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 Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) has announced that Shire Oak International has become the latest organisation to join the Council.

Shire Oak International is the first organisation with a primary focus on Renewable Energy to join the IBBC.

Shire Oak International is a developer and financier of large-scale renewable energy projects in developing countries and emerging economies. Its core mission is to be a global pathfinder in devising, implementing and spreading renewable energy solutions to drive transformational change in the rate of adoption of renewable energy in the developing world.

In line with this mission – as of October 2018 – the company is advancing 3.7GW of renewable energy projects to be operational in the coming 3-5 years. Beyond this initial suite of projects, the company is validating a further potential 5-6GW to be operational by 2030, a total of over 9GW in 13-15 countries. While the projects and country portfolios are different in many ways, they face common challenges.

Shire Oak International aims to provide a suite of development and financing solutions to surmount these challenges in order to bend the emissions curve in globally important energy markets. Innovative blended finance structures, which combine public and private funds, will be deployed.

Shire Oak International will bring significant expertise in the renewable energy sector to the IBBC, which brings exciting future possibilities to Iraq and its people.

(Source: IBBC)

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) has announced that Shire Oak International has become the latest organisation to join the Council.

Shire Oak International is the first organisation with a primary focus on Renewable Energy to join the IBBC.

Shire Oak International is a developer and financier of large-scale renewable energy projects in developing countries and emerging economies. Its core mission is to be a global pathfinder in devising, implementing and spreading renewable energy solutions to drive transformational change in the rate of adoption of renewable energy in the developing world.

In line with this mission – as of October 2018 – the company is advancing 3.7GW of renewable energy projects to be operational in the coming 3-5 years. Beyond this initial suite of projects, the company is validating a further potential 5-6GW to be operational by 2030, a total of over 9GW in 13-15 countries. While the projects and country portfolios are different in many ways, they face common challenges.

Shire Oak International aims to provide a suite of development and financing solutions to surmount these challenges in order to bend the emissions curve in globally important energy markets. Innovative blended finance structures, which combine public and private funds, will be deployed.

Shire Oak International will bring significant expertise in the renewable energy sector to the IBBC, which brings exciting future possibilities to Iraq and its people.

(Source: IBBC)

By Alexander Southworth, Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC).

Exploring Tech in Iraq: ‘Hackasuly – Promoting Tech Literacy for a New Generation of Iraqis’

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. In a country which has seen its fair share of weapon misuse over the last few decades Mandela’s quote could not be more relevant in the climate of present-day Iraq.

With a beleaguered state education system and struggling infrastructure, there exists a community within the Tech Sector that is trying to navigate these challenges and promote education of Iraqi youths through the cultivation of digital skills that will help them reach their goals and find meaningful employment.

In the IBBC’s Tech Series: Exploring Tech in Iraq, we speak to some of the innovators and founders of tech organisations making a difference in Iraq.

One such organisation, HackaSuly, is an initiative that aims to promote technology in Sulaimani, Kurdistan and wider Iraq through tech events, hackathons, meetups and to create a network of tech enthusiasts.

We spoke to one of the founders, Hero Mohammed, to find out more about HackaSuly’s events, how they are empowering young Iraqis, the inspiration behind the founding of the organisation and any advice she has to aspiring tech entrepreneurs.

I believe there is a great potential in Iraq for the tech-industry. The people of Iraq are hungry for stability, innovation and facilities after decades of war and conflict” – Hero Mohammed, Founder of HackaSuly

Growing up in Sulaimani, Iraqi Kurdistan, Hero describes her desire to participate in coding challenges and tech events but due to a near complete lack of opportunities, this simply was not possible. In 2015, she helped organise HackaErbil, the first Hackathon in Iraq, which would inspire her to embark on a journey to help others in the community to have the opportunities her peers did not have as college students. Building on the success of that first event, Hero started by organising the first hackathon in Sulaimani with the help of some friends.

So how exactly does HackaSuly help young coders through its events? HackaSuly is trying to help young coders to develop their skills and match them with the existing tech market demands. In the meanwhile, they are encouraged to update themselves with cutting-edge technologies and tools.

Until now, they have had three different types of events.

