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‘Made in Sharjah’ show goes to Kurdistan

Iraq: Tuesday, December 07 - 2010 @ 11:57

As part of this new strategy, Expo Centre Sharjah has decided to take its recent successfully concluded “Made in Sharjah” exhibition to the Erbil province of Kurdistan next year.

An agreement to hold the exhibition at Erbil International Fairs Company was made recently during a visit by a high-level Expo Centre and SCCI delegation to the region.

The Sharjah delegation was led by Mr Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, Director-General of Expo Centre Sharjah.

The ‘Made in Sharjah’ exhibition is part of the wider ‘Made in Sharjah programme’ launched by the SCCI to support the industrial establishments of the Emirate and help local firms and their products to access new markets. The launch edition of the show was held at Expo Centre Sharjah and was lauded as a success by all those involved.

“Our visit to Kurdistan has come at a time when UAE companies are showing a keen interest in the region. The UAE is playing a significant role in the redevelopment of the region and the country is one of the leading investors there,” said Mr Saif Mohammed Al Midfa.

“In Kurdistan, Erbil is a fast emerging business destination, with new hotels, buildings, trade, healthcare and leisure facilities all coming up at a rapid pace. This has thrown open excellent growth opportunities and hence Expo Centre is focusing on Erbil in a big way.”

In a visit spanning three days, the delegation met several key officials of the region, including Sinan Chalabi, Minister of Trade and Industry of Kurdistan; Hersh Muharram Mohammed Amin, head of the Investment Authority of Kurdistan; and Dara Jaleel Khayat, Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Erbil province.

During the meetings, Mr Saif Mohammed Al Midfa said that Expo Centre discussed ways to strengthen its ties with the Iraqi province and offered its services and assistance, especially with regards to developing exhibitions.

He also extended greetings from Mr Ahmed Mohammed Al Midfa, Chairman of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, to the Iraqi officials and also assured the support of the SCCI and UAE companies in helping enhance commercial activities and build infrastructure in the region.

The UAE investments into the Kurdistan region is expected to reach $3bn this year and rise to $6bn in the next few years, according to recent figures released the UAE Ministry of Foreign Trade.

Commercial ties between the UAE and Iraq have experienced positive developments on the back of non-oil trade between both countries increasing by 63% from $3.07bn in 2008 to $5.01bn in 2009. On the UAE’s list of trade partners, Iraq is placed 11th globally and second in the Arab World.

Iraq’s security conditions are improving and the war-torn infrastructure requires rebuilding on all levels including transport, power, utilities, social care, housing, etc. Its GDP grew by 4.30% last year and the projected GDP growth for 2010-2013 is 6.3%.

Besides, Iraq also has the world’s third largest known oil reserves and offers relatively cheap labour, low establishment costs, and numerous tax incentives.

Sinan Chalabi, Minister of Trade and Industry of Kurdistan, praised the development achieved by the UAE, and Sharjah, and said that the visit will enhance ties between the two countries. “The exhibition sector is one of the leading industries which countries seek to focus on to strengthen ties and increase bilateral trade,” said Mr Al Chalabi, stressing on the need to boost co-operation.

The delegation’s meeting with the minister was attended by Mr Aziz Ibrahim Abdu, Director-General of Trade at the Ministry; Abdullah Abdulrahim Ahmed Al Mushref, General Supervisor of Erbil International Fairs Company; and Abdullah Al Shehhi, UAE Ambassador to Iraq. The

Sharjah delegation also extended an invitation to the minister to visit Sharjah.

Hersh Muharram Mohammed Amin, during his meeting with the delegation, said Kurdistan offers vast investment opportunities in a number of sectors, including tourism, healthcare and housing. It is also focusing on a need for investments in the manufacturing sector in order to set up an industrial base.

He also highlighted the vast array of incentives, facilities and other unique benefits offered by the region for those willing to contribute to develop the infrastructure.

Iraq has the world’s third largest known oil reserves and offers relatively cheap labour, low establishment costs, and numerous tax incentives for incoming businesses. The Kurdistan region of Iraq is seen as an example of the potential for the other provinces of Iraq and offers the best environment for those international businesses looking to set a foothold in its burgeoning economy.

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Tuesday, December 7- 2010 @ 11:57 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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