Al-Nukhba-OFS joins the IBBC

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)

IBBC joins British Chambers of Commerce in boost to UK-Iraq Trade

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)

Saudi Arabia looks to Expand its Footprint in Iraq

By Ali Mamouri for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Following Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s two visits to Saudi Arabia last year, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is set to visit Iraq soon, according to Iraqi parliamentarian Saadoun al-Dulaimi.

Although neither Riyadh nor Baghdad have officially announced the visit, Dulaimi said in a March 12 tweet that Prince Mohammed will spend two days in Iraq, first meeting with Abadi in Baghdad to “sign agreements,” followed by a visit to Najaf to meet religious leaders.

Saudi Arabia was scheduled to reopen its consulate in the oil-rich city of Basra, which is adjacent to Iran, in March, but this was delayed for administrative reasons. Some reports say that Mohammed may open the consulates in Basra and Najaf, the Shiite religious center that is home to top Shiite clerics, during his upcoming visit to Iraq.

Meanwhile, the Saudi Embassy in Iraq is in the process of setting up the consulate office at the Sheraton Hotel in Basra. The consulate was closed in 1990 in the wake of the Gulf crisis that erupted during the regime of Saddam Hussein, and remained closed as a result of tensions in Saudi-Iraqi relations.

The Saudi kingdom opened a consulate in Erbil, the capital of the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq, in early 2016.

The decisions to expand Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic representation in Iraq come as part of a broader framework to strengthen the official political relations between the two governments. Saudi Arabia is seeking to establish economic and social bridges between the two countries in various fields.

Abdul Rahman al-Shahri, head of the Saudi delegation responsible for the establishment of the consulate in Basra, said that these measures are carried out to “provide services and incentives to both religious pilgrims and economic delegations between the two countries.”

Abdul Aziz al-Shammari, Saudi ambassador to Iraq, said in a statement in January, “Saudi Arabia is mostly interested in developing relations between the two countries in all areas that serve their aspirations.”

In late February, a friendly soccer game was held between Saudi Arabia and Iraq in the city of Basra, the first between the two countries in three decades. The game was attended by Saudi delegations and a large crowd of Iraqi fans.

The media office of Abadi said in a statement March 5 that the prime minister had received a phone call from Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, in which the latter pledged to build a soccer stadium in Baghdad for 100,000 spectators. It was later announced that Saudi Arabia would increase the number of seats to 135,000.

The statement said that “King Salman expressed his readiness and commitment to expand the positive relations between Iraq and Saudi Arabia at the economic, commercial, popular and cultural levels, as well as all levels of interest to both countries.”

Saudi companies, most recently the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, one of the world’s leading petrochemicals companies, have been opening offices in Baghdad and Basra to expand economic exchange between the two countries.

Saudi Arabia is focusing its attention on Basra because it is the richest city in Iraq with the country’s largest oil fields and gateway to the Persian Gulf. It is also the most populous city after Baghdad, is adjacent to the Iranian border and home to an overwhelming majority of Shiites who share the same tribal and ethnic origins with Saudi tribes. In addition, many Saudi and Basra families are linked through marriage.

Saudi Arabia is also receiving Shiite figures who are viewed as independent of Iran. These include Sadrist movement leader Muqtada al-Sadr, who visited Saudi Arabia last year and met with King Salman and Prince Mohammed. He was warmly received amid much fanfare.

Saudi news sites, most notably Al-Arabiya, are refraining from criticizing supreme Shiite cleric Ali al-Sistani, because his views are independent from those of Tehran and has broad influence among Iraqi Shiites.

All this has been a matter of concern for Iran, which has allegedly mobilized parties to raise banners in Basra condemning the opening of the Saudi Consulate and the various economic and sporting activities.

The State of Law Coalition led by former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who is close to Iran, opposes Saudi Arabia’s opening of a consulate in Najaf.

Iraq is seemingly determined to pursue rapprochement and cooperation with Saudi Arabia, and is organizing regular visits by political, economic and media delegations. These included Abadi’s visit to Saudi Arabia last October, during which the memorandum of establishment of the Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council was signed to develop relations between the two countries.

