Iraqi trade fair delayed due to security fears

The biggest Iraqi trade fair planned for 2004 has been postponed days before its launch due to security fears. IT exhibitors due to attend had included Microsoft, HP, Canon, Samsung, Lucent, and Computer Associates.

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By  Alex Malouf Published  April 4, 2004

Destination Baghdad Expo, the biggest Iraqi trade fair planned so far for 2004, has been postponed just days before its launch due to security fears. IT exhibitors due to attend had included Microsoft, HP, Canon, Samsung, Lucent, and Computer Associates. The Iraqi IT market presents huge opportunities for the industry, and could be worth as much as $1.42 billion by 2008 according to recent findings by Madar Research. IT giants are taking advantage of any opportunity to gain access to the Iraqi market, and capitalize on the comparative lack of IT infrastructure in the country. “Iraq will be one of the top three economies in the Middle East – we are taking this market very seriously. Iraq is potentially a huge market for technology vendors,” Mohammed Kateeb, the regional director for Microsoft Middle East said last September. Trade fairs in the Middle East are big business especially for the IT industry, as seen by the growth of GITEX. It was hoped that Destination Baghdad Expo would have provided vendors the chance to meet local Iraqi distributors and resellers, building contacts and sales channels. Other trade fairs aimed at Iraq are in the pipeline, including the possibility of a GITEX Iraq. Vendors, eager to do business in Iraq, are looking at all approaches to building channels, and many have already opened offices in Baghdad, making face-to-face contact with Iraqi distributors and exploring channel possibilities. Destination Baghdad Expo is now scheduled to open, security permitting, on April 30th, and will run till May 2nd.

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