The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) took a significant group of members on a trade mission to KRI this week. Paramount was the need to review business opportunities and investment in the region and to learn directly from the Prime Minister Barzani his plans for business and industry.

The group, led by Baroness Nicholson, UK Trade Envoy to Iraq, Christophe Michels MD of IBBC and Eng Rasmi Al Jabri, Deputy Chairman of IBBC included representatives from Jaguar LandRover, Crescent Petroleum, EY, Siemens, Sardar Trading Agency, Garda World, Stirling Education, KPMG, G4S, OilServ Kuwait, and from the DIT Mr Rawand Askary, and James Thornton of UK FCO.

The Prime Minister introduced a number of Ministers for discussion with the group, including KRI Minister of Electricity Mr Kamal Mohammad Saleh discussing project finance and other related matters. The DG of the KRIs MoI joint crisis coordination centre Mr Hoshang Mohamed discussed the clearance of IEDs & mines and the handling of the overall IDP and refugee crisis (that G4S have been heavily engaged with).

In conversation, Mr Barzani stated that ‘the KRI government will bring in reforms to cut down on red tape for the private sector to develop. It will pursue a policy of registering companies through a ‘one window’ online portal which should allow company registrations to be done in the same time it takes in western countries to do so. He also said that the new administration is streamlining overall bureaucracy for private businesses to limit unnecessary Government interference.

The Government is also planning to draft a new bribery law to fight corruption and is looking at reviewing its financial framework to encourage PPPs throughout the economy including education and health. Diversification of the economy is big on the agenda with agriculture, tourism and the manufacturing of goods being a priority. KRI should import less and produce more and eventually find markets outside its borders for its products. Foreign partners for all of this are sought after.’

A permanent revenue sharing agreement with Baghdad is top of the agenda among other things to allow credit export agencies to work directly in the KRIG.’

On Sunday the Planning Minister and Mr Amanj Raheem, Cabinet Secretary, Kurdistan Regional Government spoke, and the Ministers for Construction and Electricity attended the British Consulate Reception taking place at the JLR show room kindly sponsored by Sadar Trading Agencies – thanks to Mr Sardar Al-Bebany Chairman and CEO. Dr Dara Al Khayat, Chairman of KRI federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Erbil, hosted a Monday evening event and on Tuesday the mission visited Crescent Petroleum offices.

The trip continued to Baghdad

(Source: IBBC)

By John Lee.

Iraq has reportedly expelled a visiting Taiwanese business delegation from the country.

According to Focus Taiwan, the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) was abruptly notified that the delegation’s visas had been canceled a few days after its members had arrived in the country.

The delegation was scheduled to visit Baghdad and Erbil.

Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi has been on a visit to China, and has reportedly agreed for Iraq to join China’s “Belt and Road [One Belt One Road] initiative.

(Source: Focus Taiwan)

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.

More than 100 top executives from more than 50 US companies visitied Iraq last week as part of a US-Iraq trade mission.

Steve Lutes, vice president of Middle East Affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said:

“We want to expand and diversify the US involvement in commercial activity [in Iraq] … We look forward to building on this momentum and exploring next steps!”

U.S. Ambassador Douglas Silliman described the event as, “the largest US Chamber of Commerce business delegation anywhere in the world this year!

Now we work to negotiate real contracts and investments,” he added.

(Sources: Govt of Iraq, US Chamber of Commerce)

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business Mission to Baghdad: December 9-11, 2018

The U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are pleased to announce the first business mission for American companies to Baghdad since the 2018 parliamentary elections.

Delegates will have an opportunity to meet Iraqi leadership and learn about commercial and investment opportunities across a range of sectors.

Host: Andrew Peek, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, U.S. Department of State

Guest Speakers: Deputy Secretary John Sullivan; U.S. Ambassador Douglas Silliman; U.S. Chamber’s Vice President for the Middle East Steve Lutes

More details here.

(Source: US Embassy)

Iraq Britain Business Council completes productive trade mission to Baghdad

IBBC recently completed a productive mission to Baghdad, meeting with high-level government officials and British authorities in Iraq. Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, President of IBBC and the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Iraq led the delegation alongside Mr Rasmi Al Jabri, Deputy Chairman of IBBC, Mr Christophe Michels, Managing Director of IBBC and Mr Vikas Handa, IBBC representative in the GCC.

IBBC was joined by numerous member representatives, including from Al Bilal Group, Al Burhan Group, Al-Nukhba OFS, ARCHS, Constellis, Dar Group, EY, Gulftainer, G4S, Khudairi Group, International Islamic Bank, Kuwait Energy, Management Partners, Menzies Aviation, Mosul University, National Bank of Iraq, Ratba’a Contracting, Serco, Shell, Standard Chartered Bank and Turnkey LLC.

The delegation visited soon after the election of President Dr Barham Salih, who took time out of his busy schedule to meet Baroness Nicholson and the IBBC leadership who were joined by HMA Jon Wilks. Dr Salih has been a close friend of the IBBC for many years and recently spoke at the IBBC Cumberland Lodge Conference in July.

On Sunday 7 October the delegation held meetings with the Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq, Mr Ali Mohsen Ismael Al Alaq, H.E. Mr Adbuallah Luabea the Deputy Minister of Transport, Mr Fayadh Neema, Senior Deputy Minister of Oil and Dr Sami Al Araji, Chairman of the National Investment Commission. The delegation were hosted by the Iraqi Federation of Chambers of Commerce in the evening for dinner.

