IBBC appoints Industry Specialist as Strategic Development Officer

IBBC appoints industry specialist as Strategic Development Officer

As the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) Board and Executive Committee re-fresh their strategic plan to continue a pathway to success for Iraq and its business community, it has appointed a Strategic Development Officer to bring industry expertise and experience to its management team.

Colin Findlay brings over 40 years of experience in the Oil & Gas sector and in industrial manufacturing as a Chief Executive Officer and Industry Association Chairman.  Colin led Severn Glocon Group's Iraq operations from 2012 onwards and was an active member of the IBBC during that time.

Colin says:

"I am delighted to take up this appointment. I took 3 months carrying out an in-depth strategic review of IBBC, its aims, objectives and member activities before joining and feel able now to support its future strategic development.

"My review further consolidated my understanding of the IBBC's reputation and merits as an influencer in the Iraq & British business community. My initial activities will focus on improving the capacity of the IBBC to reach its goals before supporting Christophe in the delivery of long term strategic objectives."

Christophe Michel's IBBC's Managing Director commented:

"We are delighted that Colin has chosen to join IBBC and support our work. His strategic review was very timely and has helped focus our thinking on the future of IBBC and how it delivers its work across the region.

"The IBBC has always sought to bring industry experience together with international relations expertise and also to ensure that we offer value to our members and business associates. The addition of Colin to the team will add strength and capacity to our work."

Please see Colin Findlay's bio here.

(Source: IBBC)

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Iraq Dust Storm puts 5,000 in Hospital

By John Lee.

Iraqi media reports that one person has died and more than 5,000 have been hospitalised on Thursday as a result of the latest dust storm.

The dust storm is the seventh this month, with some experts believing they are becoming more frequent due to climate change.

Road and air transport has been disrupted.

Areas affected include Baghdad, Najaf and Anbar.

(Sources: INA, AP, AFP, BBC)

(Picture: A dust storm approaching Al Asad military base in 2005, taken by Corporal Alicia M. Garcia, U.S. Marine Corps)

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Iraq’s Economic Update — April 2022

Iraq's economy is gradually recovering from the twin shocks of the pandemic and collapse in oil prices in 2020. Both oil and non-oil growth are on track to reach their pre-pandemic levels as oil production increases and the easing of COVID-19 restrictions restores domestic economic activity.

Fiscal and external deficits are back to surpluses as oil prices continue to surge. Growth in the medium term is projected to be driven by the oil sector as OPEC+ production cuts are phased out. The outlook remains subject to significant risks including uncertainties relating to the impact of geopolitical tensions, the ongoing pandemic, security challenges, and climate change.

Recent Developments

Iraq's economy is gradually rebounding following the deep economic strains of the COVID-19 pandemic. Real GDP is estimated to have edged up by 1.3% in 2021, after a sharp contraction of 11.3% in 2020. The rebound was mainly driven by the non-oil sector which grew by 6% in 9 months of 2021-2021 year-on-year (y/y), underpinned by a strong performance of the high contact sectors including transport, accommodation, and retail sectors.

However, agriculture and construction contracted by 17.5% and 36.8% respectively, following severe droughts, energy outages, and the rising global price of inputs. In 9M-2021, oil GDP contracted by 4%(y/y) as Iraq adjusted its oil production as per the OPEC+ agreement. Headline and core inflation edged up to an average of 6% and 6.6%(y/y) in 2021, respectively, following the 23% devaluation in December of 2020 and the gradual recovery in domestic demand.

Outlook

The turnaround in oil markets has significantly improved Iraq's economic outlook in the medium term. Overall growth in 2022 is now forecast at 8.9% as OPEC+ quotas end and Iraq's production surpasses its pre-pandemic level of 4.6 mbpd. Growth in the outer years is projected to remain modest at 3.7% on average as oil production moderates.

Non-oil GDP growth is projected to converge to its long-term potential growth trend in part aided by higher investments that would be financed through the oil windfall. However, growth is forecast to remain constrained by the economy's limited absorptive capacity and other inefficiencies.

Click here to download the full report.

(Source: World Bank)

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Iraqi Working Group to coordinate with Iran on Gas Supply

By John Lee

Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi has ordered that a working team from the Ministry of Electricity travel to Iran to solve problems related to the supplying of gas.

At a meeting with the Electricity Ministry and senior officials on Sunday, there was discussion about the high electricity demand in summer, and how to remove obstacles relating to the production and distribution of electricity.

The meeting addressed plans to protect electric pylons from sabotage, and the status of the rehabilitation work on the Baghdad / Baiji 400KV line.

(Source: Office of the Iraqi Prime Minister)

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AirSada wins Medevac Contract with JGC in Iraq

By John Lee.

The Turkish-based private jet charter company AirSada has won a contract to supply medical evacuation (medevac) services to Japan's JGC Corporation in Iraq.

