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U.S.-Iraq Business Conference Postponed; Organizers Planning March Event

Contact: Media contact: Joe Carr at (207) 581-3571

ORONO — Organizers have postponed “Doing Business in Iraq: the Private Sector,” a conference that had been scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 13 in Scarborough.  The conference will be moved to a date early in 2004, most likely in March.

Two members of the Iraqi Governing Council — Raja al-Khuzaai and Mahmoud Othman — had been scheduled to speak at the conference.  They notified organizers over the weekend that they would not be able to attend, due to a request from the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq based on concerns related to the current situation in that country.

“Given all that has happened during the past few weeks in Iraq and its neighboring countries, it is important that the members of the Governing Council focus on the immediate issues affecting the future of Iraq,” says Daniel Innis, dean of the University of Maine’s College of Business, Public Policy and Health.  The college, along with its William S. Cohen Center for International Policy and Commerce and the U.S.-Iraq Business Alliance, is a conference co-sponsor.   “Our objective continues to be to provide a forum for the exchange of information and education about economic issues in Iraq.

“By moving the conference to the spring, we will provide time for the international community to work with the Iraqi people to develop the mechanisms that will govern postwar Iraq,” Innis says.  “By spring, we expect to have a clearer picture of the economic landscape in Iraq and the role that the private sector will play in further strengthening the foundation needed for economic success.”

The 2004 conference will be the first in the college’s Global Focus Series, which will work to provide forums for high-level exchanges on matters related to international business, which is one of the college’s points of educational emphasis. 

“The series will be one of the ways in which we work to extend the college’s expertise and resources throughout Maine and beyond, while providing educational opportunities for our students,” Innis says.

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