By John Lee.

Iraq’s National Investment Commission (NIC) has reportedly approved plans for a British company to develop a 4,000 acre site near Baghdad International Airport (BIAP).

According to Thomson Reuters, the NIC is negotiating with Iraqi companies to develop the remaining 16,000 acres of the land that cabinet approved for development in May.

More here.

(Source: Thomson Reuters)

By Padraig O’Hannelly.

Following the increase in tensions in the Gulf region in recent weeks, two British diplomats have expressed the view that Iraq could have a positive role to play.

Addressing delegates at CWC‘s Iraq Petroleum conference in London, the British Ambassador to Iraq, Jonathan Wilks CMG, said:

Iraq is strong enough now to keep itself out of whatever may develop between the US and Iran, as long as it asserts its sovereignty and independence with all countries, not just with Iran and the US, but with all countries east and west. It is powerful enough to do this now … [and] must be taken seriously as an economic power.

“Iraq is back as a reasonable, constructive and credible player in world affairs.

Later at the same gathering, Sir William Patey KCMG (pictured on left), a former UK Ambassador to both Iraq and Saudi Arabia, said:

Iraq is in a unique position, in that it has equity in ensuring that there isn’t a war … and I think a confident new Iraq could play a role.

“It has better relations with Saudi Arabia, it has good relations with Iran, it has a close relationship with the United States, and it has a lot at stake. So I actually think in terms of reducing the tensions, I think there is potential for Iraq, and I think  the current leadership of Iraq has the [right] vision and outlook.”

By Padraig O’Hannelly.

Following the increase in tensions in the Gulf region in recent weeks, two British diplomats have expressed the view that Iraq could have a positive role to play.

Addressing delegates at CWC‘s Iraq Petroleum conference in London, the British Ambassador to Iraq, Jonathan Wilks CMG, said:

Iraq is strong enough now to keep itself out of whatever may develop between the US and Iran, as long as it asserts its sovereignty and independence with all countries, not just with Iran and the US, but with all countries east and west. It is powerful enough to do this now … [and] must be taken seriously as an economic power.

“Iraq is back as a reasonable, constructive and credible player in world affairs.

Later at the same gathering, Sir William Patey KCMG (pictured on left), a former UK Ambassador to both Iraq and Saudi Arabia, said:

Iraq is in a unique position, in that it has equity in ensuring that there isn’t a war … and I think a confident new Iraq could play a role.

“It has better relations with Saudi Arabia, it has good relations with Iran, it has a close relationship with the United States, and it has a lot at stake. So I actually think in terms of reducing the tensions, I think there is potential for Iraq, and I think  the current leadership of Iraq has the [right] vision and outlook.”

By Padraig O’Hannelly.

A major petroleum conference in London has been told that more than 200 British companies now operating in Iraq, and those numbers are increasing.

Addressing more than 300 delegates at CWC‘s Iraq Petroleum conference, British Ambassador Jonathan Wilks CMG said:

“The UK and Iraq are becoming increasingly strong business partners and education partners, and London is becoming as it once was, the second home for many Iraqis. The number of Iraqis visiting the UK is increasing, so if you hear of difficulties getting, visas this is exaggerated.”

Looking to the current climate in Iraq, Ambassador Wilks added:

I am more than glass-half-full; the positives in Iraq right now, the dynamics, the sustainability of security improvements and economic improvements are really the best we have seen for many many years.

“We now have the best [Iraqi] government that we’ve had since 2003 … This is an extremely good time to be working in Iraq.

This weekend, the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) hosted its annual members’ retreat at Cumberland Lodge, Windsor Park, which was generously sponsored by Al Burhan Group.

As with previous years, it was very well attended by over seventy delegates, and allowed our members to mingle and network with representatives of other businesses, civil servants, and Iraqi government dignitaries.

Speakers and organisations represented included:

  • Dr Falah Al Amiri, Advisor to the Ministry of Oil, Government of Iraq
  • Dr Hameed Ahmed, Deputy Higher Education Minister
  • Eng. Dara Rasheed, Deputy Minister of Housing, Construction & Municipalities
  • Jon Wilks CMG, HM Ambassador to Iraq
  • Beverley Simpson, Director, Department of International Trade (DIT) in Iraq
  • Dr Victoria Lindsay, Director, British Council, Iraq
  • Emma Sky, Director, Greenberg World Fellows Program, Yale University
  • Nicolas Pelham, The Economist
  • Professor Toby Dodge, London School of Economics
  • Dr Renad Mansour, Chatham House
  • Al Burhan Group
  • Basra Gateway Terminal
  • Bath Spa University
  • BP
  • Chevron
  • Constellis
  • ExxonMobil
  • Financial Times
  • G4S
  • KBR
  • Management Partners
  • Mosul University
  • OiLSERV Kuwait
  • Petrofac
  • Rolls-Royce
  • Serco
  • Shire Oak International
  • Stirling Education
  • Tube Tech International
  • TurnKey LLC
  • University of Dundee
  • University of Liverpool
  • University of Northampton
  • University of Northampton
  • University of Sheffield
  • Wood Plc

Sessions included discussions and panels on the state of Iraq, contemporary Middle Eastern politics, meetings for our various sector tables (including oil and gas, and construction and infrastructure), economic development strategies for Iraq, and how higher education partnerships could be developed between the UK and Iraq. A biannual council meeting for representatives of our member organisations was also held.