JGC is the main contractor for the major upgrading project at South Refineries Company's (SRC) Basra refinery.

The contract with AirSada, which runs to September 2025, includes air ambulance and medical treatment services.

It was signed by Mr Tolga Urcu, CEO of AirSada, and Mr Hiroto Ogura,  Project Manager for JGC at SRC Basra.

(Source: AirSada)

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What does Russia’s War in Ukraine mean for Iraq?

By Samuel Ramani, for The Middle East Institute. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

What does Russia's war in Ukraine mean for Iraq?

Although Iraq has avoided taking sides in Russia's war with Ukraine, the conflict could exacerbate factional divisions and profoundly impact the Iraqi economy's near-term trajectory.

While the strides made in Russia-Iraq cooperation over the past decade are unlikely to be destroyed by the war, Baghdad is likely to limit its cooperation with Moscow to essential spheres and overcome the impact of sanctions by embracing a genuinely multipolar foreign policy.

Click here to read the full article.

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IBBC Iraq Conference, London, Tuesday 24th May 

The IBBC Iraq conference at the Mansion House - meeting at a most important time for Iraq - Tuesday 24 May 

After a two-year absence, IBBC is back at the Mansion House hosting its Iraq conference on Tuesday May 24th focusing on finance, energy and sustaining economic growth in Iraq.

The country stands at another pivotal moment with a new government still in formation, record high oil and gas prices and a world supply crisis, in recovery mode after the pandemic and a strong desire to diversify the economy, grow the private sector and improve employment prospects, particularly for the young, a possible Iranian / US nuclear settlement, issues over water supply and food production, diversifying into renewable energy  and still much work to be done on repairing and renewing infrastructure, but progress being made on improving governance and hugely enhanced government revenue to provide business opportunities across all the sectors.

International interest in investing in Iraq remains strong with the Chinese (Rumaila) and French (Total) Governments being particularly aggressive and most recently a wish expressed by the Saudi Government to join them.

In each sector we are hosting influential Iraqi ministerial attendees including the Minister of Oil H.E. Ihsan Abdul Jabbar Ismaael and Mr Kareem Hatta Deputy Oil Minister for Upstream Affairs, the Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq, H.E Mr. Mustafa Ghalib Mukheef, the Minister of Youth and Sport H.E. Adnan Darjal Motar Al-Rubaye, as well as Ms Taif Al-Shakarchi, Deputy Minister of Finance , Dr Salem Chalabi, President & Chairman of the Trade Bank of Iraq, a delegation of Iraqi Private banks.

From the UK side Louis Taylor, Chief Executive of UKEF, UK Ambassador Mark Bryson- Richardson, BP President Iraq Zaid Elyaseri, and Richard Wilkins from JP Morgan will address the audience with latest developments and opportunities and Professor Frank Gunter will present his latest views on the political economy.

Principal panel subjects include developing the banking sector, project finance, energy transition and how to boost short term production, education and skills, insurance, in addition to an online Tech panel addressing the benefits of crypto currency.

For companies interested in Iraq, this is a prime opportunity to hear what some of the most important players, both government and private sector are saying and thinking, and an excellent place for networking with potential partners and customers from both national and international organisations.

For further information and to register - please follow the link below:

IBBC Spring Conference at the Mansion House, London - IBBC (iraqbritainbusiness.org)

A reminder to overseas attendees, to arrange for visas to UK within the next few days as is relevant for your country.

(Source: Iraq Britain Business Council)

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BHEL to supply Compressor to Baiji Refinery

By John Lee.

New Delhi-based Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) has won an order to supply a news compressor to Baiji Refinery in Iraq.

The order, placed by the North Refineries Company (NRC), envisages design, engineering, manufacturing and supply of electric motor driven Recycle Gas Centrifugal compressor and will be executed by BHEL's International Operations Division along with its manufacturing units at Hyderabad and Bhopal.

The new compressor will replace the existing compressor, also supplied by BHEL in the year 2000, which was damaged due to the war in Iraq.

BHEL has previously supplied several Gas Turbine based Power Plants, including 4x157 MW Gas Turbine Generator (GTG) units for Baiji Power Station and 2x125 MW GTG units for Rumailla Power Station. BHEL has also executed a turnkey order for construction of 4x125 MW Gas Turbine based Sulaymaniyah Power Project in Iraq.

(Source: BHEL)

(Picture: a compressor previously installed by BHEL in Iraq)

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Russian Invasion of Ukraine, and Iraq’s Economy

By Salam Zidane for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Russian invasion of Ukraine has sharp impact on Iraq's economy

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has caused shortages of food in Iraq and forced the government to pay more in gasoline subsidies, but the high price of crude oil plus sanctions on Russia has opened new opportunities for Iraq.

Click here to read the full article.

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