Iraq Business News would like to recommend an excellent and informative webinar from the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC)‘s Young Executives Network (YEN), featuring a discussion with Ali Al-Saffar, the Middle East and North Africa Program Manager at the International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris.

Ali shared his insights on “The importance of oil and gas to Iraq’s economy and the opportunities for and challenges to diversification“.

Also on the panel were Mr Sammy Sharifi, Co-Chair of IBBC YEN, and Ms Layla Al-Hassani of BP and Co-Chair of IBBC YEN.

To watch this Webinar please click here or here.

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) held its biannual council meeting on Wednesday 8 July. The meeting was chaired by Bob Phillips (Mott MacDonald), member of IBBC’s Executive Committee and was attended by over 30 IBBC member company’s representatives.

Following a discussion of the present situation in Iraq and the UK, led by IBBC’s President Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, IBBC members reviewed the Council’s activities since January.

Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, President of IBBC

Christophe Michels, MD of IBBC commented “since the lockdown started in March, with its management based out of London, Baghdad and Erbil, IBBC organised 25 online meetings for its members with, among others, GoI and KRG Ministers and Governors, officials from the FCO, DIT and a series of meetings with the WB and IFC. We also vigorously continued to pursue our tech, education, women in business and young executive initiatives and have launched free WB and IFC sponsored business awareness online tutorials for Iraqi SMEs. Our Advisory Council published a white paper for the incoming Iraqi Government which was widely praised in Iraq and by the international community”.

Mrs Hadeel Hassan, The Founder and Managing Director, Al Hadeel Al Hasan & Partners

Prior to the Council Meeting there was a meeting of the IBBC Executive Committee, which reviews the overall work of IBBC and advises its management. At the meeting the committee welcomed two new members, Mrs Hadeel Hasan, the founder and managing director at Al Hadeel Al Hasan & Partners, and Zaid Elyaseri the Country Manager of BP in Iraq.

Zaid Elyaseri, Country Manager Iraq, BP

At both meetings IBBC members expressed their satisfaction with the work of the Council in these challenging times. Many also acknowledged that the present crisis facing Iraq was indeed very challenging and that all businesses were suffering from it, but that the country had seen worse economic and other crisis in its recent history and was extremely resilient and resourceful in weathering such difficult times.

(Source: IBBC)

By John Lee.

The AMAR International Charitable Foundation is delighted to invite you to attend an on line Zoom panel of Iraqi medical experts from the World Health Organisation, IBBC healthcare and our front-line doctor, live from the IDP camps, to discuss the current healthcare situation in Iraq and the immediate challenges in Iraq and AMAR’s IDP camp services.

The event will take place on 3rd July at 03:00 PM (BST)

Click here to register.

(Source: AMAR)

You are invited to help IBBC and World Bank to introduce Iraqi SME’s to FREE business training courses

WHEN: 29th June, 6pm to 8pm Iraq time

Please share this free business training initiative and the course registration with any SME in your network, however small, and encourage them to sign up.

Arabic version for sharing with your contacts here
WebEx Link: Join Using WebEx

YouTube Livestream:

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) has been asked by the World Bank to support them in the promotion of business resilience and training courses for SME’s in Iraq.

The driver behind this initiative is to give Iraqi SME’s support to ride out and survive the business effects of COVID-19 pandemic and the effect it has particularly on the smaller businesses in the economy.

The support is in the form of four free business training courses that SME’s can take via Webex or Youtube, provided they sign up.

As a partner to the World Bank, IBBC is contacting our Chambers of Commerce and Union contacts, and those businesses we can alert.

The courses cover four topics :

  1. Business Planning.
  2. Accessing Finance.
  3. Communicating.
  4. Thriving.

We recognise that your suppliers are most likely to be already well prepared, but if there are some who may be finding the current economic climate challenging, these courses will provide a good sense check to best practice.

Please follow this link for the WebEx how-to manual in English

Please follow this link for the WebEx how-to manual in Arabic

Please let us know if there are any further questions by contacting

We very much hope that your teams will be able to share these courses with your supplier and business ecology.

(Source: IBBC)

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC)‘s Young Executives Network held a Webinar on Wednesday highlighting the effects of COVID 19 and how the YEN can offer to support their members during this difficult period.

On the Panel was Mr Sammy Sharifi Co Chair of IBBC YEN, Ms Layla Al-Hassani of BP & Co Chair of IBBC YEN and Ms Rebecca Graham Senior Project Engineer, Wood.

A detailed presentation was given showing the impacts of COVID 19 and the overview key challenges and opportunities, Core Pillars, and a plan for the year ahead.

The YEN Webinar outlined ways they are supporting by giving back via STEM Initiative, AMAR Foundation Charity and Mentoring/Internships.

To watch this Webinar click here 

IBBC Advisory Council’s discussion goes public on the white paper ‘Iraq 2020: a country at the crossroads.’

Today over 300 people signed up the IBBC Advisory Council’s public discussion on the white paper – Iraq 2020: a country at the crossroads, sponsored by Iraq Business News ( IBBC media partner)  and in conjunction with Chatham House and IRIS at AUIS.

With a full panel of 6 advisors and commentators, including Ms Maya Gebeily of Agence-France Presse, Mr Ahmed Tabaqchali of IRIS at AUIS, and the key advisory panel members led by Professor Frank Gunter of Leigh University, Dr Renad Mansour, Fellow at Chatham House, Mr Hani Akkawi of CCC and Professor Mohammed Al-Uzri, University of Leicester University. Mr Christophe Michels, MD of IBBC chaired the discussion.

The key points were delivered by Professor Gunter, including, the necessity to provide: 1. Strong cross-party political support to GOI for its initiatives; 2. Transparency to build support and trust among the people and to stop corruption up and down the system. 3. GOI acceptance of the limits of its ability to control and centralise economic activity- and afford to make space for the Private sector.

