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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)

Opportunity for UAE Business: Key Iraqi Ministers come to Conference

Rebuilding Iraq is central to the agenda of the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) autumn conference at The Address, Dubai Marina on 12th November.

The opportunity for businesses in the region to engage in Iraq is reflected by the attendance of a number of high profile Iraqi Ministers: from Electricity, Transport, Oil, Construction and Housing, to the Governor of Basrah and International financiers, including the IMF and World Bank.

Vikas Handa, the IBBC UAE representative agrees:

“Iraq is the second largest oil producer in OPEC and has one of the biggest programmes for new power generation projects in the region; Iraq presents massive opportunities for housing, Infrastructure and FMCG businesses. The event is designed to discover the opportunities and projects live and intended in Iraq, for business people to meet the decision makers, to obtain insights and to network”.

UAE is increasingly seen as the regional hub for corporate operations in Iraq and the place where business decisions are determined.

We can confirm this as a range of leading international companies are attending, including GE, Siemens, BP, Wood, Serco, Shell, Petronas, Gulftainer, Zain, KCA Deutag, the International Islamic Bank and more. There will also be plenty of networking and engagement on the sidelines beyond the main stage.

The IBBC Dubai conference is also the location for the Governor of Basrah to outline his vision for the future, and it is expected ministers will outline the latest thinking on the evolving situation in Iraq and the opportunities this brings.

To register, please follow the link: http://www.webuildiraq.org/ibbc-conference/autumn-conference/

(Source: 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).

Iraq Britain Business Council welcomes 7 New Members

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) has announced that several new companies have joined the Iraq Britain Business Council in 2017, each of which are underpinned by strong reputations for innovation, reliability and a commitment to investing in Iraq.

Al Ratba’a Contracting Company, Al-Burhan Group, Iraq Star Group, Serco, Shamara Holding, Cresent and Rolls Royce join 52 other world- and region-leading companies that form IBBC’s Council of Members.

Al Ratba’a Contracting Company is based in Basra, Iraq, and provides high quality services with improved construction systems and processes, and innovation in accordance with the regulations and international standards to satisfy its customers. Al Ratba’a has 16 years of experience doing business in Iraq, with its headquarters based in Basrah and offices in Baghdad, employing over 800 international and Iraqi staff. Its network of clients and partners includes many international and national firms working across the country in numerous industrial sectors. Al Ratba’a has 12 years of experience working in the Oil & Gas sector, with base camps located in all major Oil fields in Southern Iraq. Its services span a wide range of associated activities across the Oil & Gas industry. For more information visit: http://intraq8.com/al-ratbaa-company/

Al-Burhan Group is a conglomerate based in Iraq and is actively involved in key projects across the country focusing on consultation, construction, equipment and machinery supply, milling, security assistance, hospitality services and transportation. Al Burhan Group is considered an “A” grade company making them one of the top companies in Iraq that is licensed and that has the ability to conduct large scale projects. Al Burhan Group has received numerous awards over the years, two of which being for Reliability and Quality of Service. For more information visit: www.alburhangroup.com

Cresent is Control of Work and Health and Safety specialists, with over 30 years’ experience working in hazardous industries around the world. Cresent’s scope extends across a wide range of facilities on and offshore. Since 2012 Cresent has been working with clients in Iraq, and has been helping make Iraq’s oil fields safer by producing numerous safety training packages in Arabic and English, delivering training to more than 80,000 people in Iraq, coaching 100 Iraqi Safety Trainers and providing work clothing, posters, booklets, campaigns and other information for people at the Rumaila and the West Qurna Oil Fields. For more information visit: www.cresent.co.uk

Iraq Star Group is a leading provider of armed security solutions for international clients across Iraq. The company is 100% Iraqi owned and based in the southern city of Basra. Iraq Star Group has decades of experience in the provision of complex security solutions and is an approved provider to the largest International Oil and Gas companies operating in Iraq. For more information visit: www.iraq-star137.com

IBBC Celebrates Successful Inaugural Conference in Dubai

More than 180 expert speakers and delegates from the UK, Iraq, UAE and abroad gathered in Dubai at The Address Dubai Marina on Sunday 18 December for the Iraq Britain Business Council’s (IBBC) Autumn Conference.

Usually held in London, the well-attended conference marked the first time the IBBC has held an event in the UAE, a hub for global and regional companies that operate in the Middle East.

The decision to move the Autumn Conference to Dubai has certainly proven to be a good one, with the new location attracting a new audience of business leaders and decision makers based in the region.

