Erbil International Fair 2016, the 12th edition of the International Multi-sector Trade Fair was officially opened at Erbil International Fair Ground on Monday 10 October, under the auspices of Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government. The exhibition runs until October 13.
Organized by IFP Iraq, this year, Erbil International Fair 2016 is held concurrently with the 9th edition Project Iraq, the 6th edition Energy Iraq and the 9th edition of Iraq Agrofood.
Since its inception in 2005, the event has become of one the leading trade shows in the country attracting hundreds of industry-related businesses, key decision makers and industry experts in addition to Kurdistan Regional Government and Iraqi central government officials.
The event begun with its customary ribbon cutting ceremony attended by high ranking officials and dignitaries headed by the Governor of Erbil Nawzad Hadi, the KRG Minister of Higher Education Dr. Joseph Curran, the Minister of Transport and Communications Mr. Mahmoud Haji Saleh, Deputy Minister of Electricity Hogir Shali, Head of the Foreign Relations Department Mr. Falah Mustafa, IFP Group Chairman Albert Aoun, IFP Group Co-CEO Adrien Clavel, the president of The Erbil Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dr.Dara Jalil Khayat, Chairman of Duhok Chamber of Commerce Ayad Abdelhalim Hassan, President of the Chamber of Commerce of Sulaymaniyah Sirwan Mohammed Hawaii, General Supervisor of the Erbil International Fair Ground, Mr. Abdul Rahim Abdullah in addition to many ambassadors, diplomats and international business delegations from France, USA, UAE, Italy, Germany, Iran, Egypt, Greece and others.
“The Kurdistan Region has the ability to rapidly boost the economy and the presence of these companies here is to the benefit of the people as they help decrease prices and increase the quality of products,” said Nawzad Hadi, the governor of Erbil.
This year, the Fair has attracted more than 152 local, regional, and international companies, representing 17 countries. The Erbil International Fair, which has been held yearly for the past 12 years, is considered one of the most prominent specialized business events that take place annually in the region in order to stimulate and develop trade between Kurdistan and the rest of Iraq on one hand, and among neighboring states and the Asian, European, and American countries on the other.
“Indeed, those companies who have displayed their commodities here may aim to establish a business foothold in Kurdistan and make investments as well. Through them job opportunities will be provided to the people,” said an organizer.
“We knew that the economic situation of Kurdistan is bad, but in six months the situation will improve,” said an Indian businessman. “If you make investments during the crisis, you will see benefits when the crisis is over.”
A Turkish businessman said that his company had “sent commodities to Kurdistan in the past and we continue to do so since we believe the Iraqi market will soon develop.”
The Fair features a diversity of sectors and variety of exhibits includes ranging from electronic products and services, home furnishings, upholstery, stationery, toys and fashion jewelry, to telecommunications and IT, electronic systems, as well as tourism and real estate services and other economic sectors.
For international exhibitors the Erbil International Fair is considered an ideal opportunity to enter the markets of the Kurdistan region of Iraq due to the availability and diversity of investment opportunities in the region which is considered one of the most promising emerging markets attracting all kinds of services, goods and consumer products. Yet, the Kurdistan Regional Government has taken steps to ensure an investor-friendly legislative environment.