Mr. Jreissati also thanked the local and international associations, sponsors and partners for their support, then proceeded to talk about “Project Iraq”, mentioning that this 4th edition of the event was the biggest to date. “In previous years” he explained, “the exhibition has earned a solid reputation – locally and regionally – as a premier international platform for showcasing materials, equipment and technologies related to construction and the protection of the environment. Thanks to its strategic positioning, the show is proud to welcome more than 400 companies from all over the world in this year’s edition."
“Project Iraq” is a part of several specialized events in the construction series organized by International Fairs and Promotions in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iraq and Jordan, being among the most prominent trade-specific events in the Middle East region. The Iraqi exhibition in this series is quite the success story, as evidenced by increased international participation year after year and the presence of all local companies – almost without exception – working in the construction and development sector. In fact, 20 countries were represented in this year’s edition, many of which, such as Italy, Germany, Greece, Turkey, Malaysia, Iran and the United Arab Emirates had national pavilions hosted by official associations and trade organizations. These included the Hellenic Foreign Trade Board (HEPO), the Italian Trade Commission (ICE), the Iranian Ministries of Commerce and Industries & Mines, the Malaysian External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE), the Turkish Undersecretariat of Foreign Trade (DTM), the German Chambers of Industry and Commerce in Bavaria, and many more.
The exhibition owed this huge participation rate to its success in widely opening the gates of opportunity for regional and international companies to penetrate the promising Iraqi construction and development market, especially in light of positive figures and projections issued by the Iraqi government or published by international economic bodies. Speaking in numbers, the Iraqi government has allocated USD 37 billion towards the development and improvement of a wide range of infrastructures across Iraq. Simultaneously, there has been a rapid and steady rise in housing and infrastructure projects in the Kurdistan region over the past year, whereby dozens of new bridges have been erected and hundreds of new roads have been paved as part of the regional government’s plan to update the infrastructure. This has prompted the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to predict a very high growth rate for Iraq over the next 2 years, even exceeding the predicted growth of China.