Consultant Halcrow is to head a working group set up by the government to help British companies win contracts in Iraq.
Established by Trade Partners UK, the government agency responsible for promoting British business abroad, the group includes contractor Balfour Beatty and engineers Black & Veatch, Foster Wheeler and Eschmann Equipment.

A spokesperson for TPUK said: "The working group has been set up to provide TPUK with advice on how best to help British companies in the redevelopment of Iraq. As soon as it is safe, the group will visit Iraq on a 'scoping mission' to see exactly what type of work can be done."

He added: "We will not just be looking at war damage, but also how to repair and update Iraq's infrastructure, which has been neglected for two decades."

The group, which includes representatives from the British Consultants and Construction Bureau as well as the CBI, will be chaired by Halcrow chairman Tony Allun.

A spokesperson for Halcrow said: "We have previously worked in Iraq and currently have offices in Qatar and Kuwait. Tony has years of experience of working in the Middle East."

The group is expected to visit Iraq within the next month, where it will liaise with the Pentagon's newly established Office for Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance, headed by retired US general Jay Garner.