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ITALIANEXPO - IRAQ 2007
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From 6 to 10 September 2007: the first all-Italian fair in Iraq

80 leading Italian companies, who are focused on being part of Iraqi Kurdistan’s fast-track development, filled the stands of the first fair showcasing the best of Italy’s domestic industries.
Products and plants for construction, food industry, agriculture and irrigation sectors. Technologies for the environment, heating-cooling-ventilation. Hotel and domestic furnishings and electrical appliances.
Almost 100 businesses defied the climate of diffidence surrounding all initiatives in Iraq and placed their trust in Axis. The facts proved them right and not only were the companies able to open important new sales channels, but they actually stipulated contracts worth millions of euros during the event. The huge interest shown by local businesses and authorities was given political endorsement by the visit of Massud Barzani, president of independent Kurdistan.


Exhibitor interviews
Watch the interviews of several exhibitors filmed during the event and hear what they have to say.


BRASILIA
What made you decide to come to Kurdistan?
  Our corporate policy is to be present in every country in the world – familiar and unfamiliar –, so we are used to travelling everywhere, and we are certain that the countries where no one else will go, are where we will prosper and find work. That’s why we are willing to come to these places.
How did you deal with the safety issues regarding Kurdistan before and after you arrived?
 

I don’t think there are any problems in Kurdistan. Really. I haven’t noticed anything: I’ve seen 3-4 soldiers, that’s all.
I’m the kind of person who normally filters the news distorted by reporters, who exaggerate things.
Misinformation can confuse people: Erbil isn’t Bagdad.
First of all we wanted to thank you for the organization, it was all well-planned. Small technical inconveniences aren’t problems. We haven’t noticed any security issues so far.

Would you come back to our organization again?
  Absolutely, we’re sure of it, and I think that the positive results we’ll get from this fair will persuade us to come back willingly next year.
What impression are you getting about business openings?
  We found ourselves in a unique situation even before the fair opened: we’d sold two and three times the number of machines we’d brought with us: shame we didn’t have any more. There’s real potential here. It’s a new product: espresso coffee.
Potential retailers are interested in professional machines.


VMI Berto Mondial Forni
Did you find any business contacts?
  I think so: we found both end users and retailers
Is your product’s quality very obvious?
 

The difference is visible

  The quality is assessed by the user – if we put a Turkish oven next to ours, at a 10m distance they look the same, but inside they’re different: there’s a lot of technology behind the steam , the heat, the combustion chamber.
Anyone who visits the stand doesn’t know this. They’re asking how much bread it can make an hour and my answer is that I won’t sell the oven to anyone who doesn’t come on a training course to learn how to use it properly.
What made you decide to come to Kurdistan?
  The first reason was the adventure, then the pleasure of visiting a new country that needs everything, that is starting from scratch
How did you deal with the safety issues regarding Kurdistan before and after you arrived?
  First of all, I’ve never been frightened and I was never in any doubt that things are safe here in Erbil. It never crossed my mind to cancel this trip. Erbil is a very quiet city and probably a lot safer than many other places.
What do you think the business opportunities will be?
  This is my first fair and there are a number of improvements that should be considered, but on the whole, it all worked, if you think we are in Kurdistan, not Bologna or Milan. I’ve no issues with the organization and all I’d say is that there are a few points to polish up. Together we can find the right way to sorting them out. The next fair, in May, is a definite yes.


Candy
What made you decide to come to Kurdistan?
  If a company wants to grow, it has to cover the territory, and at the moment this territory is not covered. I’m not saying it’s a duty to cover it, but this part of world will be expanding and if we want to grow we have to be here.
How did you deal with the safety issues regarding Kurdistan before and after you arrived?
 

I honestly have to say that at the start I was dubious, but you reassured me a lot, and I trusted you. This morning I went out and I saw nothing: the area is under control. I find the people to be friendly, very open, enthusiastic, which startled me to some extent, because in other parts of this geographical area, it’s not like that.