Interior Minister Qasim al-Araji also visited Saudi Arabia last year, and Abadi insisted on receiving Saudi delegations even if they were not high level. In February, for instance, he received the Saudi media delegation that visited Iraq at the invitation of the Iraqi Journalists Union.

In October, Saudi Arabia resumed its flights to Iraq after 27 years, and it opened in October 2017 its border crossing in southern Iraq to expand economic travel and increase tourist and religious travel between the two sides.

The first initiatives to expand relations between the two countries were directly sponsored by the United States with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson attending the meeting of the establishment of the Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council in Riyadh in October.

The Iraqi-Saudi rapprochement appears to take place in the context of the new US policy that followed the support garnered by President Donald Trump from the US allies in the region to form a united front to counter Iran’s rise in the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia has seemingly made great progress in achieving rapprochement with Iraq and expanding its areas of influence within the last year. Such rapprochement is likely to get stronger should Abadi manage to keep his seat for another term in the elections scheduled for May.

Obtaining Second Citizenship: Which Programmes Are Affordable?

Press Release

We live in a very uncertain world, currently fraught with geopolitical tensions, social upheaval and economic ups and downs. For these reasons – and more – people around the world, and especially in the Middle East, are increasingly looking for second citizenships to protect their assets and, more importantly, ensure a secure and prosperous future for themselves and their families.

The motivations for seeking a second citizenship are ranging from a desire to avoid difficult and often painfully long visa application processes to a desire for the peace and stability that often eludes many countries.

Jeremy Savory, founder & CEO, Savory & Partners, one of the largest companies in the Middle East that provides citizenship-by-investment programmes, commented:

“There are certain countries in the world where it’s legal to obtain citizenship, provided you meet certain criteria, one of which is the financial contribution you need to make, [through] real estate, financial products, or a one-time investment, which is non-refundable.”

Right now, there are a lot of countries in this region where people don’t feel like they can travel freely into the Schengen zone in Europe, or to the UK or the US,” he says.

Other cases, however, are more unique. Savory & Partners has helped a Bedoon, one of the more than 100,000 officially “stateless” individuals that call the GCC home.

This wasn’t about getting a second passport. It was actually this person’s first passport. Trying to prepare a file for someone that doesn’t have much to go on in terms of showing they exist is very tricky,” he says of the case.

For some, having a second passport is nothing more than a sound financial decision. “We’ve had royal family members come to us and say that whenever they want to buy a property, they submit their passport copy, it says “HRH” on it and the price goes up,” Mr. Savory notes. “The cost of getting the passport will save that price increase.

Citizenship and residency programmes around the world are vastly different, each with their own requirements, benefits, timeframes and obligations.

Citizenships from St Lucia and Dominica, for example, can be obtained in a few months with investments from as little as $100,000 without any obligation to live there for any amount of time.

Permanent residency from countries such as Spain and Portugal, on the other hand, require investments of €500,000 ($623,000) and can take as long as ten years to process.

Perhaps understandably, the most in-demand citizenships are those for countries in the European Union.

The benefits that come with it [EU citizenship] are innumerable. Having said that, it’s priced accordingly,” Savory says.

In Malta you’re looking at not less than €1m ($1,23m) worth of investments when it’s all put together of which typically 55 percent – 75 percent is non-recoverable whereas Cyprus is €2m ($2.45m) in real estate of your choice as long as the paperwork process is correct.

An individual’s chosen second citizenship is largely based on their particular needs. An ultra-high net worth individual, for example, is likely looking for more than ease of travel.

An important distinction – which consultants at Savory & Partners often find themselves explaining to potential clients – is between citizenship programmes and residency programmes.

A residency programme, for example, will only lead to citizenship if one actually resides in the country and is able to demonstrate both a tangible physical presence in the country as well as a fiscal presence. In some cases, applicants need to pass language tests. These types of programmes can often take significant amounts of time to complete.

People should be transparent in the application, and there should be nothing to hide. That’s never truer than in today’s times when the topic of sovereignty is highly sensitive.

