Attended by Mr. Bahaa Al Araji, the National Investment Commission holds the eighth Iraqi –British Investment Conference
Under the slogan (Together We Build Iraq) a two-day investment and business conference started in Baghdad on the 29th -30th April 2015 attended by high level officials.
Vice PM for Energy affairs, Mr. Bahaa Al Araji, said in his speech that the presence of these companies today refers to a clear indication that Iraq is vital for investment heading towards security stability and its far from what other trying to reflect. If we want to achieve economic stability we have to leave slogans and conferences behind and start with actual steps. This target cannot be achieved without an active dynamic relation between companies and state enterprises.
He also confirmed that the Government of Iraq has realized the importance of investment and created, for the first time, an article in the government budget law concerned in encouraging investment not only for being one of the solutions to solve the financial crises but because it became an economic must. He also referred to the historical relation between the two countries and Iraq’s desire for a fruitful cooperation which helps creating an actual construction in Iraq. Mr. Al Araji welcomed all British companies visiting Iraq and called them for a promising and real investment in a country of potentials.
Dr. Sami R Al Araji, NIC Chairman started the conference with a welcoming speech and confirmed that the best companies and representatives from the Iraqi and British private sector are there sending a message to the international community that Iraq is moving on with building and constructing and in the same time fighting terrorism conspiracy against it. The actual planning with the best international companies and private sector is continues with a strong will to change.
He also briefed that the challenges Iraq is going through is not the only and main obstacle preventing investment but the (wills conflict) represented in changing from central economy to a free one played the biggest role due to various point of views relevant to this issue.
Dr. Al Araji reviewed a number of fundamental issues that should be considered to improve investment in Iraq by activating the One Stop Shop for the benefit of the foreign investor, providing a suitable banking environment and developing the relation between NIC and provinces councils seeking an attractive investment environment for the international interest.
Jaafer Al Hamdani, Chairman of Iraqi Trade Chambers expressed the Iraqi private sector interest to create strong base for a strong relation between the Iraqi private sector and the international one. The United Kingdom is one of the most important countries that can help the economy in Iraq through partnership; he hoped to establish a more strong relation with countries supporting Iraq and UK. England is the best representative to those countries.
The conference agenda contained speeches for Mrs. Emma Nicolson, head of the Iraqi –British Business Council, Mr. Frank Baker, the British ambassador in Iraq, and Mrs. Linz Grant, Vice representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations.
After speeches, a general session regarding the available investment opportunities in the energy sector headed by the Minister of Oil Dr. Adil Abdul Mehdi was held.
The second day witnessed two sessions. The first one was about economic reforms in Iraq headed by the PM Office Manager Dr. Mehdi Al Alaq. Dr. Al Alaq referred to the main points in the launched governmental program as it focused on the Iraqi private sector and providing the supporting environment to improve it. Dr. Hussian Al Anbaki submitted a study regarding (Restructuring of the State owned companies)
The second session focused on a detailed presentation about higher education role in the investment campaign. Session was headed by the Minister of Higher Education, Dr. Hussain Al Shahristani.
Recommendations of the main issues discussed for two days shall be submitted to achieve the best expected benefit.