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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxeuaarijuE

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 london@webuildiraq.org

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

(Source: IBBC)

The Cabinet held its regular meeting in Baghdad on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi.

At the start of the meeting, the Prime Minister thanked health teams for their sacrifices on the front line during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Cabinet received a briefing from the Minister of Health on the latest developments and the ongoing national effort to combat the pandemic.

Following discussions, the Cabinet decided to:

  • Implement a previous decision by the government to award, free of charge, plots of land for health staff who have direct contact with Covid-19 patients
  • Direct the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research to allocate additional places on postgraduate courses, outside its current plan for the 2020-2021 academic year, for health staff wishing to pursue further studies

The Cabinet discussed other items on its agenda, and decided to authorise the Minister of Finance to negotiate and sign loan agreements to ensure funding for several investment projects in the electricity and health sectors, as follows:

  • A loan to complete a project for the Ministry of Electricity to install (8) turbine refrigeration units and (32) other refrigeration units at a cost of 70,800,000 euros from Siemens
  • A loan for the installation and operation of (9) gas turbines for the Wasit power station for the amount of 36,000,000 euros  from Siemens for the Ministry of Electricity, funded by Standard Chartered Bank and with a guarantee from the Swedish Export Credit Agency (EKN)
  • A loan for the rehabilitation of health services infrastructure in the amount of 185,000,000 euros for the Ministry of Health funded by the German Development Bank (KFW)
  • A loan for the rehabilitation of electricity infrastructure in the amount of 400,000,000 euros, for the Ministry of Electricity, funded by the German Development Bank, KFW
  • A loan for the multi-annual maintenance project – the fourth stage in the amount of US$120,000,000 implemented by GE with funding from an international bank and  guaranteed by UK Export Finance (UKEF)
  • A loan for Babylon’s 400 KV Power Plant Rehabilitation Project, in the amount of 38,000,000 euros, implemented by Sweden’s ABB company, funded by JPMorgan Bank and guaranteed by the Swedish Export Credit Agency,  EKN

The Cabinet also approved a draft law to ratify the agreement on air transport services between the Republic of Iraq and the United Arab Emirates, and to submit it to the Council of Representatives.

(Source: Govt of Iraq)

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 london@webuildiraq.org

WEBINAR PARTNERS:

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

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

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 agne.abramauskaite@webuildiraq.org

(Source: IBBC)

By John Lee.

The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has dropped its investigation into ABB linked to the Unaoil case.

After a thorough and detailed review of the available evidence, the SFO concluded that this case did not meet the relevant test for prosecution as defined in the Code for Crown Prosecutors.

The SFO announced its investigation into ABB Ltd in February 2017 following a self-report by representatives acting on behalf of the company.

(Source: UK SFO)

By John Lee.

The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has dropped its investigation into ABB linked to the Unaoil case.

After a thorough and detailed review of the available evidence, the SFO concluded that this case did not meet the relevant test for prosecution as defined in the Code for Crown Prosecutors.

The SFO announced its investigation into ABB Ltd in February 2017 following a self-report by representatives acting on behalf of the company.

(Source: UK SFO)

By John Lee.

Egypt-based GB Auto (Ghabbour Group) has been appointed as the distributor of the Chinese-owned MG car brand in Iraq.

According to Trade Arabia, the new partnership will see six MG showrooms opened across the country, in Erbil, Baghdad (on 62 St and at Baghdad Mall), Duhok, Sulaymaniyah and Basrah.

Operations are expected to commence in late-Q3 or early-Q4 of this year.

(Sources: GB Auto, Trade Arabia)

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 london@webuildiraq.org

(Source: Iraq Britain Business Council)