Christophe Michels, Managing Director of the IBBC was happy with how the weekend went:

“As in previous years the Retreat has attracted some of the finest minds from business, academia, politics, media and diplomacy working on Iraq to conduct truly meaningful and intimate discussions”.

Baroness Emma Nicholson, President of the IBBC and the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Iraq, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan said:

“IBBC has had a fantastically happy and hugely productive busy weekend. We call it a retreat, but I am not sure what it was a retreat from! People were working morning, noon, and night, and they were making great achievements, and huge strides in the various different table meetings…one of the best I can ever remember”.

For more information on the Iraq Britain Business Council, visit our website at https://www.iraqbritainbusiness.org/

(Source: IBBC)

The British Prime Minister, Theresa May, hosted Iraqi President Barham Salih in Downing Street on Tuesday as part of his Guest of Government visit to the UK.

The leaders began by discussing security cooperation, and the Prime Minister reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to supporting the Iraqi Government in building a stable and successful nation.

They acknowledged the ongoing threat posed by Daesh, and the Prime Minister said the UK stood ready to provide further support to the Iraqi Security Forces and Kurdish Peshmerga.

They discussed recent events in the Gulf and agreed on the importance of international cooperation in the de-escalation of current tensions.

They also welcomed opportunities to expand on the bilateral trading relationship and the Prime Minister reiterated the desire of the UK to increase investment in Iraq.

(Source: UK FCO)

Run Media City – the power of words can change lives in Iraq

On the 27th June 2019, Hussein Al-alak and Tracy Hollowood are taking part on the Run Media City 5K, to aid the ongoing work of the AMAR Foundation in Iraq.

This is the second time Hussein and Tracy have taken part on the 5K, around Salford’s Media City, and they are inviting you to support the AMAR Foundation.

Your support will assist AMAR’s efforts in health, education and much more! You can also help by introducing your friends, to the many incredible changes, which the AMAR Foundation are making across Iraq.

One positive change AMAR has made, is the School for Orphans which the Foundation built in Basra in 2016. Up to 30% of the school’s children have lost both parents, the school has modern facilities and it provides a broad curriculum, so children get the best start in life.

You can sponsor Hussein and Tracy – by donating £8.99 to the AMAR Foundation – which is the equivalent of one copy of On the Road, by US author Jack Kerouac.

As Iraqi’s are known for their love of great literature, you could also use John Steinbeck’s words to inspire Iraq’s future generations.

By donating the cost of your favourite book, you will be helping the AMAR Foundation to provide a high standard of education, to children and young people across Iraq.

(Source: Iraq Solidarity News)

IBBC to host Iraq’s President and government ministers during upcoming official visit to the UK.

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) has announced that it will be hosting H.E. Dr Barham Salih, President of the Republic of Iraq, and a number of high-ranking government ministers during their upcoming official visit to the UK next week.

In addition to their other appointments, the Iraqi delegation will be joining IBBC for an exclusive members’ dinner in central London on the evening of Wednesday 26th June, while some of the ministers will also be attending IBBC’s Cumberland Lodge Retreat in Windsor Park from 28th-30th June.

Iraqi officials in attendance at IBBC events next week include:

  • Mr Mohamed Ali Abdelamir Mahmood Alhakim, Minister of Foreign Affairs
  • Dr Qusay Abdul-Wahab Abboud Al-Suhail, Minister of Higher Education
  • Dr Aladin Abdulsahib Hasan Alwan, Minister of Health and Environment
  • Dara Rasheed, Deputy Minister of Housing, Construction & Municipalities and Deputy Head of Refaato
  • Dr Abdulkariem Faisal, Chairman of the PM’s Advisory Commission
  • Dr Hameed Ahmed, Deputy Chairman of the PM’s Advisory Commission
  • Dr Fallah Alamri, Advisor to the Ministry of Oil
  • Dr Salih Husain Ali, Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq to UK

IBBC’s events with these dignitaries offer members unique access to high-ranking Iraqi officials and industry leaders which would otherwise be unavailable.

(Source: IBBC)

By John Lee.

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) has welcomed two new members.

  • Protechnique — a British contractor providing premier technical, engineering, construction, management and capacity building support throughout the world; to federal, regional, and local government agencies, as well as private industries and multi-lateral agencies;
  • UniHouse — a global professional training, consultancy and education service provider based in Jordan.

(Source: IBBC)