Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC)


British Businesses Training and Educating in Iraq

By Ashley Goodall.

Is the UK overlooking a key USP for British International businesses?

Education and training footprint of British companies around the world has a significant and excellent impact on communities and economies and is often taken for granted.

As the UK ramps up its trade rhetoric and a ‘Global Britain’ emerges, one of the key benefits that British companies bring is being overlooked: Education and training…

The penny dropped for me as I attended a meeting of the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) members to find that one after the other, each company was committed to the concept of a learning organisation that are locally integrated. Not only are British companies employing as many local people as possible, but also training them to deliver increasingly complex managerial and technical roles.

Oil and gas companies, Shell and BP in particular, deliver an extraordinary amount of training in Iraq alone. The effect on the local communities and national economies is a massive injection of know-how and a source of social stability, development, prosperity and economic progress, let alone the transformative power training confers on individuals, families and communities.

Not only are our companies a source of prosperity, but when partnered with UK Universities offer a double whammy for the delivery of global standards and expertise that  few countries can match in country and via external courses, such as delivered by Oxford Brooks and Northampton Universities.

Emerging economies appreciate this expertise, as it raises business operations to global standards and enables them to compete with the best, to encourage inward investment and generate employment opportunities in their regions.

Oil and Power companies in particular make a big social impact on their suppliers. Osama Kadhum Managing Director of Ratba’ contracting in Iraq says his staff received 3885 hours of training in Majnoon Oilfield from Shell alone, ensuring the highest technical and supervisory standards are applied.

GE power likewise employ over 90% of local staff, often sent for technical training in USA or x for 6-12 month stretches supporting local recruitment , diversity of employees, and women for increasingly leadership and supervisory roles. Shell in Iraq train over 7,900 local staff in Basra for whom they are delivering over 200,000 training days per year. BP and its Partners are developing the Rumaila field which is supported by a 93% Iraqi workforce.

Around 2,400,000 training hours have been delivered to staff in a variety of technical disciplines, core skills, leadership and safety.  And these figures do not include community initiatives such as an extensive community vocational training programme that has been running for 3 years, or 400 women from a remote community that have been trained in the Rumaila funded Qarmat Ali Women’s Training Centre.

In Baghdad Serco have set up an ATC Academy for Air traffic Controllers. Multiply this scale of training globally in just Iraq and you begin to see the scale and quality of training that British companies deliver among International, Emerging and Frontier markets.

More widely Rolls- Royce has committed an ambitious plan to reach 6 million people worldwide through their STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) education programmes between 2014- 2020. This bold target will encourage a more creative and engaging outreach through the company’s supply chain, through the wider STEM sector and to inspire society to attract talented young people from around the world to the world of STEM.

Businesses are often castigated by the media, but the reality is that they are usually a force for good, prosperity and ultimately stronger communities. So let’s celebrate the important impact British companies’ commitment to education and training brings to millions of people and their ability to change the world.

Ashley Goodall is a martketing consultant to Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC).

IBBC Boosts Oil and Gas Capability

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) has announced that John M. Scott (pictured) will join as an oil and gas advisor to the industry sector membership.

John has over 40 year’s international experience in upstream project management and construction throughout Africa, Latin America, UK, USA and Middle East. As an engineer, John initially worked for Taylor Woodrow in the Arctic and in the North Sea for Global Engineering before joining Texaco to run R&D in the UK.

He subsequently transferred to the US to head up development of major greenfield projects in Latin American and West Africa, including re-instating a Brazilian rainforest as part of a carbon capture initiative. He returned to the UK to join Amec Foster Wheeler before joining Petrofac as Head of Project Development.

As a representative for Foster Wheeler, John has been involved with IBBC since its foundation and has twice chaired the Oil & Gas Sector Table, so brings exceptional knowledge to both IBBC and the membership.

It is reasonable to assume that John will focus on optimising the value of the IBBC network of companies and ensuring the business chain works to the benefit of the IOC’s, the E&C contractors and the SME groupings in the UK and Iraq.

Having managed many different factions in his work, John is a natural seeker of consensus and clarity of purpose among business communities. The industry sector can therefore look forward to great insights and support as IBBC optimises its Oil & Gas membership.

Please contact london@webuildiraq.org for further information.

(Source: IBBC)

Video: UK Trade Enjoy to Iraq discusses Opportunities

Baroness Nicholson, President of the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) and Her Majesty’s Trade Enjoy to Iraq, Azerbijan and Turkmenistan, discusses Iraq as a major market, IBBC’s role in creating a worldwide network for those doing clean business in Iraq, further increasing investment and the positive consequences of businesses transferring skills and technology into Iraq:

Iraq Britain Business Council welcomes Chevron

By John Lee.

Chevron has become the latest member of the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC), joining 57 other world- and region-leading organisations that form IBBC’s membership.

