Baroness Nicholson and IBBC host Deputy speaker to Iraqi parliament and MP’s to discuss business in Iraq.

IBBC hosted a meeting in the Houses of Parliament with Mr Bashar Tawfeeq the Deputy Speaker, Mr Gates Alrikabi in the State of Law block, Mr Hussein Almaliky a member of the Foreign Relations Committee and Mr Ahmed Alsaffar from the Kurdish Democratic Party and member of the finance committee.

Topics for discussion included; the state of Iraqi protests, the overall safety of the country and the reasons behind them. This included the need for jobs, political reform and frustration among young people.  With this, Parliament is now keen to speed up change and implement business reforms.

Mr Tawfeeq made a major call for business and investment to come to Iraq, from IBBC members and British business in general. He stated how welcome the British are in Iraq as our legacy from the C20th lives on in infrastructure and buildings, how tax and land can be very low and businesses that come will be very profitable. He made a pledge to remove as many obstacles as possible to investment, including accelerating reforms to investors, provision of free land and to pay attention to any impediments British companies face.

Members of IBBC shared their concerns and observations on safety and transparency in Iraq, the dominance of the state sector and bureaucracy and the need to undertake banking easily and simply, to facilitate more business. Mr Tawfeeq said the Iraqi Parliament will always investigate concerns and is aware that reform needs to be speeded up.

Baroness Nicholson also expressed the need to enable more women to participate in employment without threat, as most modern economies rely on all the talents in a country to be successful.