The National Bank of Iraq (NBI) has become the latest member of the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC).

In a statement, the IBBC said it is delighted to welcome one of Iraq’s preeminent private sector banking organisations to join its growing financial and professional services sector table.

NBI was founded in 1995 as a publicly traded, private sector company offering comprehensive banking services to individuals and businesses. NBI’s paid up capital was increased to IQD 250 Billion (USD 215 million) in December 2013.

NBI has been consistently growing in size and capabilities to serve Iraqi citizens with the highest quality financial services. NBI’s strategy revolves around offering a unique value proposition to multinationals and large corporates looking for professional commercial banking services in Iraq, as well as a solid platform for individuals to interact with. As a Jordan based Group, they are able to offer global access to funds and a comprehensive set of banking services to facilitate banking needs on the ground.

NBI is constantly expanding and modernizing its branch and ATM network in Iraq and are currently the only bank that has a branch in North Rumaila (Basra) and are in the process of opening new branches in Kathimiyya and Jameela in Baghdad and a new technologically advanced branch in Basra. NBI is also heavily investing in advancing its electronic channels and overall technological capabilities in order further modernize the banking process and offer a seamless banking experience to their clients.

NBI offers full-fledged investment banking, wealth management and brokerage services through its sister companies in Jordan, UAE and Iraq. The UAE subsidiary acts as the main gateway for multinationals and GCC based clients looking to raise growth capital or connect with local partners and enter into joint ventures for business expansion or new projects across Iraq. NBI’s investment offering also includes a wide range of advisory services in M&A, investment structuring and debt raising or restructuring.

NBI is regulated by the Central Bank of Iraq and publicly traded on the Iraq Stock Exchange It implements stringent international anti-money laundering and compliance regulations, and is also one of the few banks in Iraq to implement International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), with PWC as its external auditor.

(Source: IBBC)

Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, President of the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC), visited Baghdad on 2-3 June, accompanied by Managing Director Christophe Michels, as well as Rasmi Al Jabri, Deputy Chairman and Iraq Representative to meet with numerous politicians and IBBC member representatives.

Jonathan Wilks CMG, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Iraq joined the IBBC team for several high profile meetings.

The IBBC management first attended a religious tolerance seminar and Iftar dinner on 2 June organised by the AMAR Foundation in Baghdad, where numerous representatives of different religious groups in Iraq were present, as well as notable academics, journalists and artists. The dinner was preceded by a meeting with the Chaldeen Patriarch.

Meetings were held on 3 June with H.E. Mr Kadhim Finjan, Iraqi Minister of Transport together with  IBBC Member representatives from Serco, G4S, Al Burhan Group and Menzies Aviation at Adnan Place in Baghdad, where constructive talks were held on further cooperation in the civil aviation industry.

Later meetings were also held with Dr Mehdi Al Alak, Secretary General of the Council of Ministers and Dr AbdulKariem Al Faisal, Chairman of the Prime Minister’s Advisory Committee at the Council of Ministers in Baghdad on behalf of IBBC members.

The IBBC team also met Dr Barham Salih, former Prime Minister of the KRG and former Deputy Prime Minister of the Government of Iraq and founder and leader of the Coalition for Democracy and Justice. Dr Barham Salih is a long-time friend and associate of the Iraq Britain Business Council and will be attending the IBBC Weekend Retreat at Cumberland Lodge in Windsor Great Park from 6-8 July.

In the late afternoon of 3 June IBBC hosted a meeting for its members at the Babylon hotel. The meeting was joined by Dr Sami Al Araji, Chairman of the National Investment Commission, Professor Sabbah Mushatat, Advisor to the Prime Minister and Eng. Dara Rasheed, Deputy Minister for Housing, Construction & Public Municipalities and Deputy Head of Refaato (Reconstruction fund for areas affected by terrorism https://www.refaato.iq/en/) .

IBBC also visited The Station in Baghdad during their visit, which is the first combined workspace in Iraq, providing tech and artistic entrepreneurs with a communal space and resources to develop and expand business projects. This exciting initiative is a boost to a small but growing number of young Iraqis willing to engage and develop the private sector in Iraq. The building itself is a landmark of modern architecture in the heart of Baghdad. For more information please visit: http://the-station.iq/.

