Iraq’s Minister of Industry and Minerals, and Ambassadors open IBBC Spring Conference 2016 ‘Iraq in Transition’
The 2016 IBBC Spring Conference ‘Iraq in Transition’ took place on the 27th April at Mansion House and on the 28th April at the Vintners’ Hall in London. Day 1 at Mansion House started with addresses by Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, UK Trade Envoy for Iraq and IBBC Executive Chairman; the Lords Mayor’s Aldermanic Representative, Peter Estlin; the Iraqi Minister of Industry and Minerals, HE Mr Mohamed Sahib Khalaf Al-Daraji; the British Ambassador to Iraq, HE Frank Baker OBE; the Iraqi Ambassador to the UK, HE Dr Salih Husain Ali; and the Chairman of the Iraqi Federation of Chambers of Commerce, Jaafar Al Hamdani.
The speakers acknowledged the challenges in Iraq, citing corruption and bureaucracy as the main issues, but highlighted the big opportunities the country presents for British business. ‘The solution for Iraq comes from the private sector’ expressed the Iraqi Industry Minister.
Baroness Nicholson with (from left to far left) H.E. Istabraq Al Shouk, Deputy Minister of Housing and Construction; H.E. Mohammed Sahib Khalaf Al-Daraji, Minister of Industry and Minerals; and H.E. Dr Salih Husain Ali, Iraq’s Ambassador to the UK
The welcome addresses were followed by an update on the political and security environment by Lieutenant General Sir Simon Mayall KBE CB, Former Middle East Advisor to the British Ministry of Defence, and a session on Improving Human Capital chaired by Dr Alastair Niven OBE, IBBC Associate Director. The keynote speaker on this topic was Helena Morrissey CBE, CEO of Newton Investment Management and founder of the 30% Club, and panelists were Angelique Lecorps, G4S; Ilya Bourtman, BP; and Gerardine Togher from Sheffield Hallam University. Gender diversity, training, and local content were some of the subjects discussed.
Conference keynote speaker Helena Morrissey OBE, CEO of Newton Investment Management and founder of the 30% Club
The Trade and Finance session was chaired by Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint. Philippe Dauba-Pantanacce from Standard Chartered, Louis Taylor from UK Export Finance, and Captain Bill Chalmers for Gulftainer participated in a panel touching upon different angles of the banking, investment and trade sectors.
Vikas Handa, Regional Managing Director of Weir Group, chaired the session, ‘Oil and Gas: How Does the Industry Adapt to the Low Oil Price Environment?’
The Oil and Gas session included presentations by Dr Mark Wharton, Shell; Ian Todd, Restrata; Amar Shubar, Management Partners; and Ahmed Al-Shamma, the Iraqi Former Deputy Oil Minister. Vikas Handa, Weir Group, chaired this panel that presented different perspectives on the current situation of the oil and gas sectors in Iraq.
Chair of the Media, Technology and Communications session, Professor John Strachan of Bath Spa University.
The last session of the day saw Professor John Strachan, Bath Spa University; Dr Dina Matar, SOAS-University of London; and Faheem Ahamed, Lapis Communications, discuss internet access, social media and a media strategy proposal for Iraq.
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