  1. Meet and code (Co-founded with Razhan Hameed): regular weekly coding meetups for coders and people who are interested in coding to come together, collaborate and share their knowledge and skills.
  2. HackaSuly Hackathon (co-organised with Snur Hamid): an annual hackathon that brings together developers, designers and entrepreneurs to come up with ideas that have a technological implementation, form teams and develop their prototypes over a weekend.
  3. Suli Tech Festival (Co-founded and co-organised with Razhan Hameed in collaboration with five one labs): a day-long tech celebration in Sulaimani. The Festival brought together young innovators and members of the local tech community with leaders and companies in the industry. The goal was to help promote technology, generate more interest in the field, and expand knowledge of career opportunities (from the participant’s side) and potential hires (from the business’ side) in the tech industry in Sulaimani. The Festival contained a number of exciting events over the course of the day, including: a welcome speech by the Deputy Prime Minister of Kurdistan Regional Government, a Coding Challenge, an Intro Workshop to Web Development, a Tech Career Fair and Project Presentations.

While events of this nature may be common in more tech-developed countries, their establishment in Iraq brings many serious challenges. Hero describes how their ideas and events are new to the society in general and the biggest challenge has being delivering their message. Explaining the events and ideas especially when seeking funds and support have been challenging. When they first started with the HackaSuly hackathon, there was significant difficultly making people within the tech industry, even professionals, understand what a hackathon is.

Support has been key to growing the operation, Hero states great support has been forthcoming from local and international NGOs and private sector companies, especially those that are operating within the Iraqi tech industry, many as part of their Social Responsibility programs. More support is necessary to keep momentum growing, especially government contributions.

“I can imagine HackaSuly in 5 years… A large tech community across the country working together to make technology an important sector for the economic development of Kurdistan and Iraq” – Hero Mohammed, Founder of HackaSuly

Inspired by her strong love of coding and tech, Hero is one of the inspiring young innovators that are driving tech literacy and interest in a new generation of Iraqis. By creating a community of tech enthusiasts in Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan, HackaSuly is empowering young people to believe in their abilities, learn new skills and create for themselves tech start-ups in Iraq’s fast growing tech Sector.

As Hero states: Access to new technologies can have many benefits for any developing countries. One such benefit is its impact on reducing the costs of production. Other ways technology is helping developing countries is by boosting economies through innovation, SMBs and advanced communication.

IBBC is holding a Tech Conference in Iraq in early 2019, where we aim to bring together the key innovators transforming the digital landscape in the country, explore solutions to better governance and industry reforms using technology and give a platform to young Iraqi entrepreneurs breaking the mould. For more information, and to get involved, please email: London@webuildiraq.org or visit: https://www.iraqbritainbusiness.org/event/tech-conference-in-baghdad.

(Source: IBBC)

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) has announced that it has launched it’s ‘IBBC Women’s Group’, dedicated to empowering and advancing women’s careers and networks across all areas of business in Iraq, the Middle East and Internationally.

Under the Chairmanship of Samar Thamer of AMS Iraq and coordinated by IBBC’s Agne Abramauskaite and Ashley Goodall, the Women’s Group will be organising events, talks and networking opportunities for those who wish to participate in this progressive and exciting new venture.

Background

IBBC Women’s Group primarily wants to encourage and reinforce the role of women’s socio-economic development in the Middle East Region.

We will work with our members to share knowledge and best practice, via networking opportunities, online platforms and events to ensure that standards are raised to benefit women in the ME. We want to encourage men and women to speak up and share the best practice and showcase greater awareness of women’s prospects globally.

IBBC Women’s Group is a part of Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC), which facilitates business, trade and investment, for the benefit of the Republic of Iraq and its members, seeking to bring together Iraqi, British and international companies and public sector bodies through a joint platform identifying mutual interests and common goals.

It is a powerful network of some of the most important global corporations as well as key Iraqi and British companies and enjoys the highest-level of support from governments and Global Organisations.

Activities

  • Reinforce measures to promote women in corporate leadership through the IBBC
  • Increase women’s access to mentorship and training opportunities that could led by the companies and academic institutions that are linked with IBBC
  • Support social awareness and promote gender equality at work and communities
  • Create networking, business and mentoring events on and off line
  • Influence the Iraqi government where possible to drive progress towards women’s empowerment

If you have an interest in the IBBC’s Women’s Group and would like to participate, please join our newly created LinkedIn & Facebook groups to keep up to date on activities going forward:

https://www.facebook.com/2241576649458055/photos/2241577296124657/

https://www.linkedin.com/groups/8731839/

(Source: IBBC)

IBBC completes Trade Mission to Baghdad with largest ever delegation of UK, International & Iraqi Businesses 9-12 Feb 2019

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) visited numerous Iraqi government ministers and officials during a highly successful trade mission to Baghdad on 9-12 February 2019.

