United Kingdom


$12m Contracts Awarded for Explosive Hazard Mgt

By John Lee.

Two UK-based companies have won tenders to provide Explosive Hazard Management (EHM) and Risk Education (RE) to the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) in Iraq.

The contract with G4S Risk Management Limited is valued at $8,420,831 while the contract with The HALO Trust is valued at $3,996,181.

(Source: UNGM)

AstraZeneca Investigated for Alleged Corruption in Iraq

By John Lee.

UK-bassed pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has said it is the subject of an anti-corruption investigation in the US relating to its activities in Iraq

In its latest quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the company said:

As previously disclosed, in the US, in October 2017, AstraZeneca and certain other pharmaceutical and/or medical device companies were named as defendants in a complaint filed in federal court in the District of Columbia by US nationals (or their estates, survivors, or heirs) who were killed or wounded in Iraq between 2005 and 2009 (the Lawsuit).

“The plaintiffs allege that the defendants violated the US Anti-Terrorism Act and various state laws by selling pharmaceuticals and medical supplies to the Iraqi Ministry of Health.

“In addition, AstraZeneca has received an inquiry from the US Department of Justice in connection with an anti-corruption investigation relating to activities in Iraq, including interactions with the Iraqi government and certain of the same matters alleged in the Lawsuit.

(Source: AstraZeneca)

Iraq Immediate Stabilisation Programming, FY17-18

The Iraq Governance and Security and Justice Programmes are key in delivering the UK’s mission to support the Iraqi Government and people as they build a stable, prosperous and democratic nation.

Working with the Government of Iraq, the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) and the UNDP, CSSF funding has helped to rebuild essential infrastructure in areas liberated from Daesh, and cleared it of explosive hazards, enabling over 3.6m people to return home and access basic services, including healthcare, education, water and electricity.

CSSF support to the UNDP-led Funding Facility for Stabilisation, a multi-donor pooled fund, has helped deliver over 1,500 stabilisation projects restoring services and essential infrastructure in liberated areas. UNDP has staff deployed across Iraq, including embedded stabilisation advisors in 10 municipalities to support project planning.

The programme has provided cash for work for both men and women, and stimulated local business through reconstruction contracts. Over 15,000 residents earned a wage whilst restoring their homes and city.

Inclusion is critical to the stabilisation effort—and women have been recruited as engineers, social workers and in local councils. In total over 2,000 jobs and more than 1,000 small business grants have been created for women, and over 1,000 vulnerable women and female headed households have benefitted from cash for work programmes.

As well as the ‘pooled’ Funding Facility for Stabilisation projects, CSSF funding has specifically paid for the rehabilitation of a water plant serving over 300,000 people in Mosul and repaired over 2,000 homes in the city.

In Mosul the UNMAS demining programme has facilitated the removal of more than 585,000 explosive hazards, helping to enable the return of nearly 1 million people. Clearance locations include Al Khansa Hospital in Mosul and four schools in Al Qayarra, helping 1,286 children return to school.

To download the full report from the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, please click here.

Field Energy Services joins Iraq Britain Business Council

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) has announced that Field Energy Services (FES), one of Iraq’s leading oil and gas service providers, has joined the Council.

Established in 2008, FES is an Iraqi registered company who supply a diverse range of products, services and logistical support to companies operating across the energy supply chain in Iraq. FES offers comprehensive, high-valued technical, industrial, trading, logistical, life support, training, construction and engineering solutions.

FES work on multiple fronts to help accelerate the development of the country’s oil and gas industry, including the opening of a dedicated repair and maintenance facility, building two highly secure and fully integrated business parks, and a world-class vocational training centre.

Field Energy Services represents international principals and partners in Iraq through its subsidiary, Al Majal Commercial Agencies, and is an approved supplier to leading international oil companies (IOCs), national oil companies (NOCs), and international Engineering, Procurement and Construction companies (EPCs).