Would you come back to our organization again?
  Absolutely.
What do you think the business opportunities will be?
  I think every family needs a refrigerator and a washing machine, so I think the opportunities are there.
There are more cutting-edge appliances for everyone now.


Aiax Italia
What made you decide to come to Kurdistan?
  Aiax has been operating in Iraq for almost 30 years, and I came to Erbil the first time in 79-80. We did a lot of installations here. The last supply was two years ago, but not in Erbil. We’ve never gone away, although it has become more and more difficult to move about. Quite a few people decided to move to the south of Iraq, to Kurdistan, and we want to do the same thing. We’ll register our company here and we’re looking for a mechanical engineer to work here. We need to organize a local presence.
How did you deal with the safety issues regarding Kurdistan before and after you arrived?
 

I’ve had no problems, but then again I knew how things were already, so I’ve never seen security as a problem. Clearly it was a nuisance
when Austrian Airlines cancelled flights at the last minute.

Would you come back to our organization again?
  Yes, I’ve no complaints. In fact, you even made sure my stand was up and running.
What do you think the business opportunities will be?
  The fair was an opportunity to focus on the Kurdistan issue that my partner and I had been discussing for a while, and to get the ball rolling. There are countless opportunities – for me in the plants and constructions areas: you just need to glance at the buildings they’ve got here. No doubt. Of course the fair is just a starting point, a we have to have people on the spot, then we’ll come over once a week, once a month to conclude the various negotiations.


Gedy
What made you decide to come to Kurdistan?
  I’ve always been a pioneer in new markets: I started in Iran when there were no Italians and now they’re here en masse. It seemed only natural to make an approach here also, before the others. Clearly, if you don’t risk anything at the start, you’ll never make the grade. If you get here when the market has already taken shape and everyone is already in place, it’s a waste of time.
How did you deal with the safety issues regarding Kurdistan before and after you arrived?
 

Why, were there safety issues?
No, I’ve been out and about with locals and without locals and we’ve had no problems .Everything was fine.

Would you come back to our organization again?
  We’ve known each other for a while, I wouldn’t have come here with anyone else.
What do you think the business opportunities will be?
  I don’t know if they’re ripe here, but they’re ripening, and the grapevine says it will be amazing.
Individuals and traders are arriving. Although I don’t know if our price levels will be accessible.
People like it: it’s all really new. This is design and it’s fascinating. Our competitors come from Turkey and China. VITRA is probably the strongest. They have a flagship showroom here.
Chinese products are very poor quality, very poor indeed.


Fantini Cosmi
What made you decide to come to Kurdistan?
  The fact that a new market could open up, that’s for sure. A market with demands.
There is a great deal of bad information. Then, when you get here, you realize that the truth is quite different.
They’re cheerful, very serene. I travel in the Middle East a lot and I have to say that the Kurds seem the friendliest ...
How did you deal with the safety issues regarding Kurdistan before and after you arrived?
  I was terrified, but I’m fine now.
Would you come back to our organization again?
  Yes, oh yes indeed. Because you’re not a huge organization so we can talk quite happily with people, directly.
I’m happy to suggest our company do the May fair. Absolutely, yes.
I’m sure that in 3-4 years time, this fair will have become very interesting indeed and actually, I think it’ll need to become specialized.
What do you think the business opportunities will be?
  We’re targeting splits.
We made some serious contacts, even for large amounts. We also found an importer who’s interested in our products: they want our panels in their showroom to promote our products.
I must say that I was rather sceptical when I came out, but I’m glad I came. They’re desperate for products, good quality products at that, because they are flooded with Chinese stuff and ours stands out for their quality.


