JETRO holds largest pavilion at Bagdad International Fair
Promoting Japanese brands in Iraq as it shifts from recovery to growth
From October 10 to 20, 2013, JETRO organized the Japan Pavilion at the 40th Bagdad International Fair held in the capital of Iraq for the second consecutive year. It was the largest national pavilion of all participating countries with a total of 22 companies and five organizations including local distributors. In addition to presenting products such as construction machinery, automobiles, electric appliances, medical instruments and baby supplies, they introduced Japanese culture, tourism, food and fashion at the site. The pavilion received high praise from visiting senior officials of the Iraqi Government.
Strongly demonstrating the presence of Japan
Key figures of Iraqi Government visit Japan Pavilion
With approximately 700 companies from 17 countries and regions presenting, this year's Bagdad International Fair attracted two million visitors (according to the provisional flash report by the organizer).
A number of key figures of the Iraqi Government including Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Hussain Al-Shahristani visited the Japan Pavilion.
The pavilion's opening ceremony was attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Hoshyar Zebari, Minister of Trade Khairallah Hassan Babiker, Chairman Thamir Abbas Ghadhban of the Prime Minister's Advisory Commission and Chairman Sami Al-Araji of the National Investment Commission (NIC). They expressed high expectations and gratitude in regard to business development by Japanese companies. The Minister of Trade stated "The presence of Japan at this trade fair is a valuable milestone. I hope that the partnership between the two countries will be further enhanced."
Highly appreciated by organizer and visitors, Japan Pavilion and JETRO receive Best Pavilion and Best Organizer Awards
Many of the repeat visitors were guests who developed an interest in Japan through media such as anime and left comments such as "The Japan Pavilion is the best of all presentations in this trade fair."
Highly acclaimed, as described above, the Japan Pavilion was granted the Best Pavilion Award for the second consecutive year and JETRO received the Best Organizer Award from the fair organizers.
The issue is building sales channels near consumers
A large part of the visitors to this Bagdad International Fair were consumers. Most of the Japanese exhibitors regarded it as an opportunity to promote their own brands.
At the same time, ministries and other public organizations of the Iraqi Government also made presentations. By taking the opportunity of visits by these senior officials, Japanese exhibitors were able to build networks and create new business opportunities in this country. However, further promotion of real business, such as in distribution, will be necessary for Japanese companies to reach out to consumers.
Iraq is now in the process of moving beyond recovery and toward full-fledged growth. This trade fair addressed many of the resulting challenges such as how JETRO should support Japanese brands and the establishment of a business foundation in Iraq to help contribute to this process.