(Source: IBBC)

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) has held an event in partnership with the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) on ‘The Iraq Election Results: what next for Iraq’s political stability?’.

The panel event, in partnership with the Royal United Services Institute gave an initial assessment of the Iraqi election result and commented on the early indications of potential political realignments and possible impacts on the polity in the near future.

Iraq experienced its fourth democratic Parliamentary election on the 12th of May, the nation’s first since it’s defeat of the Islamic State. Following the official end of the campaign against IS in December 2017 and the start of the rebuilding process, the country is at a crucial turning point and political decisions made now will determine the stability and prosperity of Iraq for years to come.

With the emergence of new electoral lists, and the federal government’s response to the Iraqi Kurdistan referendum weakening the Kurdish hand, the election produced many surprises.

Chair

  • Michael Stephens, RUSI Research Fellow

Speakers

  • (Introduction) Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, President IBBC
  • Professor Gareth Stansfield, RUSI Senior Associate Fellow
  • Dr Renad Mansour, Research Fellow, Chatham House
  • (Panel discussion) Mr Christophe Michels, Managing Director, IBBC

The panel discussion was the first in a series of events in partnership with RUSI, which will explore in detail the political landscape of Iraq as it evolves over the coming months.

(Source: IBBC)

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) held its annual Spring Conference at the Mansion House in London and a newly formatted second day forum for Iraqi and UK SMEs to discuss business opportunities at the Royal Overseas League on the 24th and 25th of April.

The event proved to be a huge success, with record attendances and expert speaker contribution fully captivating the positive and progressive forecast for Iraq in 2018. The Conference was chaired by Rasmi Al Jabri, Deputy Chairman and Iraq representative of IBBC, who’s significant standing in Iraq was fundamental to the success of the event.

The first day of the conference, entitled ‘Iraq: Building a diversified and modern economy’ was held at the Mansion House, home of the Lord Mayor of London and featured numerous Iraqi and UK politicians, industry experts, academics, government advisers and more. The day featured the newly incorporated roundtable discussions, which facilitated greater face time with industry experts and politicians and more in-depth discussions.

The main panel sessions focused on a wide range of sectors and industries to fully address the investment opportunities, need for diversification of the economy and progress of Iraq over the last year:

SESSION 1: FinanceMajor projects – the criteria for and process of obtaining finance for projects in Iraq

SESSION 2: TechnologyDeveloping Iraq’s digital economy’

SESSION 3: Energy and IndustryThe need for locally available products and services – how two sectors can help diversify Iraq’s Economy’

SESSION 4: Education and TrainingDeveloping human capital in Iraq’

A high-level delegation from the Government of Iraq was present, including H.E. Mohammed Shyaa Al-Sudani, Minister of Social Affairs & Acting Minister of Industry and Minerals, Mr Khadhem Al Hassani, Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister of Iraq and H.E. Dr Salih Husain Ali Al Tamimi, the Iraqi Ambassador to the UK, who were all invited to give opening addresses to IBBC Members and guests at the conference.

H.E. Dr Abdul Kariem Al Faisal, Chairman of the PM’s Advisory Commission and Mr Abbas Nasser, Legal Advisor to the Ministry of Transport and H.E. Nawzad Hadi, Governor of Erbil also attended the first day of the conference and held RoundTable discussions with IBBC Member representatives.

Several UK Government officials participated, including Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, The Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Iraq, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan and IBBC President, Jonathan Wilks CMG, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Republic of Iraq and Baroness Fairhead CBE, Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion, Department for International Trade, which demonstrates the continuing trend of increased bilateral trade and relations over the last few years between the UK & Iraq.

(Source: IBBC)

At a major Iraqi business event in London on Tuesday, there was a strong sense that Iraq’s perceived risk profile is improving, and that this is an excellent time to do business in the country.

Nearly 300 delegates attended the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC)s Spring Conference at the Mansion House, which focused on “building a diversified and modern economy“, with many of those flying in from Iraq specially for the occasion.

This record attendance was just one of the positive indicators in evidence at the event, with speakers pointing to improved security, better relations between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the central government in Baghdad, and a growing trend towards up-skilling and capacity building in the local population; here at Iraq Business News, we’ve seen a positive indicator of our own, with a 15 percent increase in our website traffic over the past year.

