Positive Indicators at IBBC Conference

At a major Iraqi business event in London on Tuesday, there was a strong sense that Iraq’s perceived risk profile is improving, and that this is an excellent time to do business in the country.

Nearly 300 delegates attended the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC)s Spring Conference at the Mansion House, which focused on “building a diversified and modern economy“, with many of those flying in from Iraq specially for the occasion.

This record attendance was just one of the positive indicators in evidence at the event, with speakers pointing to improved security, better relations between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the central government in Baghdad, and a growing trend towards up-skilling and capacity building in the local population; here at Iraq Business News, we’ve seen a positive indicator of our own, with a 15 percent increase in our website traffic over the past year.

Closing the conference’s first day, IBBC Managing Director Christophe Michels also drew attention to the growing number of companies joining his organisation, and a much more relaxed atmosphere in Iraq’s major cities.

The second day of the conference also saw a full house at the Royal Overseas League to discuss business opportunities for Iraqi and British small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

(Picture: Baroness Fairhead CBE, UK Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion, addressing the conference.)

Iraq: Building a Diversified and Modern Economy

IBBC Spring Conference 2018

Iraq: Building a diversified and modern economy 

Tuesday 24 April at Mansion House, London

IBBC’s Spring Conference returns on 24 April 2018, bringing to the heart of London the preeminent political and business figures involved in business and the economy of Iraq.

The theme for this years’ conference is Iraq: Building a diversified and modern economy. The conference aims to address the key challenges in building a diversified and modern economy, which will enable Iraq to build on the recent economic and social stability to progress into one of the Middle East’s major economies once again. Sessions will focus on Finance, Technology, Oil & Gas and Education.

The Government of Iraq has confirmed it is sending a high-level delegation of government representatives to the IBBC Spring Conference, which will be led by H.E. Dr Abdul Kariem Al Faisal, Chairman of the Iraq Prime Minister’s Advisory Commission (PMAC). The delegation will also include senior representatives from the Iraq Ministries of Oil and Industry.

The IBBC Spring Conference, held at the prestigious Mansion House, the home and office of the Lord Mayor of London, is traditionally IBBC’s flagship event, which attracts suppliers, investors, producers and buyers from Iraq, the UK and the wider international business community.

Prominent speakers include Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, President of IBBC and the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Iraq, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan, Alderman Sir Alan Yarrow, Lord Mayor, Locum Tenens, Ambassador Jonathon Wilks, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Republic of Iraq and Baroness Fairhead CBE, Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion, Department for International Trade.

IBBC expects a high attendance at the conference and the new round tables are designed for close business interaction and the facilitation of in-depth discussion, where delegates can focus on particular sectors of interest and engage with speakers and industry experts on the issues that really matter.

With representatives from all major interested parties involved in Iraq expected to attend, as well as pre- and post- networking events, the IBBC Spring Conference 2018 will provide many opportunities for networking at the highest level, as well as providing exceptionally informative and experienced panels.

Sessions on the agenda include:

Finance: ‘Criteria and process for obtaining major project finance’ Chair: Mr Gavin Wishart, IBBC

IBBC has gathered several preeminent voices in the finance industry to discuss the challenges and opportunities Iraqi and international firms face in sourcing capital for major projects. Representatives from some of the largest international finance organisations, JP Morgan and Allan & Overy LLP, as well as representatives from UK Export Finance and GE will discuss in detail the criteria and process of obtaining finance for major projects in Iraq.

  • Mr Richard S. Wilkins, Executive Director – Export Finance, JP Morgan
  • Mr Tom Longmuir, Counsel, Allen & Overy LLP
  • Mr Guto Davies, Managing Director – Global ECA CoE Leader, GE Capital
  • Mr David Craig, Deputy Head of Civil Infrastructure and Energy Business, UK Export Finance

 

Technology: ‘Developing Iraq’s digital economy’ Chair: Mr Ashley Goodall, IBBC

The IBBC Tech Panel brings together the two leaders of the UK and Iraq e-government initiatives in addition to experts in FinTech and entrepreneurial hub development. The panel will address in detail how innovative new technology and the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) can improve the activities in the public and private sectors to help Iraq’s economy and growth.

