Iraq Open To The World... And Who's Making It Happen

(MENAFN- Iraq Business News) From the iraq britain business council (ibbc) :

Iraq open to the world... and who's making it happen.

An IBBC conference on June 16th at London's Mansion House.

On 16th June IBBC are hosting a significant delegation of Iraq businesses and government officials to the UK, with a strong focus on energy, oil and gas, new infrastructure, and investment projects. As Iraq takes a more internationalist approach to business, trade, culture and diplomatic engagement with their neighbours and the world, the range and nature of projects is opening.

For example, Saudi Arabian investment fund ( PIF ) is investing $3bn in infrastructure projects, Aramco are discussing Basra oil projects, Shell is finally moving into multibillion dollar petrochemical projects, Total Energies has started work on its huge solar, gas capture and oil extraction deal, ANB are moving into Iraq, Dutch Royal Boskalis investing in an export terminal in Basra and the EBRD are expanding operations in Iraq and the Government are investing $17bn in the development road connecting both the Gulf to Turkey and Europe.

H.E. Dr Haider M. Mekkiyah, Chairman of the National Investment Commission is making s keynote speech outlining the current opportunities for Infrastructure and Investment.

You can attend sessions on finance and energy, from leading international speakers, such as Dunia Chalabi, CEO of Total Energies Iraq, Ali AL Janabi chairman of Shell Iraq, Basra Gas Company , Dr Laith Al Shaher , Deputy Minister of Oil, will give a keynote speech, Standard Chartered , TBI and UKEF , GE , and The Sardar Group, and high-profile speakers on the developing Heritage sector from the British Museum. A Tech session with SAP, Mastercard, Scott Logic and Iraq's new streaming stars, 1001.

Professor Frank Gunter is launching the IBBC advisory council's report on Ports and Airport supported by industry leaders and sponsors, Sardar Group, AAA Holding and Hydro-C.

Prof. Hamid Ahmed Khalaf , Advisor to the Prime Minister and Executive Director of the High Committee for Education Developments in Iraq, will attend the conference and take part in the Education Round table discussion chaired by Professor Mohammed Al Uzri. The Iraqi Government has allocated funding for several thousand post graduate scholarships to mostly take place at UK universities of the next 3 years. Education is one of the strongest growth sectors in the country and now represents the second biggest membership stream within IBBC.

Iraq has world class reserves of oil and gas, and oil exports represent over 90% of its income. The sector is due to vastly expand in coming years with new projects having been agreed in Solar, Oil production, Gas capture and Petrochemicals. It is also under increasing pressure to reduce its environmental impact and reliance on crude oil revenues. Under the expert Chairmanship of Dr Luay Al Khateeb, former Electricity Minister, and Founder of the Iraq Energy Academy, our high powered 'Energy Panel' will focus on Iraq's burgeoning Energy sector and how to maximise its potential following international standards and best practices.

Iraq's heritage is coming a big topic, not just for its commercial value, tourism, and growth, but also for what it signifies about Iraq's current culture and history. Hear leading experts on Iraq's heritage.

- Professor John McGinnis, The British Museum /Nimrud Archaeological Trust

- Professor Gamal Abdelmonem , Nottingham Trent University
- Mr Ali Al Makhzomy, Bilweekend

- Dr Rosalind Wade Haddon , British Institute for the Study of Iraq.

- Professor Chris Whitehead , Newcastle University

IBBC is also hosting an exhibition on heritage "Legacies of War and Peace in Iraq: Mosul's Story of Resistance, Resilience, Recovery and Rise".

Supporting the new internationalism are initiatives in training, education, and skills, with British Universities and training companies, who are expanding new courses to propel Iraq business skills, including Nottingham Trent University, University of Mosul, University of Leeds, University of Wasit, and Newcastle University .

Baghdad and Basrah are bristling with new developments and the country is regularly hosting large business delegations from around the world. Whilst IBBC co-hosted the first UK Iraq Trade Fair in mid-May, large UAE, Saudi, Japanese business delegations were in Baghdad as well as the largest ever German business delegation with over 30 company delegates.

For a full agenda please click here and to register here

Iraqis are resilient and have always recovered, but now is a golden time.

A diversifying economy. I raq is still dependent on oil income, and all financial indexes, including income per head and GDP (+4% '23) are all looking good, with 2022 surplus of over $40bn. Other areas of the economy are expanding off the back of this, especially consumer products, telecoms, education, and tourism. KRG has seen a 30% increase in tourists in 2023, this and other areas of Iraq are projected to grow 10% pa to 2027, Healthcare by 19% pa, food market at 4.13 % (largest growth segment is Confectionery & Snacks), beauty and personal care 6%, Household appliances 5.42%, luxury goods 4%, home laundry care 6%.

A modernising govt . Iraq is finding its confidence and has been active with diplomacy and hosting regional conferences, broking relations between Saudi, Iran, and Turkey, while also stimulating infrastructural development, from oil refineries to dry canal and housing projects, new electricity and renewable energy production, airport, and airline travel facilitation. Making access faster with Visas on arrival and travel between Baghdad Basra and Erbil easier

Stability and security have also paid dividends in Basrah hosting of the Gulf cup which occurred without incident, and the bourgeoning number of tourists at religious and heritage sites.

Still challenges . The international community is still lagging in its view of Iraq, as international travel caution remains from US, EU and UK, and corruption is still prevalent, but on both counts, things are improving as the country moves towards international standards.

Come and meet the key international businesses and officials at our conference on June 16th, including over 20 private Iraqi banks, where we are exploring these themes with energy companies, educational panels, heritage, tech, infrastructure, the KRG, and significant investment and finance panels.

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