(neither rain nor sleet nor war will keep the greedy from their appointed rounds – promoted by pfiore8)
(Cross-posted at DailyKOS
When: October 17-19, 2008
Sponsor: Iraqi American Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Where: Baghdad Convention Center,
Baghdad International Airport
Accommodations: Rasheed Hotel, Baghdad, Iraq
Caravan Hotel (BIAP area)
You’re invited, if you’re in the oil business and have any expertise to offer, that is:
It is my pleasure to invite you all to the IRAQ ENERGY EXPO AND CONFERENCE, October 17-19, 2008.
The year 2008 marks a tremendous new opportunity for investment in Iraq’s upstream and downstream oil and gas infrastructure. To help facilitate this process, the Government of Iraq is working tirelessly to pass the new hydrocarbon law. As a result of this landmark legislation, companies from around the world will be able to participate in increasing Iraq’s oil and gas capacity in the 2nd largest oil reserve in the world.
As a result of this momentous achievement, and on behalf of the Iraqi Government and the Ministry of Oil, we would like to invite all international oil companies to participate in this historic event. The location for this international exhibition will be the newly constructed Baghdad Convention Center at the Baghdad International Airport.
The Ministry of Oil and its technical staff are very interested to see the latest technologies in this ever-changing industry. In return, the Ministry is prepared to provide detailed explanations of its needs for the coming years. Your participation at the expo is essential to helping us understand your company’s capabilities. We look forward to seeing you there.
Dr. Hussein Al-Shehrestani
Minister of Oil
So, what is this?
A little background:
The Iraqi-American Chamber of Commerce & Industry was established in the USA in 2003, with two offices in the USA: one in San Diego, CA; and the other in Washington bureau, D.C., as well as having five offices in Iraq and one in Amman, Jordan. (Amman) Since 2003, “some attempts, were made to establish commercial centers. Societies were set up to help develop companies of the public & private sector in Iraq away from the government support & control mentality & activate the development of the Iraqi business sector.” (emphasis mine)
Iraqi-American Chamber of Commerce and Industry – IACCI (www.i-acci.org), the organizer of the expo, is a professional, full service organization with over 10,500 Iraqi and international members, including Iraqi Ministries and local governments. The dedicated staff of IACCI comprises over 300 employees, with seven offices in Iraq, a branch in Jordan, and an office in the United States. With a distinguished track record of 16 regional job fairs and 4 international trade shows throughout Iraq, IACCI stands alone as the most innovative advocate of the Iraqi private sector to date.
Without a single security incident, IACCI continues to promote Iraqi business development through networking forums, capacity building, and training and development. With its strong presence and extensive trade show experience in Iraq, IACCI is the most qualified organization to coordinate the Iraq Energy Expo and Conference, and looks forward to making this historic event a tremendous success for all who participate. With the 2nd largest oil reserve in the world Iraq is on the precipice of being one of the fastest growing economies in the world. IACCI is committed to make sure that Iraq’s potential becomes a reality. . . .
IACCI’s primary mission is two-fold: A) the creation of new business through networking forums, and B) building the capacity of key Iraqi private and public sector elements that are necessary to growing the overall national capacity to support a vital private sector in Iraq.
IACCI aims to invigorate the small business community (SME’s) and State Owned and Mixed Enterprises (SOE’s) in Iraq by bringing businesses together and moving them forward in a proactive and constructive manner. In doing this we are promoting open-market economy and a democratic political system in Iraq. This will ensure that access to the market is open and fair.
IACCI promotes transparency, accountability and that the rule of law is enforced in Iraq. A strong business community is based on business associations having an audible voice in the policy-making process. This will contribute to the growth of participatory civil society and the development of a regulatory and policy environment conducive to private enterprise.
1. Promote open-market economy in Iraq through a competitive system where the rules are the same for all participants, corruption is eliminated and transparency and accountability are strengthened. . . . .
8. To assist and establish long term US policy orientation towards Iraq on Congressional, White House and Governmental Agency levels including delegate visitation. . . . .
10. Build Iraqi American Chamber of Commerce and Industry as a sustainable long term Iraqi NGO organization (non-government organization) . . . .
Project Management Experience With Expos
. . . .
Examples of our trade show expertise are best illustrated in the DBX Kurdistan international trade shows held in Erbil (2005), and Sulymaniah (2006 and 2007). At the events, there were approximately 94,000 people in attendance over a three day period who visited over 600 exhibitors in each event.
Also, the Baghdad Business to Business Expo and Conference, the first major expo in Baghdad since military operations began in 2003, recently wrapped up its three-day event at the Al-Rasheed Hotel from 15-17 February 2008. Instead of signifying an end, however, this momentous expo and conference has triggered a ripple effect across Iraq, the Middle East, and throughout the world. It was a daunting task to coordinate 260 participating companies. Fortunately, with an improved security environment and a renewed commitment to development, the time was ripe for growth, and IACCI was simply planting the seed. . . . .
(all emphasis mine)
Partial List of IACCI’s Major Partners, Supporters and Team Players
There are far too many entities to list, so I’ll list those pertinent to the US: US Institute for Peace (USIP) U.S. Department of Commerce, the World Bank, the US Chamber of Commerce, the Commercial Section of the US Embassy in Baghdad, the Cultural Affairs Section of the US Embassy in Baghdad and the Iraqi Embassy in Washington, DC.
The IACCI also has a partial list of Ministry Officials.
