Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) press release: 1800 hrs London, November 17th 2011.
Oil and gas industries will drive iraq’s economic revival: Iraq Deputy PM.
Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister has been telling a conference of British and other Western business chiefs that vast wealth from Iraq’s oil and gas industries will lead his country’s economic revival.
Dr Rowsch Shaways said billions of dollars from Iraq’s oil and gas industries would: “lead to growth in other sectors,” and he cited Baghdad’s plans to build two million new homes, a massive new port in Al Faw, new highways, railways, schools and other infrastructure including airports in the Iraqi capital and Basrah and Mosul.
Shaways added that Communications was now one of the fastest growing industries in Iraq with a huge demand for internet networks, wireless and fibre optics.
Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister was a keynote speaker at IBBC’s INVEST IN IRAQ conference whose executive chairman is Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne.
Other senior Iraqi politicians attending the event at One Great George Street, Westminster, included Iraqi Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Darra Rashid. Iraqi officials included Deputy Chairman of Iraq’s Investment Commission Dr Sala Ameen and Head of the Marine Department of the Trade Bank of Iraq Captain Faris Ramaz.
The British Foreign Office Minister of State Rt Hon. Lord Howell of Guildford, also made a keynote speech telling delegates that: “dynamic business opportunities lay ahead.”
He revealed in 2010 oil giant and IBBC member BP had contributed $12 billion net to the Iraqi economy.
Lord Howell said British companies and institutions had a wealth of expertise to offer Iraq including industries like power generation, water management, education and health.
He added that British Government policy towards trade with Iraq was very: “broad based,” and: “the channel of knowledge had to be opened wider and wider.”
The conference also heard from former British Defence Secretary and NATO Secretary General Rt. Hon. Lord Robertson of Port Ellen.
Referring to expanding trade with Iraq Lord Robertson said: “There’s nothing like prosperity to diminish inter-ethnic rivalry and post conflict damage.”
He told delegates they were: “potential pioneers,” in rebuilding Iraq’s economy.
And he added Britain wanted to be a vital part of Iraq’s successful future. He added there was: “a huge opportunity for British business.”
Other speakers included Salah Mohammed, General Manager, Rumaila Field Operating Organisation. Rumaila, in the south of Iraq, is one of the biggest oil fields in the world.
Mr Mohammed revealed Rumaila’s current production levels of around 1.25 million barrels a day now matched those in the 1990s. He said he expected a 10 per cent increase in output from Rumaila in 2012 and he added he was very confident by 2017 Rumaila should hit a target of 2.85 million barrels, greater than world’s current fourth biggest producer: the United Arab Emirates.
The conference also heard from Iraqi politicians and officials:
- There was little competition in Iraq, and British and other Western countries should take advantage of being: “first in.”
- There was a willing and educated workforce in Iraq.
- And a raft of new laws were expected to be passed by the Iraqi Government in 2012 to make it easier for foreign investment.