  • Mr Ahmed Elkady, Partner, Ernst & Young
  • Mr Ali Al Dahwi, Consultant, Management Partners
  • Mr Chris Fergusson, Director at The Cabinet Office (Government Digital Service)
  • Mr Mohammed Khudairi, Managing Partner, Khudairi Group

 

Oil & Gas: ‘Need for locally available products and services – how the sector can help diversification of Iraq’s economy’ Chair: Mr Vikas Handa, IBBC

This expert panel consists of representatives from the largest IOC’s in Iraq, Governmental representatives from the Iraq Ministries of Oil and Industry and an Oil & Gas expert from the Department of International Trade. The session will cover all key aspects of Iraq’s Oil & Gas sector for 2018, delivered by the preeminent experts in the field and will include a panel discussion and Q & A chaired by Vikas Handa, the head of IBBC’s Oil & Gas Sector Table and its GCC representative.

  • Dr Mark Wharton, Development Manager, Shell Iraq
  • Mr Mike Wenham, Commercial Manager, BP Iraq
  • Mr Bob Dastmalchi, Vice President, Business Development, Chevron
  • Mr Craig Jones, Deputy Director, Oil & Gas, Department for International Trade
  • Representative from the Ministry of Oil, Government of Iraq
  • Representative from the Ministry of Industry, Government of Iraq

 

Education and Training: ‘Developing human capital in Iraq’

The panel brings together leading representatives from academia and business to address the challenges of developing Iraq’s human capital to support its transition into a diversified, vibrant economy. Members of the panel have direct experience of challenges and advantages of delivering advanced education and training in-country.

Chair & Presentation: Professor Paul Boyle, President & Vice Chancellor, Leicester University

  • Mr Alex Haynes, Senior VP Business Development AMEA & Southern Europe, Wood
  • Mr Saadi Faraj Muthanna, Business Development Manager, Al Nukhba-OFS FZCO
  • Ms Christine van den Toorn, Institute of Regional and International Studies, American University of Iraq
  • Mr Will Follett, Director, Restrata

With a dedicated and well informed agenda, IBBC are bringing the experts and practitioners best placed to answer these questions, so the international business community can work towards framing the future and contributing to a modern and outward looking Iraq. Each session will emphasise the growing business opportunities for international companies.

For more information and tickets, please visit: http://www.webuildiraq.org/ibbc-conference/spring-conference-2018/ or email london@webuildiraq.org.

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)

Former PwC Partner joins AMAR Management Team

By

Chris Frost, the Chairman of the AMAR International Charitable Foundation’s Finance Committee, has retired from the position after five years at the helm.

Since he began his Chairmanship, Mr Frost has skilfully overseen AMAR’s already excellent financial arrangements.

A frequent visitor to Iraq and the wider Middle East region during his many years as a Partner at the multi-national professional services business, PwC, he has brought enormous experience and vast knowledge to the role.

Mr Frost, who was also a founder Board member of the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) – AMAR’s sister organisation, recognised the vital importance of AMAR’s work to the Iraqi people.

However, he will not be leaving the AMAR family. Now that he has fully-retired from PwC, Mr Frost has been asked, and has accepted, a full-time position at the charity.  He will start as Treasurer on April 1st.

Mr Frost’s brief will be to oversee AMAR’s continued growth and development and strengthen the charity’s core principles; Good financial management, transparency, accountability and low administrative costs with high field output to defined, professional world class standards.

AMAR Chairman, Baroness Nicholson, said today that she was “absolutely delighted” to have persuaded Mr Frost to stay within the AMAR family:

People of Chris’s standing in the financial world are not available very often, so we had to strike while the iron was hot. He has done a fantastic job with our Financial Committee over the last five years, so we are very much looking forward to him working here on a full-time basis.”

