Today, Afghanistan is a land of rising economic opportunity. Strategically nestled at the confluence of major trade routes, Afghanistan is blessed with abundant untapped natural resources, fertile agricultural lands, a favorable and improving business regulatory environment, and a significant domestic market characterized by expanding consumption from an emerging lower- middle class. The country’s economic motivations are fueled by an enterprising and increasingly educated workforce underpinned by the entrepreneurial dynamism of the private sector.
Balkh province is significant because of its position as a regional political and economic node, its location as a trading hub and gateway to Central Asia, and because it has been considered a success story due to relative security and effective administration. The narrative of this success is tied closely to local government and effective leadership, depending on one’s perspective.
Organizing and conducting exhibitions and trade-shows is an important part of marketing strategy in the world in order to promote businesses, raise the profiles of potential business/investors. Exhibitions and trade-shows are rewarding and providing incredibly direct methods of consumer marketing and contacts exchanges throughout various market segments and aspects of the economy today.
Balkh Chamber of Commerce and Industries, as the representative membership organization of Balkh business community, provides leadership and services towards the enhancement of an enabling private sector environment in which local and international businesses can prosper in the interest of employment and local wealth creation.
Beside the above mentioned services, organizing trade fairs and exhibitions also is one of the key important services of chamber to their members and business community.
Moreover exhibitions are important events for enterprises development in market economy principle. It is also a tool for enterprise expansion and improvement. The exhibitions will help the companies, producers, traders and service providers keep up-to-date with the worldwide trends in technology design and substitute products, exchange experience with global manufacturers, sign mutual profitable contracts and deals. In addition, exhibitions can serve as indicators of the new level of needs and demands which can help producers, processors and manufacturers to develop their business promotion, and sales strategy in the market. Business Fairs bring producers and consumers together which is believed to be a golden marketing opportunity.
Therefore, Balkh Chamber of Commerce & Industries, developed the concept supported the GIZ- Sustainable Economic Development & Employment Promotion Program (SEDEP) in organizing the Agriculture Fair Aimed at Promoting Business Match Making of the North and North-East in Balkh.
Mazar Nuts & Dry Fruits Main Market, Beside Sina Sport Stadium, Shadyan Street, South of Blue Mosque, Mazar-e Sharif City, Balkh Province, Afghanistan.
The Agriculture Fair Aimed at Promoting Business Match Making of the North and North-East in Balkh was organized for 2 days which went successfully during 28th – 29th April 2016.
The overall objective of this Agriculture Fair was to develop and promote the agriculture products in the north and north-east regions.
Specific objectives of the Agricultural Fair were:
- To develop and promote agriculture products,
- To create and strengthen business linkages between the various actors in the targeted value chains by SEDEP through B2B meetings,
- To introduce the agricultural products of Afghanistan to the public and international organizations/donors,
- To organize the exhibition in five value chains (nuts, dairy, poultry, wheat and vegetables).
According to the nature of activity, from the start, the organization of Balkh Agriculture Fair was well planned and coordinated with relevant local authorities/departments on the provincial level, as official representatives of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
1. Development organs:
The development organs include local government as decision maker on the provincial level, as well as the relevant departments, particularly, Department of Agriculture (DAIL for MAIL), Department of Commerce & Industries (DoCI for MoCI), Department of Rural Rehabilitation Development (DRRD for MRRD) and as well as Balkh Department of Economy as the Coordinator for development activities in Balkh.
2. Site selection:
BCCI together with SEDEP team looked for different places to be identified and selected in order to organize the Balkh Agriculture Fair in the best way to achieve objectives successful. Observing and considering the location for easier access of the visitors, environment and facilities, it was preferred to organize this fair in Mazar Nuts & Dry Fruits Main Market.
Therefore, during a meeting with the Balkh Nuts/Dry Fruits Processors Association as the business owner of the market, it was discussed, and association members showed high interest in organizing the fair in their market. After the interest show by the association, it was coordinated with Mazar Municipality as the governmental authority for his market for approval which was successfully done.
