Iraq Industry & Trade News


Arak Distillery promotes ambitious New Brand

By Adnan Abu Zeed for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Arak distillery promotes ambitious new brand in defiance of alcohol ban

Distiller Amer ad-Doumali launched “Arak Bashiqa” in September, a new brand of the Levant’s traditional anise drink whose recipe is centered on dates.

It was a bold move in conservative Iraq, where a yet-unenforced 2016 law banned the production and trade of alcohol.

Doumali’s new brand is the product of his home distillery in the town of Bahzani in Iraq’s northern Ninaveh province.

Click here to read the full story.

New Career Opportunities in Iraqi Kurdistan

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraqi Kurdistan:

(Source: UN)

(Picture: Success, growth, career, development signpost from 3D_Creation/Shutterstock)

Siemens may have to share $15bn Power Deal with GE

By John Lee.

Germany’s Siemens may have to share a $15-billion contract to supply power-generation equipment to Iraq with US rival General Electric (GE).

The Financial Times reports that although it appeared that Siemens would win the deal, the Trump administration successfully intervened on behalf of GE.

Last month German business newspaper Handelsblatt reported that Chancellor Angela Merkel had personally intervened with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to persuade the Iraqi Government to award the contract to Siemens.

(Source: Financial Times)

IBBC in Productive Trade Mission to Baghdad

Iraq Britain Business Council completes productive trade mission to Baghdad

IBBC recently completed a productive mission to Baghdad, meeting with high-level government officials and British authorities in Iraq. Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, President of IBBC and the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Iraq led the delegation alongside Mr Rasmi Al Jabri, Deputy Chairman of IBBC, Mr Christophe Michels, Managing Director of IBBC and Mr Vikas Handa, IBBC representative in the GCC.

IBBC was joined by numerous member representatives, including from Al Bilal Group, Al Burhan Group, Al-Nukhba OFS, ARCHS, Constellis, Dar Group, EY, Gulftainer, G4S, Khudairi Group, International Islamic Bank, Kuwait Energy, Management Partners, Menzies Aviation, Mosul University, National Bank of Iraq, Ratba’a Contracting, Serco, Shell, Standard Chartered Bank and Turnkey LLC.

The delegation visited soon after the election of President Dr Barham Salih, who took time out of his busy schedule to meet Baroness Nicholson and the IBBC leadership who were joined by HMA Jon Wilks. Dr Salih has been a close friend of the IBBC for many years and recently spoke at the IBBC Cumberland Lodge Conference in July.

On Sunday 7 October the delegation held meetings with the Governor of the Central Bank of Iraq, Mr Ali Mohsen Ismael Al Alaq, H.E. Mr Adbuallah Luabea the Deputy Minister of Transport, Mr Fayadh Neema, Senior Deputy Minister of Oil and Dr Sami Al Araji, Chairman of the National Investment Commission. The delegation were hosted by the Iraqi Federation of Chambers of Commerce in the evening for dinner.

On Monday the delegation met with Dr Mehdi Al Alak, Secretary General of the Council of Ministers, Dr Hameed Ahmed Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers, Dr Sabah Mushatat, Economic & Investment Advisor to the Prime Minister of Iraq, Dr Mudher Mohammed Saleh, Finance Advisor to the Prime Minister of Iraq and with Ján Kubiš Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq.  In the evening Ambassador Jon Wilks hosted a reception for the delegation and Iraqi dignitaries at his residency.

Before leaving Iraq, Christophe Michels visited Serco, who are working with the Iraqi Civil Aviation Authority at Baghdad International Airport. Serco supports the Iraqi authorities in managing the entire spectrum of air traffic control in Iraq including the increasing number of international overflights.

(Source: IBBC)

Population Growth in Iraq raises Concerns

By Adnan Abu Zeed for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

British Ambassador Jonathan Wilks warned at a press conference last month that, at its current rate of growth, Iraq’s population would increase by a million people per year.

Iraq’s Central Statistical Organization (CSO) announced soon after, on Oct. 1, that the country’s population had reached about 38 million in 2018, and that Baghdad’s population had reached more than 8 million.

While Iraq has not conducted any comprehensive census since 1997, these figures, combined with the rising unemployment rate, indicate an imbalance between the growing population and the availability of services.

Najeh al-Obeidi, an economics researcher at the University of Baghdad, is worried that the state will not be able to respond to population growth or provide decent living conditions for Iraqis. “This raises concerns about the future,” he said. “Baghdad alone has a population equal to that of the entire country five decades ago.

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Electricity Generation in Iraq — Problems and Solutions

The Al-Bayan Center for Planning and Studies has just published a new report by Hayder al-Khafaji on electricity generation in Iraq:

Meeting energy needs in a manner that achieves security for Iraq has become a major source of concern for the electricity sector in the country; with the industry claiming that it lacks the capacity to meet current peak demand, especially with production running at about 50% of the country’s requirements.

There is little doubt that over the coming years peak demand for electricity will greatly exceed the capacity of existing power stations. In view of the aforementioned, the need for the construction of new power stations has never been more pressing, however, it will not be without certain obstacles, most significantly the availability of fuel and other unforeseen technical problems, such as breaches of the contracts for the construction of new power stations.

Iraq’s electricity generation problems are not new. Historically, the country has suffered from severe power shortages since 1990, which were further compounded after 2003 by the unworthiness of the old power generation plants and the acts of sabotage during the intervening years.

All this culminated in prolonged power cuts lasting anything between 14-20 hours a day; forcing ordinary people to rely on private neighbourhood generators and/or small household generators, both of which have added a considerable financial burden on people.

Please click here to download the full report.

(Source: Al-Bayan Center)

Outgoing Abadi signs blow to Turkish Imports

By Fehim Tastekin for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

While Turkey was eagerly anticipating a new government in Baghdad to sort out many problems with Iraq, a last minute decision by the outgoing prime minister has added a fresh item to the list of ongoing disagreements between the two countries.

Haider al-Abadi unexpectedly signed a decree to set up three new checkpoints in government-controlled areas in northern Iraq that will effectively slash Turkey’s trade with it.

The trucks that enter the country normally pass through the sole border crossing that is controlled by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and will now also have to pass at least one of these additional checkpoints.

Click here to read the full story.

Outgoing Abadi signs blow to Turkish Imports

By Fehim Tastekin for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

While Turkey was eagerly anticipating a new government in Baghdad to sort out many problems with Iraq, a last minute decision by the outgoing prime minister has added a fresh item to the list of ongoing disagreements between the two countries.

Haider al-Abadi unexpectedly signed a decree to set up three new checkpoints in government-controlled areas in northern Iraq that will effectively slash Turkey’s trade with it.

The trucks that enter the country normally pass through the sole border crossing that is controlled by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and will now also have to pass at least one of these additional checkpoints.

Click here to read the full story.

GCC “could Export Electricity to Iraq”

By John Lee.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is reportedly in discussions with Iraq to connect electricity grids.

An official at the UAE’s Ministry of Energy and Industry told Reuters that the GCC could export its surplus electricity to Iraq.

(Source: Reuters)