AME Info, July 13 – ‘Second Annual Kurdistan International DBX tradeshow to be held, November 11th – 14th, 2006, Sulymania, Iraq with record year last year, IraqiAmerican Chamber of Commerce & Industry in cooperation with Sulymania Chamber of Commerce are planning to record another first by moving the event to the second largest city in Kurdistan, Iraq. The first international Rebuilding Iraq trade event in the new Iraq: Kurdistan DBX Expo – ‘A Smashing Success!’ with over 420 companies, last year event exceeded all expectations with 95,640 attendees and this year we plan to do better’ stated Raad ommar, CEO, IraqiAmerican Chamber of Commerce & Industry the organizing NGO organization in partnership with the Iraqi Central Government and Kurdistan Regional Government.
While many claim a rebuilding Iraq event should only be held outside Iraq for security reasons Kurdistan DBX is the only trade show on Iraqi soil, by Iraqi’s and for all Iraqi private companies and Iraqi government and last year event was a point and time in history for all present to remember, and realize that Iraq is on its way to become a magnet for trade and investment in the region.
This year event expanded space will be able to handle upwards of 800 companies and many Iraqis that can not and will not attend rebuild Iraq events outside Iraq will attend Kurdistan DBX trade show , November 11th, 2006.
‘A very sincere and warm welcome to all international and Iraqi visitors to ‘Kurdistan International Tradeshow, November 11th – 14th, 2006, Sulymania, Kurdistan, Iraq . Kurdistan regional government is proud to announce the ‘Grand Opining’ and gateway to Iraq as months of preparations and painstaking effort is being expended to make your visit to Sulymania, profitable, secure and comfortable’ stated Prime Minister Nechirvan Idris Barzani
‘Just like last year we will insure security free incident and we welcome all visitors to our city’ stated Minister for the Interior Karim Sinjari
‘The ministry was able to benefit from Kurdistan DBX trade show and see the latest medical products and we hope to attract many more companies in the medical field this year also’ stated Minister for Health & Social Affairs Jamal Abdulhameed
‘I agree with others, Kurdistan needs foreign companies to come to Sulymania and see for themselves the incredible progress going on in Kurdistan and this event is the best way to achieve that goal’ stated Minister for Reconstruction & Housing Nazaneen Muhamad Waso (Ms).
Without a single security incident, the first ever Rebuilding Iraq Kurdistan DBX Trade Show and Conference turned the expectations of world media pessimism upside down. An incredible 95,640 people visited the venue of the trade show within the four days of the event, which lasted from the 15th to the 18th of September, 2005. Every element surrounding the event was a symbol of pulling together resources and expertise, boasting tremendous efforts and show of support from the Kurdistan Regional Government headquartered in the capital-city of Erbil, Iraq.
Kurdistan government officials and promoters have long suggested that Kurdistan would be the ‘Gateway to Investment’ in Iraq, and the conclusion of the Kurdistan DBX Trade Show and Conference has proven that this is more than just a suggestion.
The event was held in a specially outfitted warehouse-like facility, providing exhibitors and visitors with over 20,000 square meters of indoor space. The facility was constructed in a record 60 days, utilizing the expertise of engineers from both Kurdish and Arab Iraqi companies combined.
420 different companies participated in the event, occupying exhibition spaces of different sizes and varieties. 404 were indoor booth spaces measuring 9 square meters each, 48 were indoor booth spaces measuring one square meter for lower-budget exhibitors, and approximately 70 were outdoor exhibition sections measuring 20 square meters each.
Companies represented 18 different countries, with the majority being Iraqi, and including Turkish, American, British, Japanese, Kuwaiti, and other nationalities.
Awards were given the last day of the event for the best booth in 10 different categories. Among the best booth winners was the King Abdullah II Design and Development Bureau from the country of Jordan, who had an entire small airplane assembled and suspended above their 90 square meter indoor exhibition area (occupying 10 booth spaces). Other winners included the US companies Skylink and General Motors, the latter of which occupied approximately 360 square meters of indoor space and utilized special design services of an Iraqi booth design company for an extra touch.