Additionally, Savory & Partners is very straightforward with potential clients about their chances of success – even if there aren’t any – which differentiates it from the many companies operating around the world that promise what they can’t deliver.

I think maybe sometimes clients come to our company because we can tell them ‘it’s not going to happen’, or that they need to do this and change that. There are a lot of companies that say ‘yes’ without actually knowing what the solution is or saying ‘yes’ and knowing full well that ‘no’ is the answer. Clients need to know they are getting qualified [expertise] and are aware of the situation,” Jeremy explains.

“We don’t take on all files because we are happy about the success rate we have and the high volume of files we have already. I don’t want to have a client that isn’t successful, especially if it’s something we could have avoided. We really invest our time and in-house due diligence policies to make sure the clients we take on get their citizenship. Contractually, if they don’t, we have to refund them the full amount of our fees.”

For those inclined to seek a second citizenship the timing is right. Affordability is there, although application checks are becoming more and more stringent. If you are rejected for a visa, then you are automatically ineligible for half the country programmes.

While this strong demand has led new countries – such as Montenegro, Armenia, Kazakhstan and others – to introduce or plan to introduce citizenship or residency by investment programmes, it has also brought with it problems that make finding the right citizenship by investment agent essential.

It’s getting tougher to obtain a second passport definitely, but I think that gives me comfort. The higher levels of governance then the longer such programmes can continue to exist for those seeking second passports. I had to earn every government accreditation available, so I welcome increased industry scrutiny and regulation,” Mr. Savory concludes.

(Source: Savory & Partners)

Sulzer appoints Authorized Repair Partner in Iraq

Sulzer, the Swiss-based specialist in pumping solutions, has appointed Al Majal Technical Services (AMTS) as their authorized repair partner in Iraq.

AMTS was founded in 2015 to provide a full spectrum of Oil and Gas services including rotating equipment.

The AMTS workshop, located in North Rumaila, is a 3000 m2 state-of-the-art facility, equipped with a comprehensive set of machine tools and balancing equipment required to maintain and repair rotating machinery of all manufacturers. AMTS is certified according to ISO-9001:2015, ISO 14001:2004, OHSAS 18001:2007, API 6A and API 16A

Sulzer’s engineering and project management expertise together with the local competencies of AMTS strengthen each other’s capability to execute the overhaul, site service, repair and maintenance of pumps, turbines and compression equipment as well as their associated ancillaries.

Both companies are currently jointly engaged in executing service projects in South Iraq.

(Source: Sulzer)

Iraq-Saudi Links Enhanced

By John Lee.

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz received in Al Yamama Palace in Al Riyadh the Iraqi Planning/Trade Minister (acting) Dr. Salman Al Jumaily, Head of the Iraqi side in the Iraqi-Saudi Coordination Council, Dr. Sami R. Al Araji, Chairman of the National Investment Commission (NIC), Mr. Kadhim Mohamed Al Iqabi, Chairman of the Borders Crossings Commission, Engineer Adil Kereem, Vice Minister of Industry and Minerals and the Chargé d’affaires of the Iraqi Embassy to the Kingdom.

During the meeting, the importance of the council was emphasized in developing and enhancing the mutual cooperation between the two countries in various fields.

Prince Abdul Aziz Bin Saood Bin Naif Bin Abdul Aziz, Minister of Interior Affaires and Minister of Trade and Investment the head of the Saudi side in the Coordination Council both attended the reception.

(Source: NIC)

NIC Announces 157 Major Strategic Projects in Iraq

By John Lee.

Iraq’s National Investment Commission (NIC) has just announced the list of major strategic projects to be presented during the Kuwait International Conference for Iraq Reconstruction, to be held in Kuwait from 12th to 14th February.

The 157 large- and medium-sized projects span all sectors of the Iraqi economy, including oil and gas, transport, housing, agriculture and education.

The full 46-page document can be downloaded here.

(Source: NIC)

Turkey’s Optimistic Plans in Iraq seem to be Faltering

By Mahmut Bozarslan for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

The partnership Turkey, Iran and Iraq formed against the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) independence referendum in September has left Tehran pleased but left Ankara severely disappointed.

