The Baghdad Business to Business Expo and Conference, the first major expo in Baghdad since military operations began in 2003, it was three-day event at the Al-Rasheed Hotel from 15-17 February 2008. Instead of signifying an end, however, this momentous conference has triggered a ripple effect across Iraq, the Middle East, and throughout the world. In the heart of the nation’s capital, a synergy of public, private, and international entities, forged by a common bond of business development, took a collective stand for economic liberty, and laid the foundation for a brighter future for Iraq.
The daunting task of coordinating with 260 participating
companies, nearly 9000 registered attendees, and countless
dignitaries and journalists, was a challenging endeavor, indeed.
Despite armed conflict and widespread cynicism, Raad
Ommar, the CEO of the Iraqi-American Chamber of
Commerce and Industry (IACCI), with its over 250 member staff, was convinced that the expo would spark an
economic light in the darkness of post-Saddam Iraq. With an improved security environment and a renewed
commitment to development, the time was ripe for growth, and IACCI was simply planting the seed.
IACCI was certainly not alone in this vital economic enterprise. IACCI was able to assemble a broad-based
coalition of support from the Baghdad Provisional Reconstruction Team, the Al-Rasheed Hotel, the
Government of Iraq, and associated partners. Beyond the networks needed before the show, the most lasting
contributors of this event were the new public/private partnerships, international business alliances, and
reconstruction projects created during the expo.
By opening doors and shaking hands, IACCI is helping to promote working arms and legs as we strive to win over the hearts and minds!! Beyond the symbolism and rhetorical optimism, the bottom line outcome of the Baghdad B2B Expo for the Iraqi people is an estimated $300 million in business activity, several thousand new jobs, positive international exposure from over 80 news organizations, and countless new business relationships. For IACCI, the greatest reward came from a visitor to the expo, who simply remarked that IACCI could have placed the Baghdad B2B Expo in any U.S. city and no one would known it was Iraqi. It was that good! So, as the banners of the B2B Expo come down, IACCI would like to offer the following report for your perusal. After reading this report, we are confident that you will share in our assessment that …
BAGHDAD IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS!!
Now that the dust has settled a little bit, it's time to move forward. Congratulations on what I have to say was a smashing success. You could have taken this Expo & dropped it anywhere in the U. S. & no one would have known the difference, except for the Arabic. I was there Saturday & we were really busy.
My office visited the B2B show and collected a good amount of contact info from Iraqi companies as possible reps for U.S. companies.
Congratulations on the successful expo! It was our pleasure to attend. We found the event to be professionally organized, and we appreciate the assistance in all aspects of our registration, set-up and take-down. The collected demeanor of the entire IACCI staff, made us feel comfortable and welcome. I would like to especially thank you, Raad, Sahar, Ali and Sara for your outstanding support; we hope to participate in future events. Thanks again.
My sincere congratulations for the success and the wonderful total outcome of B2B. Now, it is the time to think for the future events and more success. Thank you and regards.
I wanted to take a moment and thank you all for putting this great event, it was an amazing opportunity to meet people, talk to them, see their needs and what are the challenges, how we can help them to move forward. I enjoyed every minute, by seeing families coming over, by the amount of hope that I saw in their eyes.
congratulations again on a great event. I talked you up today to Senator Kay Bailey Huchison, who was out visiting us in Old Adhamiyah. I told her about the conference, employment centers and the expo there we have been discussing. All good information for her to bring back.