Ladies and Gentlemen
Allow me to convey to you the greetings of the government of Iraq, with wishes for the success of this event.
I like to reaffirm the necessity of continuing dialogue, and identifying new and developed economic, trade and cultural relations and partnerships. These ties and partnerships should rise above local habits and national cultures of states, in order to achieve global peace, prosperity and the welfare of our peoples.
Scientific and technological developments, in addition to continuous political, economic and social changes necessitate the need for dialogue to evaluate our current relations and visions, agree on a new common vision, and re-engineer our relations and identify new international partnerships. Our ultimate goal has to be “facing today’s challenges” and find new modalities to adapt the dynamics of the current socio-economic system.
Within today’s realties, international economic and trade relations have become exceptionally important. These relations that are characterized as liberal, diversified and free, identify the level of economic development, which in turn has significant influence on all social, cultural, and economic aspects of life.
These economic international relations and trade levels affect the future of relations between countries and will define a form of integration and unity between the countries involved, as is the case of the countries of the European Union whereby they continuously seek integration and advancing their joint institutions.
Globalization has converted the world to one coherent entity in where free trade, free flow of capital and labor, in addition to the tremendous technological advancement, particularly in the field of communication, have enabled further integration.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I like to stress on issues of partnerships and ties that are of interest to developing countries and what we expect from regional and international forums and gatherings. But before that I would like to present some facts according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development:
- Overall, the world economy is growing too slowly to generate sufficient employment with adequate pay or to alleviate poverty.
- Gaps between developed and developing countries are widening steadily.
- Increased job and income insecurity is spreading.
- Agriculture is the most important economic activity in least developed countries. Twenty years after the Green Revolution, only a few of them have improved their agriculture productivity.
- At a time of record prosperity, nearly half of the least developed countries are getting less to eat than they did 10 years ago.
Developing countries and in view of the level of their financial, economic and technical realities aim at developing their economies and competition capabilities, by pursuing support and advice, attempting to benefit from expertise to improve their services and service delivery systems, gain access to modern technologies, information, training and capacity building programs.
These countries will continue, for relatively a long period of time, to need the expertise and services of reputable international businesses and investment firms, and in all sectors. Forums similar to this are excellent opportunities to familiarize with the realities and the needs of our countries and enable wider participation in their reconstruction and human development processes.
In addition, we believe that trade, economic and development conferences, will contribute in maximizing business and development opportunities for developing countries. They will also assist these countries to identify ways to face the effects of globalization, enable fair integration of their economies into the global economy, financial systems management and managing debts.
On another hand, we consider that cooperation between the public and private sectors, nationally and internationally, to be essential in strengthening partnerships and ties that will enable integration of economies of developing countries with global economy.
I like to bring up a matter, which I know is of great concern to the countries we represent, and that is battling terrorism. Terrorism has become a worrying international phenomenon that affects our countries in many different ways. Our resolution to battle terrorism adds another necessity and dimension to our relations and cooperation in the areas of knowledge, technology and development in order to eliminate terrorism and its causes.
Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,
Ideas and thoughts presented in this forum should be considered to build and strengthen our ties and business relations.
We should consider the potentials available with our partners and utilize them for our mutual benefits. In the case of my country, it is worthwhile indicating that Iraq has not been affected by the consequences of the recent financial and economic crises. The Wall Street bank’s data indicates that amongst all the major economies it tracks, Iraq is going to be the only country that will post doubledigit-growth in 2012 – clocking a 10.5% improvement in GDP this year, and it is expected to grow by 33% over the next three years.
These facts are guarantee for international businesses and confirm that Iraq is a suitable place for work and investment. Iraq may have its problems, but economic growth is not one of them. I want to thank Her Majesty’s government for hosting this important event in London and also thank the organizers for a job well done