Dr Mansour made critical points about the importance of the political economy and the requirement to listen and understand the needs of the protestors and conversely the protestors ability and requirements of government to make changes, along with the difficulty in enacting reforms while the public sector has too much invested in its continuation.

Mr Hani Akkawi, made an unmissable point about the opportunity for areas of industry to be returned to the private sectors, such as electricity, water, fertiliser and transport, that would not only raise finance, but help efficiency and productivity.

Underpinning the report are 5 key action points and a further 38 recommendations that the GoI may be able to make to address the economic crisis that faces the country, including; business deregulation, inclusion of the informal business sector into legal acceptance, ending subsidies on electricity and water production, am improved banking system with credit for private sector businesses, an anti-corruption drive and dealing with COVID-19 without jeopardising the private sector.

Please see the full webinar here

Click below to read the full paper:

Iraq 2020: a country at the crossroads – English

Iraq 2020: a country at the crossroads – Arabic

For further information please contact


You are invited
to hear a discussion of the IBBC Advisory Council’s paper on
‘Iraq 2020, a country at the crossroads’

When: Monday 15th June at 2pm UK
Where: Zoom Platform

The paper published for the new Iraqi Government recommends a number of decisive changes to be implemented without delay, in order for Iraq to be able to navigate the rapidly deepening economic crisis she is facing.

This open public forum takes place in partnership with IRIS (Institute of Regional and International Studies) at AUIS (American University of Iraq, Sulaimani) and Chatham House.

Speakers include:

  • Professor Frank Gunter, Lehigh University
  • Dr Renad Mansour, Chatham House
  • Mr Ahmed Tabaqchali, IRIS at AUIS
  • Professor Mohammed Al-Uzri, University of Leicester
  • Mr Abdul Aziz Shwan Ahmed, Iraqi Government
  • Mr Hani Akkawi, CCC

Click below to read the full paper:

Iraq 2020: a country at the crossroads – English

Iraq 2020: a country at the crossroads – Arabic


On Monday, 1st June the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) held a well attended Women’s Group discussion entitled ‘Women in Business: Current Challenges and Future Perspectives‘ with Ms Samar Thamer Al Mafraji, Managing Director, AMS Iraq chairing the session.

Speakers included:

  • Ms Caroline McGarr, Managing Director, Thinkbank;
  • Mrs Faten Issa Alsarraf, Managing Director, Final Fix Interiors LLC;
  • Mrs Samar Rassam-Whitticombe, Director, Somer Industrial Projects; and,
  • Ms Paulina Argudin, Senior Analyst, G4S Risk Consulting.

The discussion covered a wide range topics from personnel training in Iraq, gender equality issues to personal experiences while working in large corporations.

Finally a very insightful survey on Iraqi consumer habits and how these differ between men and women was presented at the meeting.

For more information please contact

(Source: IBBC)

Members of the IBBC Advisory Council have published a paper entitled ‘Iraq 2020: A country at the crossroads‘.

The purpose of this extensive paper is to provide insight and advice to the new Iraqi Government. It particularly focuses on the political and economic backdrop to the country, with analysis and solutions from a private sector perspective.

The papers authors are Professor Frank Gunter (lead author), Prof, Mohammed Al Uzri, Dr Renad Mansour, Mr Hani Akkawi, Mr Hussein Al Uzri, Mr Shwan Aziz Ahmed, and Mr Christophe Michels for the IBBC’s management.

The paper provides a broad view on how to support Iraq’s transition, with a call to action ranging from the requirement to engage the Iraqi people, to solutions for the banking and investment sector, defeating ISIS and responding to COVID and healthcare specific solutions, and how to develop the private sector with a regulatory regime for successful business.

The paper has been sent to the Prime Minister, to the President, the President of Parliament, a number of Ministers and officials.

Christophe Michels, IBBC MD, says:

“Iraq is facing a deepening multifaceted crisis without precedent in recent times. This article has been published in support of the Iraqi Government which has the opportunity to use this crisis to change Iraq and prepare it for a better and more prosperous future”.

Iraq 2020: a country at the crossroads – English

Iraq 2020: a country at the crossroads – Arabic 

For more information please contact

(Source: Iraq Britain Business Council)

IBBC Tech Forum hosts investor panel on ‘ What Iraq can do to boost its Tech Start up Economy’

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) has held a well-attended panel discussion on Iraq tech start up economy, with leading investors and practitioners, including :

  • Mohammed Khudairi, partner of Khudairi Group and Co-Founder of Iraq tech Ventures;
  • Dawssar Charchafchi, MD of Media World digital agency;
  • Bassam Falah, CEO of Innovest and Ruwad Al Iraq start ups;
  • Bilal Qureshi, Manager of GSMA Innovation Fund; and,
  • Patricia Letayf, Operations Director of Five One Labs.

The vibrant discussion covered the evolution of investment from idea to start up and scale ups, articulating some of the challenges and reforms that investors need to enable further investment in Iraq’s tech market.

Of particular note is the observation that Iraqi talent is no different from elsewhere, but the conditions for it to flourish are more challenging on a number of levels, not least Government bureaucracy, lack of long term patient capital, the need to encourage corporate families to invest in innovation and access to internet and sufficient tech skills for start ups.

The IBBC is noting the key obstacles and formulating suggestions for reform, not just for Tech start ups but also Fintech requirements that will speed up and enable the adoption of new businesses and tech into Iraq.

Please watch the recording of this webinar on the link below

Watch here

The next panel is with the World Bank to discuss their recent report on ‘transforming Iraq’s digital economy.

For more information please contact

(Source: IBBC)