ER­BIL IN­TER­NA­TIONAL FAIR

Ekaruna - - Events In Review -

The tenth edi­tion of the multi-sec­tor trade fair, Er­bil In­ter­na­tional Fair 2014, of­fi­cially opened at the heart of Iraq’s busi­ness hub, Er­bil on Tues­day the 9th De­cem­ber and ran un­til Thurs­day the 11th De­cem­ber.

IFP Iraq (In­ter­na­tional Fairs and Pro­mo­tions) or­ga­nized the event this year, with a rib­bon cut­ting cer­e­mony open­ing the fair. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, high-rank­ing of­fi­cials and dig­ni­taries were present at the cer­e­mony, with the Min­is­ter of Trade and In­dus­try, Sa­mal Sar­dar, the Min­is­ter of Elec­tric­ity, Sal­haddin Babakir, the Min­is­ter of Con­struc­tion and Hous­ing, Dar­baz Kos­rat Ra­sul, the Min­is­ter of Agri­cul­ture and Wa­ter Re­sources, Ab­dul Ma­jid Satar, the Min­is­ter of Mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and Tourism, Newroz Mawlood Amin, and the Gover­nor of Er­bil, Nawzad Hadi all in at­ten­dance. Join­ing them was the rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Fed­er­a­tion of Cham­bers of Com­merce and In­dus­try in the re­gion and the Gen­eral Su­per­vi­sor of Er­bil In­ter­na­tional Fair, Mr. Ab­dal­lah Ab­dul Rah­man.

IFP was rep­re­sented by Mr. Fady Dar­wiche, the Gen­eral Man­ager of IFP Iraq. Also in at­ten­dance were many am­bas­sadors, diplo­mats and in­ter­na­tional busi­ness del­e­ga­tions from Ger­many, Italy, Iran, Tur­key, Egypt, Greece and the United States of Amer­ica, amongst oth­ers.

Mr. Dar­wiche spoke to the es­teemed au­di­ence, stress­ing that “the de­ci­sion to hold the ex­hi­bi­tion this year, de­spite the un­for­tu­nate cir­cum­stances in Iraq was to en­sure the sta­bil­ity and to in­sist on the progress of the eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment in the Kur­dis­tan re­gion, es­pe­cially that the Er­bil In­ter­na­tional Fair has be­come an es­sen­tial an­nual event at­tract­ing in­ter­na­tional com­pa­nies which look for­ward to be part of the var­i­ous planned and on­go­ing projects in the Kur­dis­tan re­gion of Iraq.”

Honorary shields were awarded to con­suls, com­mer­cial at­taches and the heads of trade del­e­ga­tions of par­tic­i­pat­ing coun­tries at a spe­cial gala din­ner, held at the Er­bil Rotana Ho­tel.

More than 250 lo­cal, re­gional and in­ter­na­tional com­pa­nies at­tended the fair this year, al­to­gether rep­re­sent­ing 16 dif­fer­ent coun­tries. The Er­bil In­ter­na­tional fair has been held an­nu­ally for the past ten years, and is con­sid­ered to be one of the most prom­i­nent spe­cial­ized busi­ness events to take place in the re­gion.

The fair proudly boasted an ar­ray of ex­hibitors, rang­ing from elec­tronic prod­ucts and ser­vices to home fur­nish­ings, sta­tion­ary and fash­ion jew­ellery. It also dis­played uphol­stery, toys, telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions, elec­tronic sys­tems, tourism and real es­tate ser­vices.

For its in­ter­na­tional ex­hibitors, the Er­bil In­ter­na­tional Fair plays a lead­ing role in cre­at­ing busi­ness and in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties within the Kur­dis­tan re­gion of Iraq. The Re­gional Gov­ern­ment of Kur­dis­tan has taken steps to en­sure an in­vestor-friendly en­vi­ron­ment due to the di­verse va­ri­ety of in­vest­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in the area. Since the adop­tion of the new in­vest­ment law, along with the cre­ation of In­vest­ment Au­thor­ity in 2006, the value of in­vest­ment in the re­gion has crossed the $17 bil­lion mark and the num­ber of of­fi­cially reg­is­tered com­pa­nies in the re­gion has hit around 12,000.

Many of the EU Trade Com­mis­sion mis­sions have rep­re­sen­ta­tives from coun­tries such as France, Ger­many and the United King­dom in the area on a per­ma­nent ba­sis – cur­rently, con­tracts and bi­lat­eral agree­ments are signed al­most daily be­tween the re­gion and its Euro­pean part­ners.

The Arab Coun­cil of Tourism ap­pointed Er­bil as the 2014 Arab Tourism Cap­i­tal, and the city has also been listed on the Na­tional Ge­o­graphic Trav­eler Mag­a­zine for “2014 must-see places.” In or­der to open the gates of Iraq to thou­sands more visi­tors, some Arab na­tion­als will be ex­empt from ob­tain­ing a visa. More than 250 lo­cal, re­gional and in­ter­na­tional com­pa­nies at­tended the fair this year, al­to­gether rep­re­sent­ing 16 dif­fer­ent coun­tries. The Arab Coun­cil of Tourism ap­pointed Er­bil as the 2014 Arab Tourism Cap­i­tal.

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