At the ‘Iraq: Untapped Opportunities‘ conference in London, Charles Hollis (pictured), Director General of the Middle East Association asked a panel of leading businessmen to make one suggestion each as to how Iraq can improve its development efforts.
Hans Nijkamp, VP and Country Chairman for Iraq at Shell, said the authorities need to make a real effort to tackle bureaucracy and ensure that decisions are made in a timely manner. At present, he said, decisions are always late. He also recommended streamlining the visa system for expats entering the country.
Gordon Turley, who has been Mott MacDonald’s Iraq country manager since 2003, stressed the need to properly think through all tender documents before release, making sure that internationally-recognised terms are used, and not unduly changing the specifications and procedures afterwards. He also said that the British government needs to improve its regulations for Iraqis entering the UK.
Jeff Larkin, Market Sector Director for Parsons Brinckerhoff, said that contracts should be drafted in FIDIC format, so that everyone could understand them. Western governments should also increase their export credit insurance for Iraq.
Managing Director of Eschmann, Philip Kennedy, had no additional advice for the Iraqi side, but reiterated the need for the British government to sort out the entry visa situation for Iraqis, especially those coming to the UK to train in the medical field.
Now it’s your turn: What advice would you give the Iraqi government to encourage business and development in the country? Why not tell us in the comments section below.