Closing the conference’s first day, IBBC Managing Director Christophe Michels also drew attention to the growing number of companies joining his organisation, and a much more relaxed atmosphere in Iraq’s major cities.

The second day of the conference also saw a full house at the Royal Overseas League to discuss business opportunities for Iraqi and British small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

(Picture: Baroness Fairhead CBE, UK Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion, addressing the conference.)

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) has announced that Basra Gateway Terminal (BGT) has joined the Council.

BGT is one of Iraq’s premier container and multi-purpose cargo handling facility, with a team of high-performing Iraqi and International port professionals who deliver customer-focused, high productivity and congestion-free port services to Iraq’s economy.

Situated in Umm Qasr, 50 km from Basra and 500km from Baghdad, the Terminal is operated by International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI). ICTSI is an internationally recognized expert in port construction, operation and management with more than 30 years of experience. It is one of the major maritime terminal operators in the world present in 6 continents, operating 30 marine terminals in 20 countries positioned in some of the world’s most strategic trade lanes.

Christophe Michels, Managing Director of IBBC says:

“IBBC is delighted to welcome Basra Gateway Terminal to the Council. BGT has a reputation for great professionalism and efficiency in Iraq and is managed by international experts in port operation and management. I have no doubt that BGT will prove a valuable addition to the IBBC and its growing membership in 2018.”

Investment in Iraq:

In April 2014, ICTSI signed a contract for 26 years with General Company for Ports of Iraq (GCPI) to operate, develop, and expand the container handling facilities at the Port of Umm Qasr. Presently BGT is operating four berths with two more under construction, catering for container, general, project and RORO cargo.

ICTSI is half way through a USD 230 million investment programme, which includes rehabilitation and operation of the port’s existing facility at Berth 20 and construction of three new berths at Berth 25, 26 and 27. In 2017, BGT was extended to perform the operation at Berth 19 and 21 for general cargo and RORO cargo respectively hence helping BGT to launch itself in the project cargo for oil and gas sector business.

These investments have been supported by the introduction of state-of-the-art technology in Iraq’s port sector with BGT being the first terminal to introduce the SAP ERM system and the Navis Sparcs N4 Terminal Operating System.

(Source: IBBC)

IBBC Spring Conference 2018

Iraq: Building a diversified and modern economy 

Tuesday 24 April at Mansion House, London

IBBC’s Spring Conference returns on 24 April 2018, bringing to the heart of London the preeminent political and business figures involved in business and the economy of Iraq.

The theme for this years’ conference is Iraq: Building a diversified and modern economy. The conference aims to address the key challenges in building a diversified and modern economy, which will enable Iraq to build on the recent economic and social stability to progress into one of the Middle East’s major economies once again. Sessions will focus on Finance, Technology, Oil & Gas and Education.

The Government of Iraq has confirmed it is sending a high-level delegation of government representatives to the IBBC Spring Conference, which will be led by H.E. Dr Abdul Kariem Al Faisal, Chairman of the Iraq Prime Minister’s Advisory Commission (PMAC). The delegation will also include senior representatives from the Iraq Ministries of Oil and Industry.

The IBBC Spring Conference, held at the prestigious Mansion House, the home and office of the Lord Mayor of London, is traditionally IBBC’s flagship event, which attracts suppliers, investors, producers and buyers from Iraq, the UK and the wider international business community.

Prominent speakers include Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, President of IBBC and the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Iraq, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, Alderman Sir Alan Yarrow, Lord Mayor, Locum Tenens, Ambassador Jonathon Wilks, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Republic of Iraq and Baroness Fairhead CBE, Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion, Department for International Trade.

IBBC expects a high attendance at the conference and the new round tables are designed for close business interaction and the facilitation of in-depth discussion, where delegates can focus on particular sectors of interest and engage with speakers and industry experts on the issues that really matter.

With representatives from all major interested parties involved in Iraq expected to attend, as well as pre- and post- networking events, the IBBC Spring Conference 2018 will provide many opportunities for networking at the highest level, as well as providing exceptionally informative and experienced panels.

Sessions on the agenda include:

Finance: ‘Criteria and process for obtaining major project finance’ Chair: Mr Gavin Wishart, IBBC

IBBC has gathered several preeminent voices in the finance industry to discuss the challenges and opportunities Iraqi and international firms face in sourcing capital for major projects. Representatives from some of the largest international finance organisations, JP Morgan and Allan & Overy LLP, as well as representatives from UK Export Finance and GE will discuss in detail the criteria and process of obtaining finance for major projects in Iraq.

