AN IRAQI-born Coventry University graduate who now lives in the London is urging businesses in the West Midlands to take advantage of post-Brexit ‘Global Britain’ and forge new trade agreements with the Middle East.
Prominent entrepreneur and philanthropist Dr Majid AlSadi wants firms in the region to create new ‘unique economic corridors’ with his homeland and other neighbouring countries.
He has a PhD in engineering, thanks to the city’s university, and feels Coventry, Birmingham and surrounding areas are ‘missing a trick’.
China, Iran, and Turkey have taken the lead on Iraqi trade and commerce and Dr Majid believes Britain – and in particular the West Midlands – needs to catch up.
A $30billion trade deal between Iraq and Tata was agreed just a few weeks ago and Dr Majid feels West Midlands businesses could capitalise on similar agreements if pointed in the right direction.
He has now launched his own West Midlands ‘think tank’ – the Centre for the New Midlands – to help promote his vision and he wants business leaders, companies and university representatives to be part of a delegation to Jordan and Iraq.
Dr Majid, who visited Coventry and Birmingham last Thursday to highlight his beliefs, said: “The West Midlands produces electric cars, solar energy and other products which are needed in Iraq.
“The region has some very skilled labour, in areas such as automotive and IT, but it has been ignored and overlooked over the years by the Government.”
He added even when high finance deals had been agreed between the Middle East and the UK, they often went to the north and the south-east but seldom to the West Midlands.
Dr Majid is finalising the details for the delegation, which will probably be in March or April and said it would provide the perfect opportunity for the West Midlands representatives to showcase their products and sow some seeds for future trading relationships.
Business leaders and company owners who want to be part of the delegation should visit thenewmidlands.org.uk for more.