The event was organized by the Iraqi American Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with a specially appointed committee of Kurdistan Regional Government representatives including Mr. Aziz Ibrahim, the regional General Director of Trade; Mr. Hoshyar Siwaily, the Deputy Minister of Humanitarian Aid and Coordination, and Mr. Abdullah Abdul Rahim Ahmed, the regional Deputy Minister of Economy and Finance.
The Iraqi American Chamber of Commerce is not new to the trade show scene. Last year, in April of 2004, the organization attempted to hold a similar event in Baghdad, to kick off the grand opening of Iraq in partnership with the then Coalitional Provisional Authority. Unfortunately, the security situation proved to be prohibitive, and the event was postponed. Many of the original exhibitors that had signed up for that event participated in Kurdistan DBX Trade Show and Conference free of charge.
IACCI CEO, Raad Ommar, remarked that ‘this event is a historic occurrence, and may be the biggest and best thing that has happened to Iraq with real results since Sadam Hussein was removed from power. The event has been a smashing success. Finally, a dream to hold a rebuilding Iraq expo in Iraq has been realized, and business in Iraq is moving in new directions.’
US Commercial Counselor based in the US Embassy in Baghdad, Andrew Wylegala, commented that he was "thoroughly impressed with the DBX trade show" and thanked IACCI for extending courtesies which made it possible for participation of US Embassy officials. He further remarked that "the city and venue were marvelously secure," and that he was pleased to see evidence that invaluable business linkages were cemented through the interactions at the DBX show.
Among the companies that participated were Platinum Sponsors ICCB (Iraq) and Motorola (USA), in addition to General Motors (USA), Matta Group (Iraq), IAM Group (Iraq), Al-Nabaa (Iraq), PCO Prime Contractor Environmental Chemical Corporation (ECC) (USA), and others.
Iraqi Consultants and Construction Bureau (ICCB)
ICCB is perhaps the most direct example of a benefiting company, participating in the event as a Platinum Sponsor. In a post-exhibition interview, Kurdistan-based ICCB informed IACCI that approximately $135,000,000 (US) of new business in construction and related contracts was generated for their company with projects primarily in Kurdistan as a result of their presence in the show. ICCB currently has an office in Erbil and employs about 213 people there.
In the words of ICCB, the company’s perception of the affairs of the show is that it was very "positive and excellent," and thanked IACCI and the KRG for the "good organization and security" that was essential to the show’s success.
Platinum Sponsor Motorola, doing annual business worldwide of over $31 billion in sales, praised the event. ‘We are very satisfied with the broad attention we experienced during the past days, and the valuable contacts we made. Through our participation in this first international trade show in free Iraq, we were delighted to reinforce our long-term commitment to help with the reconstruction of the country of Iraq and the federal region of Kurdistan’, said Mazin Al-Eshaiker, Country Manager for Motorola in Iraq.
Gold Sponsor General Motors, as a result of the event, has decided to open a regional office in Erbil, and has gifted many of its exhibited vehicles to the KRG. The regional office will employ around 10-15 persons and will most likely see at least $1,000,000 US in business in the coming year alone, all benefiting the Kurdistan Region.
The Baghdad-based IAM Group has decided to open a regional office in Erbil within one week of the closing of the show. The office will employ 4 people from the very beginning and is expected to see at least $500,000 US in turnover in the region in the coming year.
Matta Group, also based out of Baghdad, signed two supply contracts with regional entities of an estimated $500,000, and has decided to open regional representation both in Sulaymania and in Erbil as a result of their positive experience at the event. They have signed agency contracts with existing Kurdistan companies to this end. Over $300,000 of new business annually is expected to come from this arrangement, all benefiting the Kurdistan Region.
The US Prime Contractor, ECC, remarked that their participation in the event was most favorable, benefiting from the many connections that were made as a result of visits to their booth.
Baghdad-based Al-Thuraya Group was very satisfied with their participation in the expo, and as a result, has negotiated to purchase an entire brand-new building in Erbil for their branch office there. The company is primarily involved in construction and water-treatment as well as other trade activities. An expected $2,000,000 (US) plus will be generated in revenues from this location.
With this years ringing success, plans are in the works to plan for future events of similar size and scope in Kurdistan, as well as in other regions of Iraq where the security situation is not so prohibitive as it may be in Baghdad.