Together with their partners, FES offer a wide spectrum of products and services to the energy industry, ranging from the repair and maintenance of rotating equipment to offering customized warehouses and offices, and creating internationally accredited and customized vocational training courses to oil and gas companies operating in Iraq.

(Source: IBBC)

OILSERV joins Iraq Britain Business Council

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) has announced that OILSERV has joined the Council.

OILSERV is an independent Oilfield Service Company founded with the purpose of providing world class solutions to clients operating across the Middle East and North Africa.

OISERV’s comprehensive range of business lines covers the full life cycle of oilfield services, from exploration drilling and logging to constructing surface production facilities, and from integrated project management to end-of-life field production and maintenance.

Their technical experts, working in close collaboration with the Integrated Oilfield Services team, enable OILSERV to the be a highly effective drilling and work-over turnkey partner for their clients.

OILSERV has been actively supporting the Iraqi Oil and Gas industry since its inception and has become a key contributor to the communities where it operates as well as recruiting and developing hundreds of graduates from local university and technical colleges.

(Source: IBBC)

ONEm Partners with Asiacell Iraq

UK-based ONEm is partnering with Asiacell to bring unlimited news and entertainment content from Reuters to Iraq.

Asiacell subscribers can now exclusively access global news on any mobile device.

The #Reuter service provides full coverage of real time news and entertainment content in Arabic delivered by SMS.

Users interact with the #Reuter service menu by SMS and receive their chosen category of news and entertainment content from returned SMS, enjoying unlimited use of the service for 600 IQD per week.

(Source: ONEm)

IBBC holds annual Cumberland Lodge Conference

IBBC holds annual Cumberland Lodge Conference with Political, Academic, Education and Business Experts, 6-8 July

The Iraq Britain Business Council hosted its annual Cumberland Lodge Retreat on 6-8 July, inviting a host of political, business, academic and education experts to discuss the most pertinent issues relating to Iraq and its future.

The title of the conference was ‘Iraq: Domestic Expectations & Geopolitical Aspirations’ and addressed a variety of issues on regional politics, election diagnosis and the future of higher education in Iraq.

On Friday members and guests heard speeches from Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, President of IBBC and the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Iraq, Dr Edmund Canon Newell, Principal of Cumberland Lodge, Mr Nazar Mirajan Mohammed, Minister Plenipotentiary Iraq Embassy and Sara Akbar, Founder Member of IBBC, Kuwait Government Adviser and CEO of new IBBC member OiLSERVE.

The conference also featured in-depth discussions with high level representatives from the Government of Iraq, including Dr Abdul Razzaq Al-Issa, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Dr Adbul Kariem Al Faisal, Chairman of the PM’s Advisory, Dr Dara Rasheed, Deputy Minister for Construction, Housing and Municipalities and Deputy Head of Refaato and Dr Salah Hadi Saleh Alhashim, DG for Scholarships at he Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.

Agenda & Speakers

Session 1: Present Situation in Iraq

Chair: Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne

Dr Barham Salih MP, Coalition for Democracy, Jon Wilks CMG (tbc), HM Ambassador to Iraq, Dr Renad Mansour, Research Fellow, Chatham House, Professor Toby Dodge, Director Middle East Centre, LSE

Session 2: Iraq in a Regional Perspective

Chair: Dr Renad Mansour, Research Fellow, Chatham House

Sara Akbar, CEO Oil Serve Kuwait

Session 3: China and Iraq

Chair: Botan Osman, Managing Director, Restrata

Raffaello Pantucci, Director of International Security Studies, RUSI

Session 4: IMF view on Iraq

Chair: Gavin Wishart, Board Member, IBBC

Gavin Gray, Mission Chief for Iraq, IMF

Session 5: Partnerships between British and Iraqi Universities

Chair: Dr Victoria Lindsay, Director British Council Iraq

Professor Obay Al Dewachi, President of Mosul University, Professor Nick Petford, Vice Chancellor, Northampton University, Professor Mohammed Al Uzri, Honorary Professor with Social and Epidemiological Psychiatry Research Group, Leicester University, Professor John Strachan, Vice Chancellor, Bath Spa University

On Saturday 7, an after dinner speech was given by Dr Mohammed Jasim, Library Director of Mosul University, who gave an impassioned presentation on the progress made in rebuilding the university’s dilapidated library.