“Chris will also travel to Basra, Baghdad and the North of Iraq regularly to meet and work with the local financial teams to develop an understanding of their working practices and help them work more effectively and efficiently.

Baroness Nicholson added:

“His particular background also allows us to implement our long-held plan to breakout with new fundraising approaches to funding institutions and city guilds.”

(Source: AMAR)

Albilal Group joins IBBC

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) has announced that one of Iraq’s most significant companies, Albilal Group, has joined the trade organization.

Not only is Albilal a major EPC to many IOCs in Iraq, but also to the ministries of Electricity, Oil & Gas, Water and Infrastructure.

ABG was established since 1993 with main offices in Iraq and branch offices in UAE, Jordan and Egypt. As a $309m turnover company, they are now one of the most trusted and largest local companies in Iraq. Akeel Abdul Razzak, President & CEO of Albilal explains:

“The key to our success is the quality and expertise of our core staff, with both expat managerial excellence and over 3000 local Iraqi project deliverers”.

Albilal believes in training and development of personnel and this has seen us through the last difficult years in Iraq, to emerge resilient, sustainable and more capable as an organization.

ABG’s network of clients and partners includes many international and national firms working across the country in numerous several sectors. Albilal has 13 years of experience working in the Oil & Gas sector, with base camps located in all major Oilfields in southern region of the country. in the Power sector, the group earned significant stripes constructing 14 power plants and 71 substations across the country.

ABG is considered a 1st degree civil, mechanical and electrical construction company classified by the Ministry of Planning and Chamber of Commerce, making them one of the top companies in Iraq that is licensed and that has the ability to conduct mid to large scale projects. Albilal Group has received numerous awards over the years, two of which being for Reliability, Quality of Service and High Safety, it’s also ISO certified (ISO 9001, 18001, and 14001).

The group is delighted to be working currently on various essential projects in Iraq, covering Oil & Gas and Power and are set for an expansive 2018 and remains at the forefront of development in the key growth market of Iraq.

Christophe Michels, MD of IBBC says:

2017 has been an exceptional year for IBBC both in the volume and quality of attendees to our conferences in UK and Dubai, the very well attended and successful trade missions to Baghdad and Basrah and for the number of International and Iraqi companies that have joined our network”.

“Albilal joins new IBBC members Chevron, Al Burhan, Shamara and Ratba groups, Leicester and Northampton University, Serco, Rolls Royce, MenziesAviation and Xreach.

“All in all we are seeing confidence and opportunity return to Iraq, especially across the sectors of Infrastructure, Oil and Gas, Power and Education, with the promise of Tech and Professional services to follow in the coming year.

(Source: IBBC)

Prince Charles: AMAR gives us Reason to have Faith in Humanity

By Padraig O’Hannelly.

HRH The Prince of Wales has paid tribute to the work of the AMAR International Charitable Foundation on the occasion of its 25th anniversary.

Addressing the celebration in London’s Lancaster House on Wednesday, Prince Charles said:

Today is an opportunity to honour the work of the remarkable AMAR teams … whose professionalism has delivered extraordinary outcomes in health and education for so many people over these twenty-five years.

“Each and every one of them, whether they work in Iraq or in another part of the Middle East, or in London or Washington, should feel deeply proud of all that AMAR has achieved. So too, should the many businesses and commercial entities – and in particular the Iraq Britain Business Council [IBBC] – whose magnificent support over the years has made all of this work possible.

“If I may, I would also like to pay a special tribute to Baroness Nicholson whose indefatigable leadership and extraordinary professionalism has been so crucially important to this endeavour for so many years.

He continued:

“AMAR has given us all reason to have faith in humanity. It has saved countless lives, created hope from despair and achieved nothing short of miracles.”

AMAR thanked the Prince for his wonderful support of the organisation since its founding, and in particular as its Patron for the past thirteen years.

