Another Expo, Another $50m Invested in Iraq

 It may be that the International DBX Trade Fair in Sulaymaniyah city in the Kurdistan region was one trade fair too many in Iraq, as it was unable to draw in the numbers that it wanted to in the four days to Sunday, 14th November.

And yet, despite being held in the middle of nowhere easy to get to, the 330 companies from 17 countries exhibiting their products and services still received 90,000 visitors and made US$50m in deals. More are expected to follow as a result of the networking done at the fair.

Erbil, also in Kurdistan and the capital of the region, has so far held six trade fairs this year and they have had great success, including one single deal worth $250m.

Even so, not all the exhibiting companies were pleased. AKNews reports that Abdul Latif, sales manager of Korek Telecom, a local mobile service provider, said that 90,000 was a relatively low turnout which is "due to the limited participation of foreign companies".

The fair was also some way from the city centre and, according to AKNews, the catering facilities were inadequate.

Despite the low numbers of visitors, Sulaymaniyah's Chamber of Commerce said: "The agreements signed during the show are worth around US$50 million, excluding the joint ventures to be signed in the future."

Foodstuffs, clothing, agriculture, building materials and construction, cars, machinery, heavy industry, agricultural equipment, food, plastics, handmade toiletries, IT technology and banking were all represented at the expo.

A major trade fair next year is expecting 300 exhibiting companies and 150,000 visitors. Whilst more than $43bn has been pledged already to major projects, the total amount of investment required for Iraq is estimated to be $500bn, and that's just on reconstruction costs. There will be a lot more trade fairs.

(Source: NINA, AKNews)

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