  • Mr Richard S. Wilkins, Executive Director – Export Finance, JP Morgan
  • Mr Tom Longmuir, Counsel, Allen & Overy LLP
  • Mr Guto Davies, Managing Director – Global ECA CoE Leader, GE Capital
  • Mr David Craig, Deputy Head of Civil Infrastructure and Energy Business, UK Export Finance

 

Technology: ‘Developing Iraq’s digital economy’ Chair: Mr Ashley Goodall, IBBC

The IBBC Tech Panel brings together the two leaders of the UK and Iraq e-government initiatives in addition to experts in FinTech and entrepreneurial hub development. The panel will address in detail how innovative new technology and the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) can improve the activities in the public and private sectors to help Iraq’s economy and growth.

  • Mr Ahmed Elkady, Partner, Ernst & Young
  • Mr Ali Al Dahwi, Consultant, Management Partners
  • Mr Chris Fergusson, Director at The Cabinet Office (Government Digital Service)
  • Mr Mohammed Khudairi, Managing Partner, Khudairi Group

 

Oil & Gas: ‘Need for locally available products and services – how the sector can help diversification of Iraq’s economy’ Chair: Mr Vikas Handa, IBBC

This expert panel consists of representatives from the largest IOC’s in Iraq, Governmental representatives from the Iraq Ministries of Oil and Industry and an Oil & Gas expert from the Department of International Trade. The session will cover all key aspects of Iraq’s Oil & Gas sector for 2018, delivered by the preeminent experts in the field and will include a panel discussion and Q & A chaired by Vikas Handa, the head of IBBC’s Oil & Gas Sector Table and its GCC representative.

  • Dr Mark Wharton, Development Manager, Shell Iraq
  • Mr Mike Wenham, Commercial Manager, BP Iraq
  • Mr Bob Dastmalchi, Vice President, Business Development, Chevron
  • Mr Craig Jones, Deputy Director, Oil & Gas, Department for International Trade
  • Representative from the Ministry of Oil, Government of Iraq
  • Representative from the Ministry of Industry, Government of Iraq

 

Education and Training: ‘Developing human capital in Iraq’

The panel brings together leading representatives from academia and business to address the challenges of developing Iraq’s human capital to support its transition into a diversified, vibrant economy. Members of the panel have direct experience of challenges and advantages of delivering advanced education and training in-country.

Chair & Presentation: Professor Paul Boyle, President & Vice Chancellor, Leicester University

  • Mr Alex Haynes, Senior VP Business Development AMEA & Southern Europe, Wood
  • Mr Saadi Faraj Muthanna, Business Development Manager, Al Nukhba-OFS FZCO
  • Ms Christine van den Toorn, Institute of Regional and International Studies, American University of Iraq
  • Mr Will Follett, Director, Restrata

With a dedicated and well informed agenda, IBBC are bringing the experts and practitioners best placed to answer these questions, so the international business community can work towards framing the future and contributing to a modern and outward looking Iraq. Each session will emphasise the growing business opportunities for international companies.

For more information and tickets, please visit: http://www.webuildiraq.org/ibbc-conference/spring-conference-2018/ or email london@webuildiraq.org.

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) has announced that Al-Nukhba-OFS FZCO has become the latest member to join the Council.

Al-Nukhba OFS is one of Iraq’s preeminent organisations, involved in numerous sectors of the economy with many years of experience and has developed strong relationships with a host of international companies.

Al Nukhba OFS started its business in 2005 as an investor in the Basra area in the specialized fields and expanded business areas in water and wastewater treatment plants and pre-drilling oil field services, logistics & custom clearance and oil field services.

Al Nukhba OFS provides services such as end-to-end logistics solutions and services along with of value added services to customize your supply chain to meet your precise goals and requirements. Their dedicated teams select and apply the exact resources you need to improve your business’s performance and provide flexibility for a dynamic marketplace.

