First, £416m for the reconstruction of Iraq were discussed in
Hammersmith. Now, nobody less than George Soros is behind a business
deal that includes serviced offices in the neighbourhood.
at the Novotel hotel last week in Hammersmith meant big business
opportunities. Over a 1,000 British companies were lobbying for
a slice of the £416m contract that the US giant Bechtel won
for the reconstruction of Iraq from the American agency for international
It is considered the biggest international effort since the II World
War and representatives of giants British companies, such as the
engineering and construction firm Costain, stopped by the neighbourhood.
Despite its magnitude, the event meant little locally if it wasn't
by the break on the routine caused by some 30 anti-war protesters
outside the Novotel.
This time, we are talking about a £20 million business involving
nobody less than the most successful financial speculator of the
20th Century. George Soros is said to be the backer of a deal to
buy the European operations of HQ Global Workplaces, including the
London centre in Hammersmith.
The deal is not closed yet, but
it wouldn't be bad if Mr Soros brings to local groups his philanthropist
habit. He spends two-thirds of his time and half his income on
good works. It is true that the bulk goes, for example, to Russia
($500m), the country most affected by his financial "predictions"
in 1988. But current trends on Corporate Social Responsibility
indicate that business should take care also of the local community
where they are based. Fingers crossed.
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