19 December COMTEX
In appreciation of a bi-lateral trade cooperation with Nigeria, Iran,
penultimate week, held its trade fair and exhibition in Abuja. Assorted products
ranging from jewellery, persian rugs, chandeliers and other household
assessories were on display. Habiba Adamu of Abuja Trust who was at the trade
fair wrote in this piece.
For the first time in Abuja, the Islamic Republic of Iran held its trade fair and exhibition at the National Centre for Women Development. The fair which kicked off November 1 lasted till November 9. The display was eye-catching and the atmosphere was breathtaking. The products exhibited at the grand Iranian products and arts solo trade fair were the sort that one may wish to possess in his/her home owing to their exquisite nature.
Indeed the products whicn ranged from furniture, chandeliers, toilet assessories, persian carpets, various kinds of ornaments, kitchen equipment and jewelery were grand but expensive. Abuja being the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and full of rich people, beside the fact that it is the seat of power, one would expect that the Iranians would not have any difficulty in selling their products. This was one of the reasons that informed the Iranians' choice of Abuja for their first trade fair in the city.
Ibrahim Aalizadeh whose elder brother, E. Aalizadeh, was co-partner to K. S. Lari of S. A. trading Import and Export, the outfit that organised the two weeks exhibition, explained the rationale behind holding the trade fair in Abuja. "We have chosen Abuja because it is the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria and here, most of the residents are rich; they come and buy easily," he said.
He further explained that though it was not the first time they were having the exhibition in Nigeria, it was however the first time they've come to Abuja for an exhibition. Despite that for the past three years they had held exhibitions in different parts of the country like in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Kaduna and Kano States, the Abuja exhibition was more successful in terms of business, compared to the previous fairs held in other states of the federation.
However, one of he problems faced by the Iranian traders, according to Ibrahim, was the packing of their products for transportation at the end of the exhibition on November 9, 2001. Ibrahim added that the furniture and other bulky products they brought with them for exhibition in Abuja were not selling well, unlike jewelery and plastics (kitchen equipment).
"The jewelery and the plastics were cheap so customers were more attracted to them. That was why we sold them quicker compared to the other products on exhibition," he explained. The products on exhibition, though mostly made in the finest quality and very beautiful, they were a bit expensive even for the rich, a factor which, apparently, was responsible for their poor sale.
A customer who gave her name as Jummai Isah said that the furniture were a bit expensive but considering their quality, the prices were reasonable. Shedding more light on the high prices of the items on display at the exhibition, Ibrahim said the prices were lower in Iran but taking into consideration the amount of money they spent transporting the products and other expenses, they tried to fix prices reasonably not to scare away customers.
He also pointed out that during the exhibition, business flourished daily, saying, "After this exhibition in Abuja we are moving to Lagos for another ten days exhibition before we go back to Iran. But despite our little problem, we have sold many of our products.
Every day the business is becoming better. In fact the next time we come for exhibition in Nigeria, it would be in Abuja because it was the best exhibition we had." Ibrahim further explained that they would also hold another exhibition in Lagos when they come back to Nigeria because of the large population there.