Please help ensure Iraq’s children have the childhoods they deserve — support AMAR’s work today: https://appeal.amarfoundation.org/

(Sources: AMAR International Charitable Foundation, Clarence House)

IBBC holds Successful Autumn Conference in Dubai

Iraq Britain Business Council holds successful Autumn Conference in Dubai

Following on from the first Iraq Britain Business Council conference in Dubai in 2016, the IBBC was delighted to host its Autumn Conference in the UAE once again. The event was strongly supported by the UAE authorities.

Alongside Baroness Nicholson, the UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Iraq and President of the IBBC, the conference was opened by H.E. Abdullah Al Saleh, Under Secretary for Foreign Trade and Industry, UAE Ministry of Economy.

The Minister reminded delegates that non-Oil & Gas related trade between the UAE and Iraq had already passed 11 Billion USD in 2016, with Dubai in particular being a hub for local and international companies in the region.

The Minister firmly believes that the UAE’s role in the rebuilding of Iraq will continue to expand and expressed his wish to cooperate with organisations such as the IBBC to accomplish this crucial task.

Vikas Handa, IBBC UAE Representative and the Managing Director of the Emirati Company DrillTech, warmly thanked the minister and stated that the IBBC stands ready to work even more closely with the UAE in Iraq.

The Government of Iraq sent a high calibre ministerial delegation led by H.E. Mr Qasim Al-Fahdawi, The Minister of Electricity, to the conference. The delegation included H.E. Mrs Ann Naufi Aussi Balbool, Minister of Construction Housing and Public Municipalities; H.E. Kadhim Fijan Al Hamami, Minister of Transport; H.E. Dr Sami Al Araji, Chairman of the National Investment Commission (NIC); and H.E. Mr Fayadh Hassan Nima, Deputy Minister of Oil for refining affairs.

The conference was structured around several sessions in which the Iraqi officials and international companies operating successfully in Iraq, most of which are members of the IBBC, exchanged their views and experiences.

These sessions focused on strengths, weaknesses and opportunities of the economy in Iraq, Reconstruction & Infrastructure, Transport, Power and Oil & Gas. In parallel, a series of high level round-table discussions between investors and Iraqi Government representatives took place.

The conference included for the first time a presentation on the rapidly developing Tech sector in Iraq , given by the CEO of Zain.

IBBC thanks the International Finance Corporation (World Bank) and the IMF for its participation. Thanks also go to the IBBC members who sponsored the conference: Gold Sponsor International Islamic Bank; Silver Sponsors Serco and Gulftainer; Lunch Sponsor Rolls-Royce; pre-reception Sponsor Wood; and Coffee Break Sponsors Eversheds Sutherland and KCA Deutag.

IBBC Managing Director, Christophe Michels, stated that the increasing involvement of the UAE and wider GCC with Iraq was a game changer for the country. The IBBC very much welcomes this development and is delighted to be part of it and support it. The organisation will increase its presence in the UAE and the Autumn Conference in Dubai will become a regular feature in its calendar of events.

(Source: IBBC)

IBBC Delegation meets Basrah Governor

On Thursday 12th October a delegation of IBBC Members, led by Baroness Nicholson, Honorary President, met with H. E. Mr Asaad A., the recently appointed Governor of Basrah. The meeting took place in the Governor’s office, included a Lunch and lasted until the early evening.

The Governor presented his plans for Basrah and asked the company representatives how they could contribute to help achieve his ambitious objectives. IBBC members used the opportunity to introduce their companies and their services to the Governor and to participate in a wide ranging discussion with him.

Mr Rasmi Al Jabri, Deputy Chairman of IBBC, who facilitated the meeting was delighted with its many outcomes. He said that with Mr Edani at the helm of the Governorate the Province had a real chance to develop and modernise. He further commented that IBBC and all of its members stood ready to support Governor in his crucial work.

The IBBC delegation included representatives of the following companies: Basrah Engineering Group, Basrah Chamber of Commerce, Dar Al-Handasah, Ernst & Young, Garda World, Gulftainer, International Islamic Bank, Khudairi Group, Pell Frischmann, Penspen, Petrofac, Raatba Contracting Company, Restrata, Rumaila Operating Organisation (ROO) and Solar Turbines.

