Kurdistan’s private sector held a press conference on Wednesday to announce the forthcoming 7th annual Erbil International Trade Fair, Iraq’s largest general fair.
The trade fair this year, which takes place from 24 to 27 October, will be the largest in terms of size and the number of companies, highlighting the rapid economic growth in Kurdistan. This year’s fair will host more than 850 companies from over 25 countries, showcasing a wide selection of goods and services in different economic sectors.
During the press conference the President of the Kurdistan Federation Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Mr Dara Jalal Khayat, spoke about the importance of holding trade fairs in the Kurdistan Region and said that fairs over the last few years have helped to stimulate the economy. This year’s International Trade Fair is not only the largest in Iraq but one of the largest in the Middle East as a whole.
The Iraq Manager of International Fairs and Promotions (IFP), Mr Fadi Darwish said that the economic and commercial growth in Erbil is particularly evident in the high attendance to international fairs organised by IFP. He commended the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) continue role in creating growth and attracting foreign direct investment particularly through the Kurdistan Investment Law which is one of the friendliest in the Middle East. These policies have allowed this year's fair to be the largest in terms of square metres.
The current economic climate in many parts of the world has resulted in investors and companies looking for frontier markets such as the Kurdistan Region and Iraq, and the stability and security that the Kurdistan Region enjoys has helped facilitate the increased number of companies participating in this year’s fair.
More and more international companies are using the Kurdistan Region as the gateway to doing business in the rest of Iraq. According to the latest October 2011 figures from the KRG’s Ministry of Trade and Industry, there are 1,791 registered companies operating in the Kurdistan Region. This year’s Erbil International Trade Fair is expected to be attended by thousands of visitors internationally and from within Iraq.