• Maj. Rebecca B. McElwan, the commander for the 106th Finance Management Company, speaks with business leaders at the first Iraqi banking and finance conference hosted by Coalition forces and members of the Balad Provincial Reconstruction Team at Joint Base Balad on March 4. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Crystal Reidy)

    Iraqis invest in future at Balad economic seminar

    Maj. Rebecca B. McElwan, the commander for the 106th Finance Management Company, speaks with business leaders at the first Iraqi banking and finance conference hosted by Coalition forces and members of the Balad Provincial Reconstruction Team at Joint...

  • Iraqi business leaders listen to speakers during the first Iraqi banking and finance conference hosted by Coalition forces and members of the Balad Provincial Reconstruction Team at Joint Base Balad on March 4. The purpose of the conference was to discuss how investors can find businesses to invest in to develop the local economy in the Balad district. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Crystal Reidy)

    Iraqis invest in future at Balad economic seminar

    Iraqi business leaders listen to speakers during the first Iraqi banking and finance conference hosted by Coalition forces and members of the Balad Provincial Reconstruction Team at Joint Base Balad on March 4. The purpose of the conference was to...

  • Joe Pinon, the leader of the Balad Satellite Provincial Reconstruction Team greets Iraqi business leaders as they arrive at the first Iraqi banking and finance conference hosted by Coalition forces and members of the Balad Provincial Reconstruction Team at Joint Base Balad on March 4. The purpose of the conference was to discuss how investors can find businesses to invest in to develop the local economy in the Balad district. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Crystal Reidy)

    Iraqis invest in future at Balad economic seminar

    Joe Pinon, the leader of the Balad Satellite Provincial Reconstruction Team greets Iraqi business leaders as they arrive at the first Iraqi banking and finance conference hosted by Coalition forces and members of the Balad Provincial Reconstruction...

  • Iraqi business leaders listen to speakers during the first Iraqi banking and finance conference hosted by Coalition forces and members of the Balad Provincial Reconstruction Team at Joint Base Balad on March 4. The purpose of the conference was to discuss how investors can find businesses to invest in to develop the local economy in the Balad district. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Crystal Reidy)

    Iraqis invest in future at Balad economic seminar

    Iraqi business leaders listen to speakers during the first Iraqi banking and finance conference hosted by Coalition forces and members of the Balad Provincial Reconstruction Team at Joint Base Balad on March 4. The purpose of the conference was to...

  • Iraqi business leaders listen to speakers during the first Iraqi banking and finance conference hosted by Coalition forces and members of the Balad Provincial Reconstruction Team at Joint Base Balad on March 4. The purpose of the conference was to discuss how investors can find businesses to invest in to develop the local economy in the Balad district. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Crystal Reidy)

    Iraqis invest in future at Balad economic seminar

    Iraqi business leaders listen to speakers during the first Iraqi banking and finance conference hosted by Coalition forces and members of the Balad Provincial Reconstruction Team at Joint Base Balad on March 4. The purpose of the conference was to...

JOINT BASE BALAD, Iraq - Coalition forces and members of the Balad Provincial Reconstruction Team hosted the first Iraqi banking and finance conference here for Iraqi business investors, future entrepreneurs and local government leaders Tuesday.

In addition to city managers from the cities of Yethrib, Ishaki and Dubuiya, Soldiers from 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) and the 3rd Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment were joined by approximately 80 local Iraqi businessmen to discuss how investors can invest, develop businesses and build local economy in and around Balad.

Amir Abdul-Hadi, the Mayor of Balad district, stated there are many profitable projects but that investors' money and business knowledge are needed to increase growth.

"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, Balad Satellite Provincial Reconstruction Team Leader, said he meets every day with Iraqi investors wanting to invest in businesses and people with business ideas without money. He stated the best thing he can do for the Iraqis is to connect them - allowing them to work amongst 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 3d ESC's 106th Finance Management Company, said Iraqi provincial business leaders do not get together on a regular basis. She said conferences like this help Iraqis work together for a common goal to support the country's business and banking industry.

"Bankers are leaders in their communities," McElwan said. "They represent the banking community and the business community as well."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16