IBBC’s Managing Director Christophe Michels recently returned from a broad ranging visit to Iraq where he met with IBBC Members and officials. Throughout the visit Mr Michels was accompanied by IBBC’s Baghdad Office Manager Mr Muhanad Al Khatab.
In Baghdad the IBBC team met among others with the Secretary General of the Council of Ministers, the Chairman of the PM’s Advisory Commission, the British Ambassador, the Deputy Head of UNAMI, and the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Federation of Industries, and with a host of IBBC Members. They visited Baghdad University and met with its President and did a tour of the Jaguar LandRover showroom. Al Burhan Group hosted a business event for IBBC Members which was addressed by Zaid Elyasery, President of BP Iraq and Aziz Khudairy, Chairman of Khudairy Group.
On its way to Basrah the IBBC team stopped for one day in Karbala to meet with the Chairman and board Members of Karbala Chamber of Commerce, visit the extensive newly finished urban development of Durat al Karbala and was fortunate to be invited to visit the holy shrines.
In Basrah IBBC was hosted Zaid and Talal Al Jabri, the sons of IBBC’s late Deputy Chairman Rasmi Al Jabri. The team was welcomed by Mr Aqeel Al Khalidi, Member of the Basrah Provincial Council. They visited the buzzing new neighbourhood’s of the city and held meetings with a number of IBBC Members including BGC, Kufan Group and Hydro-C. They also visited the city of Qurnah where the Tigris and Euphrates meet, and had an extensive tour of the facilities of Basrah Gateway Terminal at Khor Al Zubair.
In Kurdistan IBBC met with Dr Dara Al Khayat and Colleagues from the Erbil Chamber of Commerce, the Minister of Planning and the Chairman of the Board of Investment. On their way to Dohuk they also visited one of Iraq’s most successful agricultural businesses KH Company which produces 70% of Iraq’s potatoes. In Dohuk they visited the offices of the AMAR Foundation.
Upon his return to the UK Mr Michels commented ‘Despite the pandemic and its harsh impact on Iraq and the private sector in particular, I was pleased to see the amount of new urban development not just in Erbil, Baghdad and Karbala, but particularly in Basrah, a city which is finally changing for the better and catching up fast with other parts of the country. It was also heartening to see agriculture using international knowhow and technology available in KRI. The best part of the visit though was to receive a visa upon arrival at Baghdad airport. Times for IBBC members are still difficult but the general mood is on the upside and Iraq herself is changing for the better’.