Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory
APO AE 09342
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
RELEASE No. 20090306-01
March 6, 2009
3rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) Public Affairs
JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq – Coalition forces and members of the Balad Provincial Reconstruction Team hosted the first Iraqi banking and finance conference in the area with Iraqi business investors, future entrepreneurs and local government leaders Tuesday to discuss how investors can find businesses to invest in to develop the local economy in the Balad district.
Soldiers from 3rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and the 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment worked with the provincial reconstruction team to provide a safe environment for approximately 80 economic leaders, including city managers from the cities of Yathrib, Ishaki and Dubuiya, to network together to discuss future business opportunities.
Amir Abdul-Hadi, the Mayor of Balad district, said to the group there are many profitable projects in the Balad district but that investors’ money and business knowledge is needed to build the business.
“We will support you (business leaders) with the security issue,” Abdul-Hadi said. “We’re going to support you with anything you need to build your business or factories for the sake of developing this area.”
Joe Pinon, the leader of the PRT from the U.S. State Department, said he meets with Iraqi investors everyday wanting to invest in business and people with business ideas but no money. He said the best thing we can do for the Iraqis is to connect them together to work among themselves.
“The best solution is to have Iraqis meet each other and invest with each other,” Pinon said.
Maj. Rebecca B. McElwan, the commander for the 106th Finance Management Company, said Iraqi provincial leaders do not get together on a regular basis. She said conferences like this helps provinces merge and work together for a common goal to support the Iraqi banking industry.
“Bankers are leaders in their communities,” McElwan said. “They represent the banking community and the business community as well.”
May you walk with the LORD always, and when you cannot take another step, may He carry you the rest of the way until you can walk along side Him again.