More than 300 delegates attended a major Iraqi business event in London on Monday and Tuesday.
The Iraq Conference for Trade and Investment (ICTI) was intended to highlight Iraq’s openness for business as it rebuilds its infrastructure and institutions, and it facilitated face-to-face discussions with key decision makers, Iraqi and British ministers, and business people and investors from all the major sectors.
Opening the event, H.E. Dr. Salih Husain Ali Al-Tamimi, Iraq's Ambassador to the UK, said:
"There could be no better time to hold this conference ... Security is no longer an acceptable excuse for the reluctance of British companies to enter the Iraqi market."
Iraqi Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ibrahim Al-Jaafari, added:
"Iraq is open [to investment] from all countries of the world."
Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, MP, emphasised the importance of acting quickly:
"Now is the right time to invest in Iraq. Getting in early is the key to success."
Speakers included Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, the British Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Iraq and President of the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC); Dr. Sami Al-Araji, Chairman of Iraq's National Investment Commission (NIC); and Jabar Al-Luaibi, Iraqi Minster of Oil; while the keynote speech was delivered by UK's Minister for Trade and Investment, Greg Hands.