The meeting was also attended by Dr Ali Nasir and Phil Sherwood of the AMAR foundation.

(Source: IBBC)

IBBC Autumn Conference 2017: ‘Together We Build Iraq’

IBBC Autumn Conference 2017: ‘Together We Build Iraq’
12 November 2017, The Address Dubai Marina, Dubai

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) is pleased to invite you to the IBBC Autumn Conference at The Address Hotel Dubai Marina, United Arab Emirates, on Sunday 12 November 2017.

This years’ event follows IBBC’s successful inaugural conference of 2016 held in the UAE, a hub for global and regional companies that operate in the Middle East.

The theme of this year’s Autumn Conference isTogether We Build Iraqand will focus predominantly on the ongoing effects and needs of Iraq’s reconstruction and the opportunities of investment available to British and International companies during this process. There will also be panels discussing the Power and Oil & Gas sectors.

The five conference sessions will focus on:

  • Strengths and Weaknesses of the Economy in Iraq
  • Reconstruction and Infrastructure – The Built Environment
  • Enabling Reconstruction
  • Power
  • Oil & Gas

The IBBC Autumn Conference 2017 will be chaired by Vikas Handa, IBBC UAE Representative and will be led by the following confirmed speakers:

  • Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, The Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Iraq, Azerbaijan & Turkmenistan and President of IBBC
  • H.E. Mr Qasim Al-Fahdawi, Minister of Electricity
  • H.E. Mr Kadhim Finjan Al Hamimi, Minister of Transport
  • H.E. Mrs Ann Nafi Aussi Balbool, Minister of Construction, Housing and Public Municipalities
  • H.E. Dr Sami Al Araji, Chairman of the National Investment Commission
  • Marwa Alnasaa, Resident Representative for Iraq, International Monetary Fund (IMF)
  • Dr Jaafar Dhia Jaafar, CEO, URUK Engineering
  • Zaid Elyaseri, Iraq Country Manager, BP
  • Peter Mohring, Managing Director – Aviation & Defence, Serco
  • Zeeshan A. Sheikh, EMENA Infrastructure & Natural Resources, International Finance Corporation
  • Suha AlKifaee, Managing Director, IIB
  • Zaid Al-Ansari, Executive Country Manager-Iraq, GE
  • Tarek Hamade, Environment & Infrastructure lead for the Middle East, Amec Foster Wheeler
  • Tawfiq Tabbaa, Managing Partner – Iraq, Eversheds Sutherland
  • Salem Chalabi, Partner, Stephenson Harwood Middle East LLP
  • Nikolay Dimitrov, Business Development Manager (Middle East and Africa), KCA Deutag
  • Anne Kerr, Global Head – Urbanisation, Mott MacDonald
  • Iain Rawlinson, Group Commercial Director, Gulftainer
  • Phill Sherwood, Executive Director, AMAR International Charitable Foundation
  • Danielle Montgomery, Managing Director, Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, OPIC

A pre-conference reception and networking event will be held on Saturday 11 November at 18:00 at the Address Dubai Marina.

IBBC warmly thanks the International Islamic Bank, which has generously agreed to be the event’s Gold Sponsor, in addition to Silver sponsors Serco & Gulftainer. Completing the sponsorship line-up are Amec Foster Wheeler, which will serve as the Reception sponsor, and Coffee Break Sponsors KCA Deutag & Eversheds Sutherland.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available. Please email london@webuildiraq.org for details.

Registration is now open. The registration fee for non-members is £700. IBBC members and members of partner organisations are entitled to special discounted rates. To request the discount codes or if you need assistance, please email the team at london@webuildiraq.org or phone +44 (0) 20 7222 7100.

The IBBC team looks forward to seeing you in Dubai for the Autumn Conference.

Download the latest Agenda Here.