David Matthews, ICAEW President, and Mr Jawad Al-Shehele, President of the Iraq Union of Accountants and Auditors (IUAA), co-signed the agreement yesterday (MONDAY 15 MARCH 2021). The partnership will strengthen the accountancy profession in Iraq and build foundations to support the country’s economic growth.
The IUAA was established in Baghdad in 1969 and is recognised under Iraqi law as Iraq’s sole national accountancy body. ICAEW’s International Capacity Building (ICB) team will work with IUAA to prepare a three-year strategic plan, which reviews its strengths and weaknesses to boost priority areas and increase growth.
ICAEW and IUAA will also work together to develop professional education for accountants in Iraq. The ICB team will advise IUAA on achieving its strategic goals, review its current certified public accountant syllabus, and develop a roadmap and action plan for reform.
A worldwide drop in oil prices and the COVID-19 pandemic have placed unprecedented strain on Iraq’s economy. Skilled financial professionals are needed to guide the economy and IUAA’s qualification, updated with help from ICAEW, will enhance the skills of qualified finance professionals and better enable them to help the Iraqi government achieve the objectives set out in its White Paper for Economic Reform.
IUAA approached ICAEW because of the UK body’s experience developing accountancy qualifications and its commitment to the benefits of a strong accountancy profession internationally.
ICAEW has completed similar projects in 30 countries across Asia, Middle East and Africa, helping national accountancy bodies and professional accountants better serve the needs of their economies and societies.
His Excellency Mohammad Jaafar Al-Sadr, Iraq Ambassador to the UK, and Baroness Emma Nicholson, Executive Chairman of the Iraq Britain Business Council and the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy for Iraq, took part in the signing. Also involved were Saqib Bhatti, MP for Meriden, His Excellency Hassan Kaabi, First Deputy Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament, Chris Bayliss of the Department of International Trade, and Rajesh Kishan of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.
Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy for the Federal Republic of Iraq and President of the Iraq Britain Business Council (IBBC),said:
“I applaud the partnership between ICAEW and the Iraq Union of Accountants and Auditors. As we deal with the economic and social disruption caused by the pandemic, it is more important than ever to promote best practice and international standards around the world.
“ICAEW sharing their insight, expertise and understanding with the IUAA and accounting professionals in Iraq will have a positive and transformative effect on the Iraqi economy, helping to bring jobs, prosperity, and growth.”
David Matthews, ICAEW President, said: “A skilled accountancy profession is a vital part of every strong economy and we are pleased to use our experience developing qualifications to ensure our colleagues in Iraq receive the highest quality of training.
“We are proud to work in the public interest to improve financial information and transparency, and we look forward to working with the Iraq Union of Accountants and Auditors.”
Michael Armstrong FCA, ICAEW Regional Director, Middle East, Africa and South Asia, said:
“ICAEW is delighted to partner with the Iraq Union of Accountants and Auditors. In the modern, globally connected world, professional bodies need to work together across country borders, ensuring we learn from each other and support our members in different jurisdictions. The accountancy profession will have a pivotal role to play in rebuilding the Iraqi economy, and we will work with IUAA to ensure it is made stronger with the necessary enhanced skills.”
His Excellency Mohammad Jaafar Al-Sadr, Iraq Ambassador to the UK, said:
“We welcome the signing of the cooperation agreement between the Iraqi Union of Accountants and Auditors and ICAEW. We greatly encourage this type of professional cooperation that has a positive impact on the relations between the two countries, and we look forward to this cooperation extending to other areas.
“We reaffirm the embassy’s continuous support for all cooperative work on the basis of mutual interest to strengthen the relationship between the two countries.”
Jawad Ghanim Al-Shuhele, IUAA President, said:
“We are pleased to be partnering with ICAEW, a world leading accountancy body with the highest professional standards. This partnership aligns with Iraq’s vision for sustainable development 2030 and brings both our organisations together on a common platform to help enhance our accountancy profession in Iraq.”