IBBC would like thank the staff at Cumberland Lodge, all speakers and delegates who contributed to the extremely fruitful discussions, and to its members, with representatives attending from Al Burhan Group, Al Nukbha OFS, Bath Spa University, BP, Olive Group, Eversheds Sutherland, G4S, KBR, Menzies Aviation, Mosul University, Najaf Chamber of Commerce, OiLSERV, Penspen, Perkins+Will, Petrofac, Restrata, Serco, Shell, TurnKey LLC, University of Leicester, University of Northampton and Wood.

(Source: IBBC)

UK Starts Corruption Proceedings against Unaoil

The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has commenced criminal proceedings against Unaoil Monaco SAM and Unaoil Ltd as part of an ongoing corruption prosecution.

This follows charges already brought against four individuals for alleged conspiracy to make corrupt payments to secure the award of contracts in Iraq.

Unaoil Ltd has been summonsed with two offences of conspiracy to give corrupt payments, contrary to section (1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 and section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906.

This relates to alleged corrupt payments to secure the award of a contract worth US$733 million to Leighton Contractors Singapore PTE Ltd for a project to build two oil pipelines in southern Iraq.

Unaoil Monaco SAM has been summonsed with two offences of conspiracy to give corrupt payments, contrary to section (1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977 and section 1 of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906.

The charges relate to alleged corrupt payments to secure the award of contracts in Iraq to Unaoil’s client SBM Offshore.

The first appearance for the companies will be held at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 18 July 2018.

(Source: SFO)

A Roadmap to Drive the Iraqi Economy Forward

By Sadek Ali.

Resounding Victory

At the height of its reach, Daesh occupied almost 40% of Iraq’s territory. A tragedy for the communities they enslaved and also for Iraq’s economy: the area occupeid produced 80 thousand barrels of crude oil in 2014. The December 2017 liberation of Iraq was therefore a significant release for both people and economy.

Iraq’s economy has proved extraordinarily resilient. It has weathered serious crises, and still suffers from real structural issues within the production and financial sectors, the result of a myriad causes including the lack of strategic economic policymaking and national resources drained by military operations.

Despite the heavy burden of military liberation, the Government of Iraq remains committed to resurrecting the economy, and quickly: overcoming challenges such as the cost of basic services and civil servant salaries. To get back on track it must deal with the gap in investments which must be financed through internal or external sources, all while developing a competitive and attractive investment environment.

A Revitalized Vision

In August 2015, Iraqi PM Dr. Haider Al Abadi proposed a series of reforms centered around government efficiency and anti-corruption. Alongside ongoing oil revenues, local economic reform measures that cut down on non-vital public expenditure and raise collection rates from sources such as customs, duties and other sources of public revenue, this pathway should have a substantial and measurable impact on the fiscal budget and domestic resources available.

The Government of Iraq also implemented a number of reforms aimed at increasing Iraq’s competitiveness on the investments and ease-of-doing-business index, through removing barriers and cutting down on red tape facing local and international investors. These reforms now allow entrepreneurs and investors to start up their operations in a much shorter time while streamlining the government record-keeping and tax accounting.

A New Dawn for Iraq

Fiscal reform policy effect can be seen in several sectors, and an increased stream of non-oil revenues is now apparent. A total of 2,219 and 2323 new private sector companies were registered in 2016 and 2017 respectively; the Iraqi securities exchange also witnessed an increased trading volume that grew from ID 516 bn to ID 900 bn in the same period.

