Iraq "success stories," American style

Friday, March 17, 2006 at 06:17 PM

The right wing folks keep harping that the public never gets to hear the real "good news" from Iraq.  They also claim there's lots of that good news.

Well, The U.S. Department of Commerce's Iraq Investment and Reconstruction Task Force (IIRTF) has its own web site, where they offer up "success stories" about commercial ventures there, saying that the task force is "is pleased to highlight the following companies that have pursued successful private sector investment and trade opportunities in Iraq." They list 17 "success stories."  5 of them are set forth below, verbatim, without comment.

1. The Procter & Gamble Company
1 Procter & Gamble Plaza
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Congressional District: OH-1

Contact: R. Scott Miller, Director, National Governmental Relations
Tel: 202-393-3404; Fax: 202-393-4606

Procter & Gamble, the largest maker of household products in the U.S., has begun operating in Iraq through an exclusive distributor; Iraq Modern Distribution Company (IMPD). P & G and its brands have been an established presence in the Middle East for over thirty years.

Early advice from the U.S. Department of Commerce Iraq Investment and Reconstruction Task Force on the commercial environment in Iraq provided P & G with useful guidance in pursuing these business opportunities.

P & G will sell a wide variety of its global brands in Iraq, including, Tide laundry detergent, Pampers diapers, Crest toothpaste, Fairy dishwashing liquid, Pert shampoo and Camay bar soap. P& G's sales in Iraq is evidence of Iraqis desire to utilize global products to meet their consumer demands. P & G expects its market share in Iraq to grow and it envisions employing numerous Iraqi nationals to market and distribute its products.

2. Unison
1010 Wisconsin Avenue, NW
Suite 405
Washington, DC 20007
Congressional District: DC- At Large

Contact: Robert Fardi, President
Tel: 202-337-7887; Fax: 202-466-6235
Web site:

Unison is a medium-size Washington, D.C. based consulting agency specializing in marketing strategies. Unison has just completed a comprehensive public relations and advertising campaign for the Iraqi owned Amira Group worth several hundred thousand dollars. Unison has hired six more employees in the U.S., including a computer graphics designer, a copywriter and a public relations specialist.

Unison sees its involvement in Iraq not only as a business opportunity but a moral imperative. "We firmly believe in Iraq, the potential of its business community, human capital and natural resources," said Mr. Fardi. "The people of Iraqi want a better Iraq for their children and future generations. Our goal is to partner with local businesses in giving them the opportunity to tap into Western best practices in establishing a professional image and consistent message across all media - web, print and PR."

3. United Parcel Service (UPS)
55 Glenlake Parkway, NE
Atlanta, GA 30328
Congressional District: GA-5

Contact: David Bolger, Public Affairs
Tel: 202-675-3381; Fax: 202-675-4230

United Parcel Service (UPS), the world's largest package delivery company and a global leader in supply chain services, is headquartered in Atlanta, GA. UPS subsidiary, UPS Supply Chain Solutions (SCS), is moving an average of 100 trailers of goods a month into Iraq and delivered to over 20 Sites in Iraq. Using warehouse and storage facilities in Baghdad, UPS SCS is able to move a large volume of goods on a daily basis.

According to Ahmad Hammauda, UPS SCS representative in Iraq, "UPS is happy to be a part of the reconstruction program and helping the people of Iraq".

4. Business Satellite Solutions
1969 Oakland Drive
Maidens, VA 23102
Congressional District: VA-7

Contact: Patrick Gannon, President
Tel: 804-556-3069; Fax: 804-556-3039

Business Satellite Solutions (BSS), a small Maidens, VA company, brings clients and broadband satellite services together around much of the globe. BSS has sold several systems to Creative Networks, an Iraqi client for wireless services. The systems include American made routing equipment manufactured by i-Direct Technology and system support by Constellation Networks. BSS works on an ongoing basis with its Iraq customer maintaining and adding additional resources to the booming Iraqi telecom sector.

The total value of the project is just under $50,000, with the chance of follow-on opportunities. According to Pat Gannon, president of BSS, "The telecom market in Iraq offers lucrative incentives for those willing to enter it".

5. Home Essentials
10th Floor, Two Galleria Tower
13455 Noel Road
Dallas, TX. 75240
Congressional District: TX-32

Contact: Chris Exline, President
Tel: 214-741-7000; Fax: 972-851-7868
Web site:

Home Essentials, a medium-size furniture leasing operation out of Dallas, Texas, has announced the opening of its office in Baghdad, Iraq. Home Essentials has entered into a partnership with URUK Furniture Design, an Iraqi furniture enterprise.

With this move it has become the first foreign furniture leasing operation to have a direct presence in Iraq. Home Essentials initial investment exceeds $500,000. The Iraq venture and partnership has already resulted in 15 new Iraqi jobs, however, the company anticipates this number increasing.

U.S. Department of Commerce officials assisted and advised Home Essentials in its venture into the Iraqi market. Assistance by the Iraq Investment and Reconstruction Task Force has been extremely helpful in helping Home Essentials expand its venture into the Iraq marketplace.

Home Essentials presence in Iraq is one example of the numerous private sector trade and investment opportunities in Iraq. Mr. Chris Exline, President of Home Essentials, stated, "Those that deem Coalition contracts and U.S. contracts as the reason for entering Iraq miss the picture. Iraq has a need for everything. The consumer market and general population require consumables, raw materials, products, real estate expertise...anything we have in the U.S. is needed in post-conflict Iraq. The best days are ahead."