CNH - Gruppo Fiat
How did you deal with the safety issues regarding Kurdistan before and after you arrived?
  I wouldn’t say there were safety issues: I’ve had no problems. The service is excellent, we have had no security problems.
Would you come back to our organization again?
  We appreciate what you’ve done for this fair: we’ll be back for the next one and more organized for the future, because we decided at the last minute this time around.
We’ll definitely be working with your organization and we’ll be present with our usual standard, reflecting our image.


Peron
What made you decide to come to Kurdistan?
  I was curious to see what sort of place it is, understand if the product we sell in Italy and in Europe can find openings here, in the new situation. The country is determined to expand: I wanted to try this new approach.
How did you deal with the safety issues regarding Kurdistan before and after you arrived?
  We’ve been looked after. I haven’t seen any particular problems and, in any case, I’ve felt safe every time we’ve moved around and everywhere we’ve been. It’s a shame that the news we get in Italy is untruthful, contradictory, fragmented, so it’s all misleading.
Would you come back to our organization again?
  Yes, I would, I think so. So far there has been no reason to doubt you.
If we can, we will come back in May, willingly. We got a good feeling about the working standards and the environment.
What do you think the business opportunities will be?
  We’ve identified two possible types of contact: construction companies and those who want to use our product for working.
Yesterday, someone from Erbil came by and they do contract work, they asked for our phone number so they could follow up. So there does appear to be some chance of getting contracts.
Our trucks offer quality work and good performance.
  Statistiche 2007
Visitors
9000
 
Activity
%
Import - Export
37,18
Manufacturer
12,99
Public Sector
11,19
Consultant
9,38
Tech Designer
4,69
Installer
4,33
Retailer
4,33
User
2,88
Other
12,99
 
Sector
%
Construction and building materials

23,86
Electro


17,42
Agricultural and food technology

10,97
Machine tools
automations

8,59
Thermo Clima
Plumbing technologies

8,59
Education and
training

7,63
Services


6,92
Environment


6,44
Hotel equipment


3,34
Transport


3,34
Furnishing and complements

2,86
 
Referrer
%
Tv
51,84
Advertisement
12,91
Press
9,39
Radio
3,69
Word of mouth
3,18
Search engine
3,02
Other
15,93


  Exhibitors
Gruppo Doimo spa
Candy Group srl
Fondital spa
Valsir spa
Aiax srl
Altayscientific
Arrital Cucine spa
Ave spa
Barsanti macchine spa
Bampi
Beninca' automatismi spa
Bertoli spa
Biraghi pompe e fonderie srl
Brasilia spa
Breton spa
Cavaglià srl
Clivet spa
Cnh Services srl - FIAT
Coelmo
Consorzio ProBrixia
Consorzio Prometeo Export
Cottali srl
Curti lift
Della Valentina Office spa
Desco srl
Durocem Italia spa
Electrolux Professional SpA
Fantini Cosmi spa
F.I.P. spa
Forum Office srl
Fra.Bo spa
Gedy spa
Giunti spa
Green Power srl
Idrofoglia srl
Idromeccanica Lucchini srl
Ilc Lift
Ilsa spa
Intertrade
Lift Europa Sagl
Mait spa
Meb
Med
Mondial Forni spa
O.M.B. Brescia spa
Officine di Annone spa
Officine Villalta spa
Oliver International
Open Project srl
Peron srl
Pert srl
Perteco srl
Pucciplast srl
Punto Infissi srl
Protection plus
Redi spa
Rovatti A. & Figli Pompe spa
Rubinetterie Bresciane Bonomi
Safi srl
Saniplast spa
Schnell spa
SD Diamant srl
Sial spa
Sigma srl
Simec spa
Smi Group spa
Soilmec spa
Star10 srl
Sumoto srl
Süsler
Studio Legale Sutti
Tekno-Ice spa
Vetreria di Borgonovo spa
VMI Italia Berto srl
Wairflex
Wattsud spa
Axis Fairs & Services S.r.l. - Phone +39.035.781256 - Fax +39.035.781292 - info@italianexpo.it