The World Bank confirms that Iraq has been successful in implementing structural reforms in local regulation, helping to facilitate new businesses, supported by better access to credit and financing facilities.

“The Government of Iraq has launched a fundamental economic reform agenda based on the framework of its 2014-2018 Government Programme which put institutional economic reform and private sector development at the forefront of its priorities,” said Saruj Kumar Jaha, Regional Director for the Middle East at the World Bank.

The government has also strengthened the credit information infrastructure with the launch of a credit information bureau managed by the Iraqi Central Bank. As of January 2017, this includes five-year histories of 234,967 individual and 4,877 commercial loans.

The government has also succeeded in enhancing the country’s investment ecosystem and positioning, ratifying the following economic and investment agreements:

  • In 2015, Iraq joined The International Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States (the ICSID Convention), one of the key instruments of international law that protect and promote foreign investment.
  • In 2017, Iraq ratified the United Nations Convention on Transparency in Treaty-based Investor-State Arbitration (the Mauritius Convention on Transparency).
  • In 2018, Iraq ratified the United Nations Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards.

A Bright and Productive Future

Held in Kuwait, Iraq reconstruction conference which wason 12 -14 February 2018. To support to the country following Daesh’s territorial defeat in 2017. The conference, which took drew participants from 76 countries and regional and international organizations, 51 development funds and financial institutions, and 107 local, regional and international nongovernmental organizations, as well as 1,850 private sector representatives .

Investment Opportunities Symposium was held in April 2018. The Symposium demonstrated huge local and international investment appetite throughout all of Iraq’s different provinces and promoted new economic models for Iraq such as Public-Private-Partnerships. PPPs should create excellent opportunities for the country, combining support from public authorities, businesses and civil society. Nine MoUs were successfully agreed, including:

  • Central Markets Rehabilitation – Al Mustansiriyayah, Al Adl, Al Amal, Al Salihiyya, and Al Shaab. Total project cost: $250m, awarded to Daeco of the UK.
  • Al Muftiyya Project in Basra – Residential, Commercial and Leisure Development. Total project cost $234m, awarded to Daeco of the UK.
  • Soda Complex and Table Salt Production Plant in Al Muthanna. Total project cost: $80m, awarded to Al Ghaith of the UAE.
  • 3 MoUs with Kuwaiti investment group Jawad Bukhamseen to develop hotels and commercial centers in Al Kadhimiyyah, Kerbalaa, and Samarraa.
  • A 5-star hotel and commercial center in Baghdad.
  • The Satellite E-Government Project.
  • Development of the Baghdad Industrial City.
  • Expansion and development of Al Andalus Specialist Hospital in Baghdad.
  • Establishment of a branch of an international specialized university in Baghdad over 25,000 square meters, awarded to Al Hawadi Group of the UAE.

These exciting new initaitives correspond to Iraq’s 5-year plan for 2018-2022. The five-year plan seeks to restructure the economy, putting good governance and multi sector reform at its heart, focussed on the recovery of provinces most affected by internal displacement and difficult security conditions.

The development of Iraq’s investment environment will also enable the development of various sectors and create more than two million new jobs and more integration with regional economies and the global community, paving the way to a bright future.

(Source: Sadek Ali)

UKEF Financed 3 Iraqi Projects last year

By John Lee.

UK Export Finance (UKEF) has published its annual report and accounts for 2017 to 2018, in which it lists three export projects supported in Iraq:

  • Enka UK Construction Ltd received letter of credit guarantees and supplier credit totalling £87,910,650 for the construction of a gas-fired power plant for Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity;
  • GE Global Services GMBH received buyer credit and direct lending totalling £87,211,216 for the construction of a gas-fired power plant for Iraq’s Ministry of Electricity;
  • Fortress Diagnostics Ltd received export working capital of £112,258 to supply healthcare equipment to Iraq’s Ministry of Health.

(Source: UK Govt)