especially if we know that there is an intention to privatize a number of state-owned enterprises."

Investment Decision
Hisham focused on "
He called for "the development of the institutional and legal framework, especially after changes in the methodology of the state and its future directions in the transformation of the Iraqi economy from the central planned economy to the free economy, and the transition from the central management of the strong state to the federal system with broad powers to manage the regions and provinces, Its interaction with multiple institutions with unaligned powers ".

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