Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC)


IBBC welcomes Guests at House of Lords

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) held its bi-annual Council Meeting on 30 January, followed by a Reception & Dinner for IBBC members and guests.

Both the meeting and the reception and dinner were hosted by Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, President of IBBC and Trade Envoy to Iraq, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

The Meeting was Chaired by IBBC’s Deputy Chairman Alistair Kett of PwC and discussed at length the current state of Iraq and presented over 30 members present with a detailed brief of events in the last six months.

The Council also discussed future events and the progress of IBBC’s Sector Tables. Several exciting new developments were reported, including the launch of a new Iraq Britain Business Council website, which is expected to go live in the coming weeks and the development of the Young Executives Network.

The Council Meeting was followed by a Reception & Dinner hosted by Baroness Nicholson in the House of Lords, where the 80 guests present were privileged to hear from Baroness Fairhead, Minister of State for Trade & Export Promotion at the Department for International Trade (DIT), the Rt Hon Alistair Burt MP, Minister of State for the Middle East at the Foreign and Commonwealth and Minister of State at the Department for International Development.

After dinner, Ambassador Jon Wilks, her Majesty’s Ambassador to Iraq, gave an address to members, which highlighted his vision for UK-Iraq relations. The Ambassador spoke at length about the need for a coordinated and fruitful relationship between business communities of both countries to enhance the encouraging signs of stability witnessed in the last six months since the defeat of Daesh.

The Ambassador also touched upon the critical need to redevelop infrastructure in the newly liberated areas and the pivotal role of the private sector to facilitate further economic growth. Ambassador Wilks reaffirmed the Embassy’s longstanding commitment to promote trade and investment with the support of organisations such as the Iraq Britain Business Council.

Christophe Michels, MD of IBBC said:

“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.

“IBBC has welcomed Chevron, Al Burhan, Shamara, Ratba’a and Al Bilal groups, Leicester and Northampton University, Serco, Rolls Royce, MenziesAviation, GulfTek and Al Jaber Company. All in all we are seeing confidence and opportunity return to Iraq with overall economic perspectives for the country being at its best since 2010 – 2011.”

IBBC and its members are determined to build on these foundations to continue building economic and political ties, industry capabilities, knowledge sharing for UK, Iraqi and international businesses sharing the same high values and standards.

(Source: IBBC)

Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) visits Baghdad

On 21st and 22nd January the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) Deputy Chairman Mr Rasmi Al Jabri and Managing Director Mr Christophe Michels visited Baghdad.

They met with Dr Abdulkariem Faisal, Chairman of the Prime Minister’s Advisory Commission to discuss the upcoming Spring Conference in London on 24 April and plans for a conference in Baghdad. Outstanding issues on behalf of IBBC members were also raised.

A similar meeting was held with Dr Sami Al Araji, Chairman of the National Investment Commission, which is playing the leading role at the ‘Supporting Private Sector’ day of the Kuwait International Conference for Reconstruction of Iraq, to be held in Kuwait on 13 February.

Additional meetings were held with IBBC members BP, Najaf Chamber of Commerce, Baghdad Chamber of Commerce and the International Islamic Bank, which hosted the IBBC visitors for Lunch at the famous Alwiyah Club.

IBBC also met with Jaafar Al Hamdani, Chairman of the Iraqi Federation of Chambers of Commerce to discuss the ongoing relationship with the federation and to make plans for a conference in Baghdad.

‎IBBC is greatful to Al Burhan Group for generously hosting it’s delegates at the Al Burhan Centre close to Baghdad Airport during their stay.

(Source: IBBC)

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)

Iraq Britain Business Council welcomes 3 New Members

By John Lee.

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) has welcomed three new members, bringing its membership to 59 companies.

Menzies Aviation: An independent, time-critical logistics specialist serving the airline industry to the highest standards. At more than 200 airport locations across 6 continents, Menzies offer landside and airside services tailored to customers’ needs; timed to their schedules; and delivered by teams with the knowledge, tools and passion to set standards rather than chase them.

XReach: A leading supplier of mobile communications and cyber security solutions to businesses, government, military and law enforcement agencies. It employs high-end system, network and coding development personnel sourced from specialist UK military and government cyber security backgrounds.

The University of Leicester: A leading university committed to international excellence, world-changing research and high quality, inspirational teaching. The University celebrates diversity amongst staff and students; widening participation in higher education and engaging with local, national and international communities.

(Source: IBBC)

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 completes Successful Trade Mission to Baghdad

Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, President of the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) and UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy for Iraq, led a delegation of 25 IBBC member company representatives on a Trade Mission to Baghdad organised by IBBC Managing Director, Mr Christophe Michels and IBBC Co-Chairman and Iraq Representative, Mr Rasmi Al-Jabri.

Delegates included representatives from Penspen Ltd, Kuwait Energy, Serco, Wood, Ratba’a Contracting Co., Management Partners, Gulftainer, HWH & Associates, Al-Burhan Group, CCC, Dar Group, Restrata, Rolls Royce and new member XReach Ltd.

The delegation met with a number of ministers and high ranking officials to discuss future policies and opportunities for growth as well as focusing on business opportunities for IBBC member companies.

They also discussed the upcoming IBBC Autumn Conference in Dubai to be held on 12 November which will be attended by a powerful Iraqi Government delegation led by the Minister of Electricity. To register, please follow the link: http://www.webuildiraq.org/ibbc-conference/autumn-conference/

During the visit, delegates had meetings with:

  • Mr Qasim Al-Fahdawi, Minister of Electricity
  • Mr Abdul Kariem Al Faisal, Chairman of the PM’s Advisory Committee
  • Dr Mahdi Al Alak, Secretary General of the Council of Ministers
  • Dr Ann Nafi Aussi Balbool, Minister of Housing, Construction and Public Municipalities
  • ‎Mr Dara Rasheed, Deputy Minister of Housing, Construction and Public Municipalities
  • Mr Istabrak al Shouk, Deputy Minister of Housing, Construction and Public Municipalities
  • Mr Imran Abass, Deputy Minister of Transport
  • H.E. Mr Fayyad Naama Deputy Minister for refining operations, Ministry of Oil

The above meetings were joined by a number of Director Generals heading up the different departments in the various ministries.

On Sunday 29 October, IBBC Member Al Burhan Group, generously invited delegates for dinner at the Al Burhan Centre near the Baghdad International Airport.

The delegation was also invited for a Dinner at the British Embassy in Baghdad on Monday 30 October, where members delegates met with Representatives of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Trade, the World Bank, the EU and the Prime Ministers Advisory Council.

 

(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.

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).