Al Nukhba OFS has relationships with major companies for energy projects and has a contract with the Ministry of Electricity, Iraq and hold an exclusive HCL distribution contract with the Ministry of Industry & Minerals for AL Furat Factory. Al Nukhba is cooperating with major power companies i.e. Ansaldo Energia to develop the power sectors in Iraq and have strong support from Wood Group P&W through their Iraq Agent for the development of power section as well.

Al-Nukhba OFS are associated with numerous notable companies, such as Baker Hughes, ENKA, Eni, Scania, Daewoo, Petromid, KOGAS, Techno Engineering, TAAZ, Oilserv. Al-Nukhba OFS have successfully completed a number of projects for them, including mobilization/maintenance of RIG, Logistics and other life support services, Surveillance, Fuel & Manpower supply, Distribution & Warehousing, Camp & Site Preparation/Maintenance besides 4PL logistics and other subcontracting jobs and provide immigration services too.

Al-Nukhba OFS currently act as an agent, supplier and distributor for:

  • Parker Trade Link International (A Supply Chain Management Company)
  • Chesterton
  • Bentonite, Calcium Carbonate and other minerals for all varieties
  • Power Generator
  • Nystrom Building Materials

(Source: IBBC)

Iraq Britain Business Council joins British Chambers of Commerce in boost to UK – Iraq Trade

IBBC is delighted to announce that we are officially an international affiliate to the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC). The IBBC is now the official organisation to whom British companies and organisations will be referred by the BCC.

This relationship neatly mirrors our status with the Iraqi Federation of Chambers of Commerce and the Kurdish Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry who are close partners of IBBC. Indeed the 5 largest Iraqi chambers, namely Baghdad, Erbil, Basrah, Najaf and Karbala are full members of the IBBC.

The BCC sits at the heart of a business network that spans the length and breadth of the UK, with links to markets across the world, with 52 accredited Chambers in the UK as trusted champions of businesses, places, and global trade.

Chambers of Commerce provide a voice to the business communities they represent, amplifying their priorities and concerns. In every region and nation of the UK, Chambers of Commerce and their members work to improve the local business environment in which they operate.

The Chamber of Commerce network exists to support and connect companies, bringing together firms to build new relationships, share best practice and foster new opportunities.

Christophe Michels, MD of IBBC says:

“IBBC is delighted to have been granted this affiliate status by BCC, as this endorses our role as intermediaries and trade enablers with Iraq for all the work we do with British business in the country. It completes the circle of business with Iraqi companies, as we have an equal position in Iraq, and are thus able to bring businesses in both UK and Iraq together through this unique leverage.”

Dr Adam Marshall, Director General at BCC stated:

“We are delighted to welcome IBBC to the BCC and we look forward together to strengthening relations and business opportunities between the UK and Iraq in the weeks and months ahead.”

(Source: IBBC)

By

Chris Frost, the Chairman of the AMAR International Charitable Foundation’s Finance Committee, has retired from the position after five years at the helm.

Since he began his Chairmanship, Mr Frost has skilfully overseen AMAR’s already excellent financial arrangements.

A frequent visitor to Iraq and the wider Middle East region during his many years as a Partner at the multi-national professional services business, PwC, he has brought enormous experience and vast knowledge to the role.

Mr Frost, who was also a founder Board member of the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) – AMAR’s sister organisation, recognised the vital importance of AMAR’s work to the Iraqi people.

However, he will not be leaving the AMAR family. Now that he has fully-retired from PwC, Mr Frost has been asked, and has accepted, a full-time position at the charity.  He will start as Treasurer on April 1st.

Mr Frost’s brief will be to oversee AMAR’s continued growth and development and strengthen the charity’s core principles; Good financial management, transparency, accountability and low administrative costs with high field output to defined, professional world class standards.

AMAR Chairman, Baroness Nicholson, said today that she was “absolutely delighted” to have persuaded Mr Frost to stay within the AMAR family:

People of Chris’s standing in the financial world are not available very often, so we had to strike while the iron was hot. He has done a fantastic job with our Financial Committee over the last five years, so we are very much looking forward to him working here on a full-time basis.”

“Chris will also travel to Basra, Baghdad and the North of Iraq regularly to meet and work with the local financial teams to develop an understanding of their working practices and help them work more effectively and efficiently.

Baroness Nicholson added:

“His particular background also allows us to implement our long-held plan to breakout with new fundraising approaches to funding institutions and city guilds.”

(Source: AMAR)