On Monday the delegation met with Dr Mehdi Al Alak, Secretary General of the Council of Ministers, Dr Hameed Ahmed Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers, Dr Sabah Mushatat, Economic & Investment Advisor to the Prime Minister of Iraq, Dr Mudher Mohammed Saleh, Finance Advisor to the Prime Minister of Iraq and with Ján Kubiš Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq.  In the evening Ambassador Jon Wilks hosted a reception for the delegation and Iraqi dignitaries at his residency.

Before leaving Iraq, Christophe Michels visited Serco, who are working with the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority at Baghdad International Airport. Serco supports the Iraqi authorities in managing the entire spectrum of air traffic control in Iraq including the increasing number of international overflights.

(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)

On 21st and 22nd January the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) Deputy Chairman Mr Rasmi Al Jabri and Managing Director Mr Christophe Michels visited Baghdad.

They met with Dr Abdulkariem Faisal, Chairman of the Prime Minister’s Advisory Commission to discuss the upcoming Spring Conference in London on 24 April and plans for a conference in Baghdad. Outstanding issues on behalf of IBBC members were also raised.

A similar meeting was held with Dr Sami Al Araji, Chairman of the National Investment Commission, which is playing the leading role at the ‘Supporting Private Sector’ day of the Kuwait International Conference for Reconstruction of Iraq, to be held in Kuwait on 13 February.

Additional meetings were held with IBBC members BP, Najaf Chamber of Commerce, Baghdad Chamber of Commerce and the International Islamic Bank, which hosted the IBBC visitors for Lunch at the famous Alwiyah Club.

IBBC also met with Jaafar Al Hamdani, Chairman of the Iraqi Federation of Chambers of Commerce to discuss the ongoing relationship with the federation and to make plans for a conference in Baghdad.

‎IBBC is greatful to Al Burhan Group for generously hosting it’s delegates at the Al Burhan Centre close to Baghdad Airport during their stay.

(Source: IBBC)

Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, President of the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) and UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy for Iraq, led a delegation of 25 IBBC member company representatives on a Trade Mission to Baghdad organised by IBBC Managing Director, Mr Christophe Michels and IBBC Co-Chairman and Iraq Representative, Mr Rasmi Al-Jabri.

Delegates included representatives from Penspen Ltd, Kuwait Energy, Serco, Wood, Ratba’a Contracting Co., Management Partners, Gulftainer, HWH & Associates, Al-Burhan Group, CCC, Dar Group, Restrata, Rolls Royce and new member XReach Ltd.

The delegation met with a number of ministers and high ranking officials to discuss future policies and opportunities for growth as well as focusing on business opportunities for IBBC member companies.

They also discussed the upcoming IBBC Autumn Conference in Dubai to be held on 12 November which will be attended by a powerful Iraqi Government delegation led by the Minister of Electricity. To register, please follow the link: http://www.webuildiraq.org/ibbc-conference/autumn-conference/

During the visit, delegates had meetings with:

  • Mr Qasim Al-Fahdawi, Minister of Electricity
  • Mr Abdul Kariem Al Faisal, Chairman of the PM’s Advisory Committee
  • Dr Mahdi Al Alak, Secretary General of the Council of Ministers
  • Dr Ann Nafi Aussi Balbool, Minister of Housing, Construction and Public Municipalities
  • ‎Mr Dara Rasheed, Deputy Minister of Housing, Construction and Public Municipalities
  • Mr Istabrak al Shouk, Deputy Minister of Housing, Construction and Public Municipalities
  • Mr Imran Abass, Deputy Minister of Transport
  • H.E. Mr Fayyad Naama Deputy Minister for refining operations, Ministry of Oil

The above meetings were joined by a number of Director Generals heading up the different departments in the various ministries.

On Sunday 29 October, IBBC Member Al Burhan Group, generously invited delegates for dinner at the Al Burhan Centre near the Baghdad International Airport.

The delegation was also invited for a Dinner at the British Embassy in Baghdad on Monday 30 October, where members delegates met with Representatives of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Trade, the World Bank, the EU and the Prime Ministers Advisory Council.

 

(Source: IBBC)

Minister Falah Mustafa today received representatives of over 25 U.S companies, led by the U.S-Kurdistan Business Council (USKBC), to discuss areas of potential investment for U.S companies in the Kurdistan Region.

In a meeting attended by Bayan Rahman, KRG Representative to the U.S, Minister Mustafa thanked the USKBC for bringing such a high level business delegation to Kurdistan and stressed that the presence and interest of the U.S companies to do business in Kurdistan, at this particular time, was a great show of support and solidarity.

“We must find a way out of the challenges facing our region to increase the active presence of international companies in the Kurdistan Region and to regain the confidence of foreign and local business people and investors,” the KRG Minister added.

The Minister reiterated that, “KRG will maintain its posture of welcoming and encouraging foreign investment, and in providing an environment, in which foreign businesses feel safe, secure, and welcome.”

Members of the delegation recognized the investment opportunities in the Kurdistan Region in various sectors and expressed their readiness to help recover the economy of the Kurdistan Region in partnership with the local private sector.

The United States Kurdistan Business Council is a non-profit trade association based in Washington, DC.   The organization is dedicated to facilitating trade and commerce for U.S companies in the Kurdistan Region and to strengthen ties between the private sector in the U.S and Kurdistan Region.

(Source: KRG)