A record number of delegates from non-member companies registered for the event, including representatives from Mitsubishi, Serco, Rolls-Royce, Capital Bank of Jordan and LUKOIL.

They were joined by representatives from IBBC member companies, such as Shell, ExxonMobil, Siemens, GE, Amec Foster Wheeler, GardaWorld, Restrata, Eversheds and more.

The conference was supported by H.E. Mr Kadhim Finjan Al-Hamami, Iraq’s Minister of Transport, and Mr Frank Baker OBE, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Iraq, who jointly opened the event with IBBC President Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne.

The theme of the conference was ‘Doing Business in Iraq’. Delegates heard from Ariel Flores, General Manager of BP (Rumaila Operating Organisation), on operating Rumaila in a $50-barrel world during the first session, ‘The Iraq Oil and Gas Sector in 2016’. He focused particularly on how investing in technology, training and safety is key to Rumaila’s operations.

Meanwhile, Marwa Al Nasaa, the International Monetary Fund’s Resident Representative for Iraq delivered an overview of the IMF’s Stand-By Arrangement (SBA), economic developments under the SBA and a forecast of what’s to come.

Other headlining speakers included Dennis Flannery of Citibank, Dr Jafar Dhia Jafar of URUK Engineering and Contracting Company LLC., Zeeshan Sheikh of the International Finance Corporation, Salem Jawad Chalabi of Stephenson Horwood Middle East LLP and Jorge Vila of Iraq Middle Market Development Foundation (IMMDF), who addressed the audience from Paris via a Skype link-up.

IBBC members also joined panel discussions. Asrar Abdulhussein Mohammed of International Islamic Bank participated in the finance session, while Iain Rawlinson of Gulftainer and Peter Turner of SKA International shared their insights on opportunities in Iraq for investment and partnership within the transport and logistics sectors.

Amar Shubar of Management Partners, Gavin Rennie of EY, Afif Masri of PwC and Vikas Handa of Beas LLC (formerly of Weir Group) chaired the panels on finance, power, opportunities in the private sector and O&G respectively.

he IBBC Autumn Conference was generously sponsored by the Islamic International Bank, Gulftainer, Weir Group, SKA International and the IMMDF.

The IBBC’s next conference will take place at Mansion House, London, on Monday 3 April 2017. More information will be available in due course.

For information on the IBBC Autumn Conference, membership or conference sponsorship opportunities, contact the IBBC London team at london@webuildiraq.org or +44 20 7222 7100 or our UAE Representative Samer Al-Omari at samer.alomari@webuildiraq.org or +971552088000.

(Source: IBBC)

Serco Wins Contract Extension from ICAA

By John Lee.

UK-based Serco has agreed a contract extension with the Iraq Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA) to deliver air traffic services and academy training.

David J. Greer OBE, CEO, Serco Middle East commented:

“The contract extension issued to Serco is a true testament of our work and approach to air traffic safety and training of Iraqi nationals. We are proud that it reaffirms our position as the leading provider of outsourced air navigation services in the region and we aspire to look at longer term partnership models across the region in the future.”

The contract covers a full range of services including the continued development of Air Traffic Services and Academy Training at Baghdad International Airport.

The partnership between Serco and the ICAA has achieved a number of successes that include increasing airspace capacity, successful training and validation of national staff to become air traffic controllers, while continuously developing a solid foundation for advancing Air Traffic Services capabilities in Iraq in line with ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices.

(Source: Serco)

Serco Awarded Contract Extension by ICAA

By John Lee.

Serco, the UK-based international service company, has announced a 1 year contract extension with the Iraq Civil Aviation Authority (ICAA).

The contract covers a full range of services including the continued development of Air Traffic Services and Academy Training at Baghdad International Airport.

According to a statement from Serco, the partnership between Serco and the ICAA has achieved a number of successes, including increasing airspace capacity, successful training and validation of nationals to become air traffic controllers, while continuously developing a solid foundation for advancing Air Traffic Services capabilities in Iraq.

David J Greer, CEO Serco Middle East said:

The success and continued faith of the ICAA in Serco is testament to the professional nature of our aviation business and our wider group focus on providing excellent service and value to government agencies.

“This latest contract extension reaffirms our position as the leading provider of outsourced air navigation services in the region.”

The initial contract was awarded to Serco in 2011 and has now been extended until 2016.

(Source: Serco)

(Contract image via Shutterstock)