Anbar Trade Fair Exhibitor Expands Sales

Anbar Business Center
Ramadi, Anbar

Artisans in Iraq work hard to carry out their craft. In 2009, the Anbar Business Center (ABC) felt a Trade Fair would be one way to highlight these hard working folks in addition to the traders and manufacturers who were active in Anbar and other nearby provinces. Using the large parking area adjacent to the Center, ABC put up tents to house exhibitors from the region and advertised the event widely. With support from various donors, including the USAID-Tijara, USAID-INMA and the Provincial Reconstruction Team, over 50 exhibitors used the event to display their crafts and products to over 3,000 visitors. The three day event was so successful that the Governor requested it be extended another two days.

Exhibitions and Trade Fairs are not simply used to sell products on the day of the show, rather to allow men and women to display their crafts and products and network with potential distributors and buyers. Thirty one year old father of two boys and one daughter, Omar Asa’ad Tawfig used the show to display his decorative glass painting and ceiling designs. His Al-Alamiya shop in Anbar has served as his office and production facility since 1997, where he worked alone. In September 2009 he heard about the Trade Fair and contacted the ABC and agreed to exhibit at the November Trade Fair with over 50 other companies to let the public know of his designs and products.

Omar not only made some sales at the Trade Fair, but more importantly met several business people who wanted to hire him for larger jobs and distribute his painted glass products. His sales and profits increased and he expanded project outside of Anbar to include the north of Iraq and in Baghdad. He now has a new office, a new workshop, and he also hired two laborers to assist him in production. Reflecting upon the Trade Fair held two years ago, he said, "I wish all young entrepreneurs could have an opportunity to change their business for the better as much as I did by dealing with the Anbar Business Center."