Annual Iraqi-European Business & Investment Forum 21-22 April 2016, Divani Caravel Hotel, Athens Iraq and Europe: Cooperation & Growth

 On April 21-22, 2016, the Arab-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce and Development organized the 1st edition of the “Annual Iraqi-European Business & Investment Forum”, under the theme “Iraq and Europe: Cooperation & Growth”. 

The Forum was held under the auspices of the Presidency of the Republic of Iraq,the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Hellenic Ministry of Economy, Development & Tourism, as well as the General Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture for Arab Countries. This Forum was a result of the close relations and coordination between the Arab-Hellenic Chamber and its partners and main sponsors of this event, the Federation of Iraqi Chambers of Commerce and Baghdad Chamber of Commerce.

Special mention and thanks go to the member of our Board of Directors, Mr. Jaafar Rasool AlHamadani, Chairman of the Federation of Iraqi Chambers of Commerce, Chairman of Baghdad Chamber of Commerce and ViceChairman of the General Union of Chambers of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture for Arab Countries, who is behind the initial idea of holding this event in Athens, Greece. We, at the Arab-Hellenic Chamber, take pride in the fact that other Arab-European Joint Chambers joined us in this event as supporting organizations and have contributed to its success. The event also had the support of the office of the European Commission representation in Greece.

The significance of this Forum lies in the fact thatit comes at a time that Iraq is determined to move into a new era and revive and modernize its economy and create closer business relations with its European counterparts. The objectives and results anticipated arethe creation of job opportunities for the Iraqi youth. This event was well-received and the President of Iraq, H.E. Mr. Fuad Masum, was represented by his advisor, H.E. Mr. Sharwan Kamil S. Alwaely. The attendees also included high-level State officials and 50 Iraqi businessmen in all business sectors

From the Greek side, it was attended by H.E. Mr. Markos Bolaris, the Greek Alternate Minister of Agricultural Development and Food, and other State officials, Arab Ambassadors accredited to Greece, member-companies of the ArabHellenic Chamber and other businessmen and businesswomen. The opening speeches by both sides emphasized the need for closer and greater cooperation and the creation of new partnerships.

The Forum’s topics were carefully selected in order to reflect areas of possible cooperation and opportunities, especially for the Greek side. The first session was exclusively dedicated to “Iraq’s Investment Opportunities and Business Environment” while the second, which was a joint session, was held under the title “Petroleum Industry and Sustainable Energy in Iraq”, with the participation of Greek and Iraqi experts. The third and fourth sessions, entitled “Construction Works and Infrastructure Projects in Iraq” and “Transfer of Technology and Vocational Training” were also joint, with additional representation from European participants. Discussions followed each session and B2B meetings were held between Greek businessmen and their Iraqi counterparts, which were highly organized and well-received.

The Forum closed with an official Dinner, attended by Mr. Giorgos Tsipras, Secretary General for International Economic Relations of the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs, all the Iraqi delegates, the Arab Ambassadors accredited to Greece and business guests from the Greek side. The “Annual Iraqi-European Business & Investment Forum” constitutes another milestone in the history of the Arab-Hellenic Chamber, in serving its members and the Greek and Arab business communities, towards fulfilling its main objective in enhancing the Arab-Greek relations in every business sector.