Transportation & Construction Systems - Business Overview
The new office, located in a facility adjacent to the Baghdad Airport. The full-time local employees contribute greatly to the development of our business.
In 2009, Sumitomo Corporation was the only Japanese general trading company to establish an office in Iraq, now in full reconstruction mode following the recent years of violence.
Sumitomo Corporation has a long-standing relationship with Iraq; Sumitomo's first office opened in Baghdad in 1966. The office once had nearly 40 employees, all vigorously engaged in business. Business was most successful in the 1980s. Major items handled included cars, construction machinery, steel, and communications equipment.
As for the car business, not only Land Cruisers, but also Hilux utility vehicles and Corolla cars, all made by Toyota, have been shipped, as well as Hino trucks. In the past, cars were mainly delivered to government-affiliated corporations through competitive bidding. Many Toyota cars delivered in those days are still being used.
Sumitomo staff who participated in the economic forum held at Basra Airport. At present, only restricted areas in Baghdad are considered safe, but public safety is expected to improve in the future.
Although business was suspended after the Gulf War broke out, ambulances etc. continued to be traded even after the United Nations-imposed sanctions. This was made possible under the Oil For Food Program, which was approved from a humanitarian point of view.
When the worst of the confusion of the Iraq War died down and reconstruction efforts were being promoted, Sumitomo opened a TASS (TOYOTA Authorized Service Station) in the Baghdad International Airport (BIAP) area as a base to offer after-sales service to Toyota car users. It then went on to open its Baghdad Office within Iraqi Airways International Business Center in BIAP in December 2009.
This was the first office opened by a Japanese company since the start of the Iraq War. It is expected that various projects, including the development of infrastructure, will be required in Iraq, which is faced with serious shortages of electricity and water. The restoration of agriculture is also an urgent task. Sumitomo Corporation will contribute to the reconstruction of Iraq by positively engaging itself in such activities based in its Baghdad Office. It will establish additional bases in the future.
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