IBBC Iraq Business Forum and the awarding of the Rasmi Al Jabri prize to Al Burhan Group
The Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC) hosted over 200 Iraqi SME's in Westminster Central Methodist Hall in London on Monday 27th September at the Business Forum event.
The sessions were jointly chaired by Richard Cotton and Muhanad Alkhattab of IBBC.
The event is designed to drive trade and understanding among Iraqi SME's with particular emphasis and opportunity to engage with leading British organisations and companies, and to share their business requirements with British companies.
As a centre piece of a busy day, was the award of a new prize to the Al Burhan Group, winners of the inaugural Rasmi Al Jabri Annual Award for Excellence.
The Award was set up in honour of Rasmi, who died in 2020 after working tirelessly for many years to support Iraqi businesses and foster Anglo-Iraqi relations as an IBBC Board Member, Deputy Chairman and Member Representative in Iraq. The award is open to all Iraqi-owned enterprises operating in Iraq, and recognises business growth and innovation, strong leadership commitment to building Iraq, adherence to international standards of quality, safety and governance, and effective policies to train and develop personnel. The award was presented by Mr Zaid Al Jabri, Rasmi's son.
The Award is administered by the IBBC with its members nominating companies that clearly demonstrate sustained business growth, meet World Bank standards of integrity, employee and customer satisfaction and good governance, and promote of business partnerships between Iraqi and British companies. A shortlist of finalists was selected from these nominees by an IBBC panel that also considers how companies include women in their workforce, engage with local communities, and support apprenticeships, in-house training and continuing education for their employees.
The winner Al Burhan group, was chosen from this shortlist by a panel of independent judges (Hans Nijkamp, Huessain Al-Uzri and Dr Renad Mansour) under the chairmanship of Baroness Nicholson who also presided over the SME event. These are indeed tough criteria to meet.
Abir Burhan was at hand to receive the prize from Rasmi's son, which is a unique and beautiful infinity medallion, designed by Charles Walker of Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA).
In receiving the prize Abir Burhan emphasised the group's dedication to teamwork, developing employees and social foundations, as well as transparency and the highest ethical and business standards, that have enabled them to grow to become a strong services company, serving Iraq, with 300 direct employees and a further 3,500 with partnerships such as with Serco, G4S, Menzies and BP.
Abir Burhan said:
"Everyone at the Al-Burhan group is truly honoured by this extremely prestigious award. We are proud to be the first recipients of an award representing all the values that Rasmi Al Jabri had which continue to live on through the IBBC.
"We are a proud Iraqi company with roots that stretch back to the 1920s in construction. Our journey has taken many turns over the decades and we have adapted as Iraq has changed. Through our journey we have developed different forms of businesses to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of Iraq all of which are based on a high moral and ethical standards."
The other sessions included an opening speech by H.E Begard Talabani, the Minister of agriculture and water in KRI, who said KRI is open for business and has simplified the setting up of business and regulations to encourage investment. Furthermore, the agricultural budget has grown from 1.5% of KRI revenues to 8%, which underlines their commitment to diversifying the economy and substituting food imports. There are also many investment opportunities to develop water and irrigation schemes, dams on the Tigris to conserve water for the future, and a representative of the Iraqi Embassy.
Other speakers included Baghdad Chamber of Commerce, Mr Jabbar Othman Tahir of KH potato company, and from the British panel, Mr Andy Blackhall, MD of British Water, Md Anne Marie Martin Director of Global business networks, British Chambers of commerce, Mr Shahen Samain of EY and Mr Mohsen Khairaldin Garcia of Dahlia energy, all with impressive business capabilities and service offerings for Trade, Service, Water management and sustainable energy.
The event concluded with a networking lunch with a range of businesses exhibiting their services. The Iraqi group are next expected to attend the franchise show on 1st and 2nd October.
Al Burhan Group
Al-Burhan Group are a multi service company operating in diverse sectors. The business mainly revolves around the aviation sector and supporting international companies working in Iraq. Most notably Al-Burhan Group have seen success in partnering with Serco to run Air traffic control over Iraq, G4s in implementing security operations at Baghdad airport and running the ground handling and fuelling operations in a JV with Menzies Aviation plc and Air BP. The group also operates a number of hotels located at Baghdad International Airport with over 450 accommodation rooms and supporting office and conference facilities to address client requirements.
Al-Burhan Group also operate a fully licensed and ISO accredited security company with a large fleet of B6 armoured vehicles for mobile security and have a fully trained team for static security.
The Group are the only certified licensed helicopter operator in Iraq, operating 2 Agusta Westland AW109 helicopters and running a maintenance facility.
The group also owns a Precast Concrete factory in Kut and a concrete railway sleeper factory in Abu Ghraib.
The core business of the group is to allow international companies secure and hassle free access to the Iraqi business market both in the private sector and governmental.
More information can be found on www.alburhangroup.com