The delegation was the largest ever led to the Republic of Iraq by the IBBC and included meetings with the Prime Minister, H.E. Dr Adil Abdul-Mahdi and Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister H.E. Dr Fuad Hussein.

The delegation was supported by Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Iraq Jon Wilks CMG and the UK’s Department of International Trade. A reception was held for members and guests at the British Embassy in Baghdad courtesy of the Ambassador on Sunday 10 February.

Meetings were held with the following officials:

  • H.E. Dr Adil Abdul-Mahdi, Prime Minister
  • Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Dr Fuad Hussain
  • Minister of Health Dr Ala Al Alwan
  • Minister of Transport Dr Abdullah Luaibi
  • Minister of Electricity Dr Luay Al Khateeb
  • PM’s Advisory Commission
  • Chairman of National Investment Commission Dr Sami Al Araji

Christophe Michels, Managing Director of IBBC stated:

“We were delighted to be able to organise such a large delegation of some of the most prominent UK, Iraqi & International companies operating in Iraq to meet with essential political figures in the new administration.

“After a series of highly productive meetings and discussions across a range of sectors, we feel confident that compared to previous years, Iraq in 2019 will see a significant level of progress in investment and economic growth to the benefit of the country and its people.”

The IBBC Spring Conference at the Mansion House taking place on 10 April in London will build upon the success of this mission. We expect a high-level delegation of Iraqi government figures to attend, as well a UK government presence and numerous senior industry and academic experts. For more information and registration: https://www.iraqbritainbusiness.org/event/spring-conference-at-the-mansion-house

Numerous IBBC Member companies joined the delegation, representing the major companies doing business in Iraq, across the most important sectors of the economy:

Al Bilal Group

Al Burhan

Al Nukhba-OFS FZCO

Al Maseer Insurance

ARCHS

Dar Group

EY

Exxon Mobil

Field Energy Services

G4S

GE

Gulfsands Petroleum

International Islamic Bank

Khudairi Group

KPMG

Management Partners

Menzies Aviation

Ratba’a Contracting Co. LLC

Serco

Siemens

Standard Chartered Bank

Zaha Hadid Architects

(Source: IBBC)

By John Lee.

Prime Minister Adil Abd Al-Mahdi received Baroness Emma Nicholson, the Chairman of the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC), at his office on Sunday to discuss cooperation between Iraqi and British businesses, and proposed investment projects in Iraq.

The Prime Minister said that stability in Iraq provides an opportunity to increase reconstruction efforts, and welcomed cooperation between Iraqi and British companies through the IBBC.

Baroness Nicholson praised developments in Iraq, expressing the desire to expand cooperation and partnership further.

(Source: Media office of the prime minister)

IBBC signs Memorandum of Understanding with the German Liaison Office for Commerce & Industry

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) and the German Liaison Office for Industry and Commerce in Iraq (DWI) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to increase cooperation between the organisations to support and grow trade between the UK, Europe and Iraq.

The cooperation will involve reciprocatory promotion of events, the organising of joint events and invitation to major events.

The German Liaison Office for Industry and Commerce in Iraq (DWI) Baghdad and Erbil is the representative office of the German economy in Iraq and accomplishes the tasks of the German Chamber of Commerce (AHK). It was founded in 2010 and is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) of the Federal Republic of Germany. They currently support about 600 companies, among them about 30 German company branches working in Iraq or in the autonomous region of Kurdistan. In addition to representing the interests of German companies, he German Liaison Office for Industry and Commerce in Iraq supports the economic exchange between Iraq and Germany.

IBBC is delighted to have signed this Memorandum of Understanding, which further boosts our growing international network for the benefit of our members and the people of Iraq.

For more information on DWI, visit: http://irak.ahk.de/en/about-us/

You can see the full list of IBBC partners here.

(Source: IBBC)

The  Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) held its Council Meeting, dinner and eception for members on 28th January.

The Council Meeting, hosted by Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, President of IBBC and the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Iraq, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan took place in the House of Lords before a Reception and Dinner at the Cavalry & Guards Club, hosted by Brigadier James Ellery of IBBC Member Turnkey.

Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint, Vice President of IBBC, spoke to members and guests in the after dinner address paying tribute to IBBC’s tenth anniversary as an organisation and outlining his positive expectations for Iraq in 2019. IBBC welcomed a delegation of Iraqi Members of Parliament to London for the event.

(Source: IBBC)