Geographically, Iran is located in the Middle East and bordering countries are Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Armenia on the north, Afghanistan and Pakistan on the east, and Turkey and Iraq on the west. Tehran, the capital of Iran is the most crowded city and historical, cultural, commercial and industrial center of the country.
Iran is the second largest economy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region after Saudi Arabia, with an estimated Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $452,275 million in 2018. Iran rank of GDP among 196 countries is number 28 (according to countryeconomy.com report). Iran economy is characterized by the hydrocarbon sector, agriculture and a noticeable state presence in manufacturing and financial services. Iran ranks second in the world in natural gas reserves and fourth in proven crude oil reserves. Moreover, the country is ranked among the top 10 of the world in terms of mineral-rich countries.
The exhibition industry is one of the most important industries that play a key role in all sectors of Iran trade deals. The dates of foundation of Iran International Exhibitions Company (IIEC) back to 1959. The first International Asian exhibition was held in 1969 for 21 days, with the presence of 33 countries. Exhibitions Company was admitted as a member of Union of International Fairs (UFI) in 1976 and also became a member of The Bureau of International Expositions (BIE).
Since exhibitions and conferences in Iran experienced a noticeable growth during lifting sanctions from 2015 to 2018, the industry showed a huge demand for updating facilities, equipment and payment methods. Therefore, it changed into a distinctive choice for investing and cooperating in infrastructures and venue construction. According to the last annual report of Iranian Exhibition Organizers Association (IEOA), the exhibition industry aims to introduce Iranian potentials to the world and provide a platform for the related innovations to add global knowledge and experiences.
In the country, 17 of a total number of 32 official exhibitions sites are UFI members. From a total number of 104 trade show organizers, 75 of them are members of IEOA.
According to statistics released by IIEC, 660 exhibitions held in the country in 2018. However, this figure is 410 items per year for events licensed by the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran and 59 shows are UFI approved. Moreover, about 15 percent of the total number of trade shows are held in 2018 in Tehran.
The total number of service providers such as stand construction, transportation, materials and advertisement companies are 220 that among these 169 companies are members of the Exhibition Stand Builders Association of Iran.
Number of active media in the field of exhibition industry is 3 media companies and one of them is a subsidiary of the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade of Iran.
Based on statistics of first 6 month of 2019, direct employment in the exhibition industry include of the direct spending and jobs that are directly involved in planning and producing exhibitions is more than 2,000 people. Indirect employment is estimated up to 700 thousand people across the country.
The Iranian exhibition industry has several sectors which can provide lucrative investment opportunities. IIEC has prepared a suitable framework by utilizing unique spaces, possibilities, facilities, and expert workforce and by holding international expertise exhibitions for foreign and domestic producers and merchants. So that in addition to offering and demonstrating the capabilities, the investors would be able to develop their trade transactions and build up their international joint investments in Iran’s infrastructure with IIEC supports. The country potential industries are categorized into three major fields that seated in the top of exhibit themes in Iran.
The 1st and largest category is the industries based on Iranian natural resources, namely: oil, gas and minerals. Investment in design and equipment for petrochemical, refining, energy and fertilizer industries have always been an excellent market. The 23rd Oil and Gas Exhibition of Iran held with 758 foreign exhibitors in 2017.
The 2nd category is based on geographical and climatic positive points of Iran. Such climatic diversity has given the ground for investment in agriculture and mechanization of agriculture as well as agro-industries. More than 40,000 trade visitors from all over Iran and neighboring countries have visited Iran agro-food Exhibition 2018.
The 3rd category is based on human resources. Iran is the second largest population of the region after Egypt, with an estimated 82 million people in 2018 and it has a pool of educated consumers which gives the country a remarkable capacity to be the regional hub for IT or knowledge-based start-ups and products. Considering its immediate neighbors the Iranian regional market goes beyond 400 million people.
Financial Tribune online magazine on April 2019 reported that More than 2.26 quadrillion Rials ($16.49 billion) worth of investments are estimated to have been made in Iran’s industrial units, for which establishment permits were issued and 474.96 trillion Rials ($3.46 billion) were invested in projects for which operating licenses were issued in the 10 months. These investments indicate a respective growth of 81.1% and 112.2% compared with the similar period of last year, according to the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade’s latest report shows.
Iranians hope that P5+1 countries as the European Union representative can create a bridge between the Iranian private sectors and the private sectors of the other countries, so that both sides could introduce their potentials to one another and join hands to synergize.
In spite of the current unrest in the region, there are great opportunities in Iran which is one of the safest countries in the region. The country is placed before China, Brazil and even Russia in risks of natural disaster, crime, terrorism and war based on Global Finance magazine report published in January 2019. Iran sits on the crossroad of Asia to Europe and south-north corridors and counts as a regional power since it holds a crucially important position in international energy security and economy of the world as a result of its large reserves of petroleum and natural gas.
Frame is a consultancy and management company focusing on B2B matchmaking, organizing events and exhibitions, supply chain management of the trade shows and events as well as related business areas.
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