The company operates and has an 80 percent interest in the Sarta production-sharing contract (PSC) and the Qara Dagh PSC (pictured). The two blocks cover a combined area of 279,000 net acres (1,129 sq km).

In early 2016, it completed a second exploration well in the Sarta Block, and more evaluation of the block is planned.

For the Qara Dagh PSC, the results from seismic acquisition and evaluation in 2015 improved understanding of the prospects, and it is evaluating the next steps.

(Sources: IBBC, Chevron)

Iraq Britain Business Council welcomes Chevron

By John Lee.

Chevron has become the latest member of the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC), joining 57 other world- and region-leading organisations that form IBBC’s membership.

The company operates and has an 80 percent interest in the Sarta production-sharing contract (PSC) and the Qara Dagh PSC (pictured). The two blocks cover a combined area of 279,000 net acres (1,129 sq km).

In early 2016, it completed a second exploration well in the Sarta Block, and more evaluation of the block is planned.

For the Qara Dagh PSC, the results from seismic acquisition and evaluation in 2015 improved understanding of the prospects, and it is evaluating the next steps.

(Sources: IBBC, Chevron)

IBBC holds Successful Inaugural Dubai Networking Event

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) has held its first major networking event in Dubai, to accommodate the demand from its members, who operate from Dubai as a regional business hub.

Vikas Handa, the IBBC UAE Representative said over the last few years UAE has emerged as the hub for companies doing business in Iraq, prompting IBBC to open a representative office in Dubai. “I am delighted with the turnout of over 90 delegates, which was more than double the expected attendance,” he said. UAE Ministry of Economy, British Consul General and oil, gas and infrastructure majors attended.

Sponsored by Amec Foster Wheeler, the event brought together leading oil, gas and power companies as well as Infrastructure corporations. Key speakers included Zaid Elyaseri, Country Manager of BP Iraq and Mr Zohdee Mohd Faiz of Petronas who addressed the audience. Delegates were also generally engaged with discussing several business opportunities and the chance to learn from each other.

A key insight to emerge was from the UAE Ministry of Economy representative Miss Hindi Al Youha, who announced that an Iraqi delegation from the Iraqi industry ministry would be visiting UAE in September to follow up on collaboration between the regions.

IBBC will be holding its Autumn Conference at The Address Hotel, Dubai Marina on 12 November which will be attended by International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank focusing on business in Iraq post ISIS, rebuilding Iraqi infrastructure as well as the latest opportunities in Oil & Gas sector.

Should anyone wish to attend the conference or any future IBBC events, please contact London@webuildiraq.org

CONTACT: Christophe Michels (IBBC Managing Director): 020 7222 7100;

E-mail: London@webuildiraq.org; Website: www.webuildiraq.org

If you are based in the Gulf and Dubai please contact Vikas Handa directly at: Vikas.handa@webuildiraq.org

(Source: IBBC)

IBBC Networking Reception in Dubai

On Tuesday 1 August, 2017, the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) will hold its first networking event in Dubai.

The event follows the appointment of Vikas Handa (pictured) as IBBC UAE representative. Vikas intends to host regular networking events in the UAE for IBBC members and companies that are interested in working in Iraq.

Since last year IBBC has committed itself to have a stronger presence in the UAE which is generally seen as the major platform for international business operating in Iraq.

IBBC participated in ADIPEC in 2016 and successfully organised its first conference in Dubai in December of the same year. The organisation is now set to further expand its activities in the United Arab Emirates to bolster trade with Iraq at this crucial time for the country and the wider region.

The event will be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre. It is sponsored by Amec Foster Wheeler and several IBBC members, including Petronas and BP, will make informal comments about their operations in Iraq. IBBC Deputy Chairman and Iraq Representative, Mr Rasmi Al Jabri and IBBC Managing Director, Mr Christophe Michels, will be in attendance.

Companies that are not part of IBBC but would like to learn more about business opportunities in Iraq can register their interest in attending this event by emailing london@webuildiraq.org

(Source: IBBC)

Ratba’a Contracting joins IBBC, seeks JVs with UK Firms

Ratba’a Contracting Company has just joined the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC).

Ratba’a is an Iraqi Company based in Basra and Baghdad and is owned by Haj Aboud Al Khlaidy & Sons Group.

The group works to deliver projects in key sectors such as oil and gas (currently Shell, Petronas and BP are major clients), infrastructure and distinctively, the agricultural technology market for greenhouses.

Ossama A. Kadum, Managing Director, explained on a visit to the IBBC Cumberland Lodge weekend retreat that:

“Ratba’a are on the look out to collaborate with British companies with strong design and planning expertise and IOC’s for whom Ratba’a can deliver high quality engineering contracts and build projects.”

Mr Kadhum’s staff has a high commitment to training, quality assurance and engineering expertise that has enabled the company to prosper and grow through a difficult macro environment.