I am astounded to learn of the IACCI and all its activity – moreover, activity “without a single security incident.” It is absolutely amazing! (emphasis mine)
The IACCI doesn’t mention how security was had in the past, but indicates that security for this huge expo will be provided by The Multi-National Force – Iraq (MNF-I) and the Government of Iraq (GOI) are prepared and committed to “providing the highest level of personal safety and security possible.” The 1st ever Iraq Energy Expo and Conference is assuring a peaceful, profitable endeavor, with on-site private security detail by Coalition and Iraqi Security Forces. Hotel accommodations will also have security for the Caravan Hotel, its parking, etc. , fully staffed by Global Security 24 hrs per day. The “Al-Rasheed Hotel in the International Zone (IZ), you are protected by a dozen security checkpoints and military installations. Numerous Iraqi government facilities and the U.S. Embassy – Baghdad, the world’s largest embassy, are also in close proximity. To ensure safe transport to and from the expo, U.S. Army Rhino vehicles will provide your transportation.”
So who’s responsible for the development of the Baghdad Convention Center at the Baghdad International Airport (BIAP)?
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers – that’s who!!!! From a news press release of January 23, 2008, here are some facts regarding this development:
. . . . U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
is overseeing work to convert the two old domestic terminals at Baghdad International
Airport into a modern convention center. In addition, an eight-story structure is being totally remodeled to offer 250 office spaces for lease. . . . .
Raad Ommar, Chief Executive Officer of the IACCI, pointed out that the Baghdad International Airport complex ia an ideal location. ‘There’s plenty of room. It’s safe, secure, and easily accessible with international flights. Everything is here.’
The new convention center will have the capacity to handle gatherings up to 25,000 people, says USACE project engineer Matthew David. ‘It will include exhibition halls, offices, conference rooms, and a restaurant. We’re putting in new plumbing, plastering, electrical, lighting, and air conditioning.’ The two former terminals are both two-story structures, one measuring 53 by 138 meters, the other 31 by 150 meters. The $6.3 million renovation project is about 50 percent finished with a projected completion of late spring.
Next door to the convention center is the eight-story 3,076-sq. meter office structure. Businesses will be able to rent space as needed, from one office to several floors of offices. Work there includes new restrooms, electrical, fire protection with sprinklers, lighting, new ceilings, plastering, a new mechanical system including two 200-ton air conditioning chillers,office furniture, a lighted parking lot and a cafeteria. That $4 million project is also about 50 percent finished with a projected completion of April. . . .
So how is all this development, security, etc. being paid for? Is this part of Bush’s “war funding” budget for 2009? What about the security that was offered in the past for these conventions, accommodations, etc.? — as death enveloped the Iraqi cities!
Some Other Developments
A new site or a site being revamped has been created entitled American Chamber of Commerce of Iraq (AMCHAM-Irag). The site is still under construction. Here’s an appeal:
AMCHAM has formed in order to increase business opportunities for American firms, address and advocate for the common concerns of the American Business Community in Iraq, promote the highest standards of corporate citizenship, strengthen our ties with counterpart Iraqi and Coalition organizations, and support the development of democratic institutions and a market economy in Iraq. Moreover, we fully intend to be active in trade shows and business development opportunities in the region and elsewhere throughout the world.
If you are an individual or firm (regardless of nationality) doing business in Iraq and share AMCHAM’s goals and values, we welcome you to apply for membership for the special Calendar Year 2005 dues of $100. This applies both for individual and corporate membership, and to our special non-voting Government/NGO Associate category for those engaged in public service.
As I went through what was available from AMCHAM’s site, I noted this from the section labeled Iraq Facts
. . . . After the period of economic sanctions many of Iraq’s state-owned enterprises were next to collapse. In 2003 the US led Coalition Provisional Authority drew up a framework for large scale privatization and opened up state-owned services to foreign investors. As of 2005, 64% of Iraq’s oil reserves are being developed by multinational corporations, based on contracts with the Oil Ministry known as Production Sharing Contracts. The insurgency campaign over recent years has hugely dampened US and British efforts to bring in such foreign investment and frequent attacks on the oil infrastructure have also had a major economic impact. . . . .
Regarding the Technical Service Contracts (TSA’s)
From a May 27, 2008 article from
Update: BP, Exxon Submit Iraq Deal Plans;
. . . . Minister Hussein al-Shahristani has threatened to cancel these technical services contracts, if they aren’t signed in June. The TSCs are designed to boost Iraq’s crude oil production from producing oil fields.
BP and Exxon Mobil’s proposals include suggestions on how Iraq would pay them back for their services and the costs of equipment. The ministry needs to approve these proposals before signing the contracts. Iraqi oil officials have said that each TSC would cost around $500 million. . . . .
Earlier, Iraqi oil sources said these TSCs could be signed as early as June. Each would last two years and could be extended for another year. . . . .
The oil ministry has said it wants to increase production by 100,000 barrels a day at each of these oil fields over the two-year contract term, boosting Iraq’s total production to 3 million barrels a day. Iraq is currently producing around 2.4 million barrels a day. . . . .
ExxonMobil’s senior Vice-president Stephen Simon, during a hearing in the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, told lawmakers last week that the company would not commit to delaying signing of a TSC with Iraq until the country has put an oil law in place.
As I was researching and going through various of the above sites and articles therein, I just had this sick feeling inside – everything seems a fait accompli for Iraq. And I just kept thinking of the deaths of 1,217,892 Iraqis, the 4 million plus displaced Iraqis (internally and externally), the torture, the detainees, the hunger, the exploitation of the women and young girls and on and on; and our troops, now at 4,083 and all the wounded, many of whom cannot get the proper care and the heartbreak of broken Iraqi and US families, and the destruction and on and on. Without mention of the cost of this obscene, illegal war now at $524,073,300,270.
But all seems well for those with wealth!!
(I hope that a recent “escapee” will be having a cuppa’ coffee soon!)