Al Zeyoudi to attend Iraq Britain Business Council Autumn Conference 2023 in Dubai

The trade between Iraq and UAE has grown over 60 per cent in the last year

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A Staff Reporter

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Published: Thu 30 Nov 2023, 4:21 PM

The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) is gearing up for its flagship conference in Dubai on December 7 and 8, 2023 to foster partnerships and driving economic transformation in Iraq. Dr Thani Bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, UAE, will deliver the welcome address on Day 2 of the conference dedicated to ‘Building a Sustainable Future’.

The 2022 IBBC conference garnered positive feedback with over 230 delegates, leading to a 15 per cent increase in membership. This year, IBBC aims to match the same number of delegates who will come together to deliberate on topics such as ‘Education & Training in Iraq’ and ‘Building a Sustainable Future’ at Crowne Plaza Hotel on the 07th and the Address Hotel, Dubai Marina on the 08th, respectively.

Abdulla Ahmed Al Saleh, UAE Under Secretary Foreign Trade and Industry says, “It is a privilege to join our friends from Iraq and the IBBC, to discuss joint efforts to help the country in its process of reconstruction. Iraq has suffered greatly but has tremendous potential and abilities to contribute much to the world. In this context IBBC has brought together companies engaged in business and trade from all over the world for the benefit of the Republic of Iraq and its Members. Committed to a free, flourishing, and diverse Iraq, IBBC acts as a bridge between Iraq and the rest of the world and connects governments and the private sector to ultimately benefit business and industry and the People of Iraq. I would like to commend the IBBC and its leadership for organising this platform to connect better. We fully endorse the council’s mission of enabling the transfer of technology, infrastructure, and expertise into the Republic of Iraq to strengthen its growth and development.”

According to IBBC management, the substantial growth in trade between Iraq and the UAE, exceeding 60 per cent in the last year, underscores the enduring economic ties between the two nations. The event reaffirms the UAE’s status as the primary business hub for Iraq, showcasing the nation’s growing role in facilitating international collaborations. The UAE is seen as a great convening location for everyone from UK, EU, US to India, Turkey and Iraq, and the Gulf, it has world class facilities. The UAE also has tremendous potential for investment in Iraq and for companies operating there, without the administrative and bureaucratic incumbency that can be found in Iraq.

Advocating for Iraq’s private sector, Christophe Michels, MD of IBBC, explains that the UAE as an ideal venue due to its role as a regional hub, connecting international businesses with Iraq. “The IBBC Dubai conference is always the key middle east event for us, and is very well attended, especially by Iraqis, as it is convenient and familiar to travel to. Many of our members also have HQs in Dubai, and we expect this conference to enjoy the seniority of attendees that decisions makers appreciate, and our members expect for networking with people that matter.”, Michels added.

The two-day conference comes at a critical juncture, addressing pivotal issues such as economic sustainability, education, finance, and climate change. IBBC anticipates a transformative impact on education and sustainability in Iraq, emphasizing increased skill training and industry collaboration. The conference will also address sustainability through the capture of gas and finance strategies to sustain investments beyond oil price fluctuations. This year Wayne David MP, the UK Shadow Minster for the Middle East, will also attending and speaking about UK Foreign Policy in the Middle East.

Vikas Handa, UAE representative for IBBC in the regions, says, “Every year we excel ourselves in the level and quality of attendees, as IBBC and Iraq are both rapidly growing in influence and importance in the region. This conference is now set to be significant for the long-term development and perception of Iraq and we welcome all attendees and those in Dubai for COP28 and the sustainability we all seek.”

The conference will delve into crucial topics, including an energy panel featuring key providers like TotalEnergies, BP, Basra Gas Company, Hydro-C, GE, Siemens and discussions on financial reform with industry leaders such as the CEO of Standard Chartered Bank, the President of the Trade Bank of Iraq, and the Iraq Director of the International Finance Corporation. The ‘Education and Training in Iraq’ panel will see top UK University representatives including Lord Boateng, Chancellor of Greenwich University, senior representation from the Iraqi Ministry of Higher Education, the Prime Minister’s office, along with leading skills, and training organizations operating in Iraq.


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