Monday, June 11, 2007

More business development in iraq

MNF-I initiative provides contracts to Iraqi businesses Monday, 11 June 2007 MULTI-NATIONAL FORCE-IRAQ COMBINED PRESS INFORMATION CENTER BAGHDAD: Multi-National Force–Iraq is providing new business and employment opportunities for Iraqis within an initiative designed to help boost local economies.The Iraqi-based Industrial Zone (I-BIZ) initiative plays a role in rebuilding Iraq and underscores a unity of purpose and effort among the Coalition force and logistics support contractors to bring Iraqi companies into the domestic and international marketplace. Under I-BIZ the Coalition provides secure areas for Iraqis to develop their businesses such as laundries, carpentry shops, air conditioning repairs, generator repairs, vehicle repairs, bakeries, waste management, recycling, and retail sales.I-BIZ, which was in development for twelve months, is part of MNF-I’s wider economic efforts and fosters small business creation and economic stimulus by providing local Iraqi businesses contracts for servicing Coalition bases.Many of the contracts previously awarded to international companies will now be awarded to Iraqi owned businesses.“Let's get Iraqis employed, get them out of the bomb-making business and into the support-providing business,” said Brig. Gen. Steven Anderson, MNF-I deputy chief of staff for Resources and Sustainment. “The long term objective is to expand Iraqi business to service Iraqi communities, not just bases.”I-BIZ includes eleven candidate locations across Iraq including the two year old I-BIZ site at Camp Echo in Diwaniyah, where nearly 200 Iraqis are employed.Most of the eleven candidate locations are intended to become operational over the next twelve months.A major I-BIZ site is set to open in August at Camp Victory, Baghdad, and will have the initial capacity for three to six businesses, each potentially employing from two to 20 staff members. Plans are in place to expand the site to up to 25 acres.“Currently there are a significant number of small businesses expressing interest in setting up at the ten acre I-BIZ site near Camp Victory,” Anderson said. “We are thinking big but starting small.”

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