Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Business Secretary Lord Mandelson is leading the first British business delegation to Iraq in over 20 years. Representatives from 23 companies are accompanying the business secretary on a one-day trip to Baghdad and Basra.
The group will meet Iraqi government ministers to discuss how they can contribute to the economic reconstruction of the country.
The visit coincided with a series of car bombings in the Iraqi capital, which killed more than 30 people.
Lord Mandelson stressed that the reconstruction of Iraq continued to be a good business opportunity.
"British business and expertise can play an important role in the development of the Iraq economy," he said.
Business leaders from the healthcare, construction, oil and gas and banking sectors are among those on the trip. During the visit he will announce that two more British businesses have been awarded contracts in Iraq.
Maritime and Underwater Security Consultants has secured an estimated $200 million contract to map the seabed off the Al Faw peninsula.
UK company B-Plan Information's banking system software is being launched at Iraq's biggest bank Rafidain.
In February, during a surprise visit to Iraq, the Foreign Secretary David Miliband declared the country "open for business" and a good place for UK firms to trade.