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Peter Mandelson Leads First British Government-sponsored Trade Delegation to Iraq in Twenty Years

The first British Government-sponsored Trade delegation in over twenty years touched down in Iraq on Monday. Lord Mandelson the Business Secretary is leading the high level business delegation on a one day visit to the country. The delegation comprising 23 companies will take the opportunity to visit both Baghdad and Basra.

The Business Secretary and senior British business representatives will meet with Iraq government ministers and officials on opportunities for British business to contribute to the economic reconstruction of Iraq.

Lord Mandelson said: "It is a tribute to the efforts of our armed forces that I am able to visit Iraq to talk business - something that no senior British minister has been able to do in 20 years. Iraq today is a place of opportunity. Britain will stand by Iraq in peace as we have in conflict to help Iraqis realise that opportunity.

"The size and seniority of the delegation reflects the importance that both the British government and British business place in Iraq and its people. British business expertise and skills can play an important role in the development of the Iraq economy and the UK government will do all it can to make a positive contribution to the economic future of Iraq".

The delegation represents a broad range of sectors including those in healthcare, construction, transport, power, oil and gas, water, banking and the security sector.

UK businesses that will be part of the delegation are Wood Group, Benoy, Rolls Royce, HSBC, Standard Chartered, BP, Shell, Foster Wheeler Energy, AMEC, Foster & Partners, Halcrow, Hyder Consulting, GlaxoSmithKline, Scott Wilson, KBR, Mott McDonald, Kier Group, JCB, Pinsent Mason, Marine & Underwater Security Consultants MUSC) Deutsche Land Management, United Insurance Brokers (UIB), Parson Brinckerhoff, Middle East Association, Serco Group, Carillion.

The business delegation will meet with Prime Minister Maliki and Iraq ministers for Trade, Industry & Minerals, Transport, Water, Finance, Health, Planning, Electricity, Oil and Gas and the National Investment Committee.

The delegation will also meet with the Governor of Basra and participate in discussions with the Basra Investment Commission.

During his visit the Business Secretary will announce that a further two British businesses have been awarded contracts in Iraq. Maritime and Underwater Security Consultants (MUSC) has secured an estimated $200 million contract to map the seabed off the Al Faw peninsula and other associated works. UK company B-Plan Information's banking system software will be launched at Iraq's biggest bank Rafidan on the 6th April.

To support business, UKTI's focus on Iraq is also increasing. UKTI has four new staff on the ground in Baghdad - covering business with the whole of Iraq. UKTI will also be looking at increasing this staffing further, in the light of the expected increase in interest in the market from UK business.

Posted 07/04/09

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BERR » Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform
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