3. Security authorities:
After the site selection, local district police department and as well as the GIZ-PRMO (Provincial Risk Management Office) was informed of the venue for the Ag-Fair for site visit, security assessment, and as well as to secure exhibitors and visitors during the event days.
1. Signing Memorandum of Understanding between GIZ-SEDEP and BCCI,
2. Preparations for the promotional:
- Developing registration and questioner to collect data about the exhibitors
- Designing and printing banners, publications, business booklets
- Designing signboard-stickers for exhibitors booths and speech-hall
- Registering exhibitors and collecting their business data
- Preparing list invitee
- Organizing and conducting coordination meeting with relevant local authorities and Press Conference
- Site preparation, installing booths (90) and organizing B2B meeting rooms (2)
- Organizing the Ag-Fair with participation of exhibitors from Balkh and north-eastern provinces including Samangan, Baghlan, Kunduz, Takhar and Badakhshan.
Press releases were distributed to media institutions throughout BCCI. In Balkh province chambers, press conference was organized and held with presence of local governmental authorities. Advertising works were featured on 4 local and national TVs, Balkh National TV, Setar-e Sahar TV, Rana and Aryana TV.
• 200 professional e-mailing sent.
• 150 Invitation letter distributed in Balkh.
• 30 VIP invitations are delivered to sectoral professionals and local government authorities.
• BCCI attracted a great attention to the international donor agencies participants and visitors at the exhibitions where handed out of brochures.
75 radio advertisements were performed on radio channels, radio programs and news which are mostly listened.
- Radio Setar-e Sahar
- Radion Rana
- Radio Rabia Balkhi
- Match Making:
Professional B2B meetings were arranged to exhibitors-exhibitors, exhibitors-financing institutes and exhibitors-donor agencies related their sectors through Match-Making system which was conducted by BCCI staff. This system helped the exhibitors to achive beneficial results and find reliable business partners.
• 120 B2B meetings had been done during the exhibition.
• 50 B2B resulted to sign agreements during May-June 2016 for amount of 2.9 Million US Dollars
• 70 B2B will meet again in next weeks to discuss the details of business and then sign agreements
• Supply of 500 Kg cake & cookies per day to local shops and food stores.
• Purchase of 10 bread ovens & 50 bread sales points by Farangis Food Materials Production Co.
• Supply of 10,000 – 15,000 brown eggs per day to Farangis Food Materials Production Co.
• Supply of 300 – 500 Kg fresh milk to Farangis Food Materials Production Co.
|Name of Exhibition||Balkh Agriculture Fair aimed at Promoting Business Match Making|
|Exhibition Venue||Mazar Nuts/Dry Fruits Market|
|Exhibition Area||900 M2|
|Total Exhibitors||180 persons|
|Total Male Exhibitors||120 persons|
|Total Female Exhibitors||60 persons|
|Total Booths||90 persons|
|Exhibitors from Balkh||148 persons|
|Exhibitors from Samangan||4 persons|
|Exhibitors from Baghlan||8 persons|
|Exhibitors from Kunduz||8 persons|
|Exhibitors from Takhar||8 persons|
|Exhibitors from Badakhshan||4 persons|
|Visitors||Over 8,000 persons|
|Products for Show||
Agriculture products and facilities: nuts, dried fruits, dairies, wheat, improved seeds, poultries, vegetables, agro-medicines, agro-equipment
Handicrafts: carpets, gemstones, jewelries, woolen products, broidery products, sport balls and clothes
Other products: saffron, honey, pickles, cake, cookies sweets, etc.
Services: consultancy, equipment suppliers, water and energy facilities
|B2B Meetings||70 Meetings with 50 B2Bs agreed to sign contacts soon during May-June 2016|
|Contracts Amount Agreed||2.9 Million US Dollars|