AmCham 3rd Rebuild Iraq Conference draws to a close
The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) 3rd Rebuild Iraq Conference drew to a close Wednesday with the final session focusing on 'Reconstruction Finance in Iraq'. Opened by Mr. Sharif Al Zu'bi, the Minister of Industry and Trade, just the day before, the Conference entitled 'Doing Business in Iraq' ended with presentations about Iraq's security and economic situation as well as the role of Private Companies and Business Organisations.
AmCham bought together diverse panels of speakers as diverse as Senior Iraqi Ministers, international private companies and Business Associations. The Conference had set out to target the growing number of Iraqi businesses and in the words of Commercial Counselor Andy Wylegala from the Embassy of the United States who said "this Conference is focusing on the blossoming new Iraqi companies". Delegates heard Iraq's growth was predicted to reach 10% this year which highlighted the positive timing of entering Iraq now.
The positive note of the Conference was continued by Mr. Kamal Abdel Salam, the President of the Falouja Business Association who said "Faluja is a secure city and returning to a normal life and its soil is ready for investment". Delegates also heard from speakers of the huge resources available for utilization including 40,000 skilled and currently unemployed people in Falouja and highlighted the many products that could be sold across Iraq and internationally including ceramics, stone and even a budding tourism sector.
AmCham Iraq President Mr. Terrance Bramble spoke of the extraordinary and challenging environment in Iraq but pointed to the work of AmCham Jordan in acting as a conduit for networking and linking the various Iraqi business communities with International support. Mr. Nick Hills then turned the spotlight on Kurdistan by comparing its huge investment potential to that of Oman in 1980.
Before the Conference came to a close Delegates were able to enter break out groups covering Environment and Natural Resources Management, Transportation and Housing Infrastructure as well as a focus on the Electricity Sector.
Rose Wazani, the CEO of AmCham said "We are very pleased that so many Iraqi business people have joined us for these two days. The approach of targeting opportunities in specific sectors has paid off and allowed foreign investors to evaluate the business opportunities and ensure that Iraqi businessmen could source funding and expertise for their goods." Before adding "The results of this week will be visible in years to come as the economic growth in Iraq increases speed.
The final day of the 3rd International Rebuild Iraq Exhibition was Wednesday at the Abdali Urban Regeneration in Central Amman. 20,000 visitors were expected to visit the Exhibition which has drawn 1,024 companies from 48 countries to Amman and firmly establishing Jordan as the gateway to Iraq.