Christophe Michels, MD of IBBC said:

“Ratba’s strength in Iraq is their scrupulous adherence to high standards of delivery, which distinguishes them from many local contractors. High standards are something IBBC expects and admires among and for our members. We are very pleased to welcome Ratba’a on board and the value they will add to our members.”

(Source: IBBC)

SMEs can Transform Emerging Markets such as Iraq

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) has hosted a dinner in honour of Mr Xavier Rolet, CEO of the London Stock Exchange Group.

After dinner, Mr Rolet spoke about the transforming power of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), particularly in emerging markets such as Iraq.

He said that SMEs can spearhead profound societal change in countries which face political and other factors of instability, and spoke of the various initiatives his company is taking globally to build up and promote SMEs.

IBBC Managing Director, Christophe Michels, added:

It was an immense honour and privilege for IBBC to host Mr Rolet, one of the busiest actors in the global economy.

“The dinner with Mr Rolet was part of the wide ranging effort the IBBC is undertaking to put Iraq firmly on the map as a country to do business in.”

Members in attendance included representatives of Amec Foster Wheeler, Bath Spa University, Constellis, EY, Garda World, HWH & Associates, International Islamic Bank,  Mott MacDonald, Pell Frischmann, Perkins +Will UK, Petrofac, Rolls-Royce, Standard Chartered Bank and UB Holding.

(Source: IBBC)

Experts discuss Future of Iraq’s Economy at IBBC Retreat

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) held its annual weekend retreat on 7-9 July at Cumberland Lodge, Windsor Park, a venue dedicated to the advancement of international societal issues through constructive dialogue.

Around 60 IBBC Members and guest speakers attended this unique event to discuss pressing issues on the future of Iraq’s economy, prospects and stability.

Friday afternoon featured an Oil & Gas Sector Table Meeting, with representatives from Shell, Constellis, Penspen and Amec Foster Wheeler amongst others. William Wakileh, President and CEO of GE Iraq and Levant, gave a detailed presentation of GE’s work in Iraq during the meeting.

This was followed by a meeting of the Education, Training & Heritage Sector Table. The meeting featured presentations by the Vice Chancellors of the universities of Brighton, Leicester, and the Dean of Academic Partnerships of Northampton University, showcasing the progressive initiatives of British universities to support educational and curricula development in Iraq. Shell gave a presentation on their current training and educational work and requirements in the country. The meeting was also attended by the newly appointed HR director of BP Iraq.

The evening events saw speeches from Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, Her Majesty’s Trade Envoy to Iraq, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, Canon Dr Edmund Newell, Principal, Cumberland Lodge and H.E. Dr Salih Husain Ali, Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq.

The day was concluded by a powerful speech, courtesy of Dr Barham Salih, former Deputy PM of Iraq, former PM of the Kurdistan Regional Government and Founder of the American University in Suleimani.

The Friday Evening Dinner was generously sponsored by IBBC Member Severn Glocon Group.

The second day of the Conference on Saturday 8 July, consisted of 5 Sessions of panel discussions to address the economic, social and political situation in Iraq from a variety of different angles.

Session 1Present Situation in Iraq’ was chaired by Neil Quilliam, Senior Research Fellow at Chatham House and featured speeches from Baroness Nicholson, Dr Barham Salih, Ambassador Jonathan Wilks and Dara Rasheed, Deputy Minister of Construction, Housing and Municipalities for the Government of Iraq.

Session 2 addressed ‘Iraq after ISIS/The Future of Governance in Iraq‘ and was chaired by Botan Osman, Managing Director of Restrata. The Panel featured representatives of Chatham House, Dr Renad Mansour, Academy Fellow and Dr Nussaibah Younis, Associate Fellow, who recently published the Atlantic Council Report of the Task Force on the Future of Iraq. Nicolas Pelham, Middle East Correspondent at The Economist completed the panel.

Session 3 of the day, ‘A New Approach to International Trade’ saw a more finance focused discussion and was chaired by John Curtin, Partner, Ernst & Young. The panel was made up of Martin Kent, Strategy Director at the Department for International Trade, Gordon Welsh, Head of Business Group at UK Export Finance, Rob Lally of the Infrastructure Leadership Team and the Department of International Trade and Andy Birch, Director of DIT in Iraq.

Session 4 on ‘International Financial Support, PPP and Debt Finance’, was chaired by Richard Cotton of the IBBC and featured presentations by Ammar Shubar of Management Partners and Christian Josz, Mission Chief to Iraq of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Session 5 closed the day’s events on ‘Future IBBC Events’ chaired by Vikas Handa, IBBC’s UAE Representative.

IBBC also held its bi-annual Council Meeting at the Lodge, prior to dinner on Saturday evening.

The Seminar concluded with an after dinner speech and discussion with Jonathon Wilks, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Iraq (Designate).

(Source: IBBC)