Ankara had two basic expectations about the partnership. First, Turkish officials believed that a new pipeline would be built to carry oil from Kirkuk, Iraq, to Turkey’s Ceyhan oil terminal, replacing a damaged line and bypassing the KRG. And second, as an alternative to the border crossing from Habur, Turkey, into Iraq — which provides lucrative income to the KRG — a new border crossing to Iraq would open at Ovacik in Turkey.

Ankara calculated that a crossing at Ovacik, at the junction of Iraqi-Syrian-Turkish borders, would:

  • Deprive the KRG of income from customs taxes.
  • Provide a shorter road connection between Tal Afar and Mosul, which features in Turkey’s “New Ottoman” dreams.
  • Strengthen relations with Turkmens and sever the connection between the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) at the Yazidi town of Sinjar and the Kurdish Rojava region in northern Syria.
  • Be linked to the main highway to Mosul with a 120-kilometer (75-mile) road upgraded to international standards and a new bridge to be built over the Tigris River.

But the Ovacik project has been shelved and an alternative pipeline plan — involving Iran — has emerged, marginalizing the proposed new pipeline to move oil from Kirkuk to Ceyhan.

For three years, the KRG sold oil from the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline. But the central government in Baghdad took over the Kirkuk oil fields after the Kurds threatened in September to seek independence.

On Oct. 16, Baghdad implied that the Kirkuk oil would be sent out via Turkey as in the past. The pipeline had been used irregularly during the battle against the Islamic State (IS), and Baghdad cut off the flow completely after the September independence referendum. Turkey expected the flow to resume — but it hasn’t.

Investment Opportunities: Imam Sadiq Hospital and Najaf Hospital

The Ministry of Health/Environment and the National Investment Commission (NIC) in coordination with Babil Governorate and Najaf Governorate are pleased to announce the investment opportunity of {Operating, managing and sustaining} of Imam Sadiq Hospital in Babil  and Najaf Hospital in Najaf according to investment law no. (13) for the year 2006, as amended.

Investors, companies and specialized sides are invited to submit their offers (commercial and technical offers providing that they include their vision of improving the medical services and scaling up performance on servicing and training the staff according to the standards approved by the Ministry of health with attaching the feasibility study knowing that all the above mentioned points shall be taken into consideration in evaluating the submitted offers) to the Contracts Section in the Ministry of Health and the National Investment Commission within (60) days from the date of publishing the announcement.

For any further information or fixing a date to visit the hospitals, please contact the following numbers:

  • 07822668818/ Dr. Nawras – DG – Ministry of health
  • 07823527029/ Dr. Adel –Manager of Imam Sadiq hospital
  • Or to send email to : healthit.2017@gmail.com
  • Please visit the Contracts section in the Ministry of Health to receive the investment profile

(Source: National Investment Commission)

Investment Opportunities: Imam Sadiq Hospital and Najaf Hospital

The Ministry of Health/Environment and the National Investment Commission (NIC) in coordination with Babil Governorate and Najaf Governorate are pleased to announce the investment opportunity of {Operating, managing and sustaining} of Imam Sadiq Hospital in Babil  and Najaf Hospital in Najaf according to investment law no. (13) for the year 2006, as amended.

Investors, companies and specialized sides are invited to submit their offers (commercial and technical offers providing that they include their vision of improving the medical services and scaling up performance on servicing and training the staff according to the standards approved by the Ministry of health with attaching the feasibility study knowing that all the above mentioned points shall be taken into consideration in evaluating the submitted offers) to the Contracts Section in the Ministry of Health and the National Investment Commission within (60) days from the date of publishing the announcement.

For any further information or fixing a date to visit the hospitals, please contact the following numbers:

  • 07822668818/ Dr. Nawras – DG – Ministry of health
  • 07823527029/ Dr. Adel –Manager of Imam Sadiq hospital
  • Or to send email to : healthit.2017@gmail.com
  • Please visit the Contracts section in the Ministry of Health to receive the investment profile

(Source: National Investment Commission)