www.tehrantimes.com The Iran Trade and Tourism Week, an opportunity to explore trade, investment and tourism prospects from one of Middle East's largest economies, was inaugurated on December 26, 2004, at Expo Center Sharjah, by Sheikh Tariq bin Faisal Al Qassimi, Chairman of Sharjah Economic Development Department and Mojtaba Khosrowtaj, Vice Minister of Commerce and head of Trade Promotion Organization of Iran (TPOI).
The inauguration ceremony was attended by Ahmed Mohammed Al Midfa â€“ Chairman, Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), Mohammed Salem Al Mosharrekh - Board Member (SCCI), Fasahat Ali Khan - Acting Director General of Expo Center Sharjah, members of a high ranking delegation from Iran, directors of various government departments, and members of the diplomatic corps and trade associations.
The five-day exhibition, under the patronage of Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, has been organized by the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran, Iran International Exhibitions Company, and Expo Center Sharjah, with the support of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI).
The event, one of Iran's largest exhibitions in the region, represents not only a wide range of its industries, free zones and banking services but also provides detailed information about the country's art, culture, and tourism.
"Iran and the UAE have extremely cordial bilateral relations. The political ties between the two countries have been reinforced by the ever growing economic ties," said Ahmed Mohammed Al Midfa, Chairman of the SCCI, after the inauguration ceremony.
"The Iran Trade and Tourism Week is a true reflection of the strengthening bilateral ties between the two countries," he added.
Midfa further said that the UAE was a key base for Iranian traders and workers in the region. Currently, Iranians account for one-fifth of UAE's population. Commenting on the impact that the exhibition was intended to have on the trade ties between the two countries, Fasahat Ali Khan, Acting Director General, Expo Center Sharjah, said: "The Iran Trade and Tourism Week is being held at a time when trade between UAE and Iran is already experiencing phenomenal growth. This event is intended at boosting that growth even further."
"For UAE and other PGCC based companies keen to either source Iranian products or enter in to tie ups with Iranian enterprises, there exists no better platform in the region that provides such opportunities," said Khan.
Khan also said that the Iran Trade and Tourism Week was a channel that would very effectively help Iranian products and services penetrate the UAE market in particular and the PGCC region in general and establish a firm foothold in the process.
The Iran Trade and Tourism Week is showcasing over 100 top Iranian companies engaged in a range of activities including agriculture, handicrafts, foodstuff, building and construction, chemicals, mining, oil and gas, transportation, IT and many others.
Iranian investment opportunities too are being actively promoted at the event through the active participation of a host of free zones, banking services and companies engaged in other economic spheres.
Iran, at present, is one of the top markets for UAE exports, given that the former heavily relies on imports from Dubai, the Persian Gulf's commercial hub.
In 2003, the largest volume of goods traded between Iran and foreign countries was conducted with the UAE. The trade exchange between the two sides stood at Dh16.10 billion ($ 4.4 billion) in value, which is 13.5 percent of the total value of Dh118.95 billion ($ 32.5 billion) traded between Iran and other countries worldwide. The trade exchange between Iran and UAE had a growth of 53.2 percent compared with a year before. Besides lucrative trade opportunities, visitors to the Iran Trade and Tourism Week will also be treated to an insight in to the fascinating world of Iranian art and culture.