Exploring Middle East growth

Jan. 1, 2020
?Building bridges between people and nations by promoting peace through trade and commerce? was the single goal of Nicola M. Antakli, founder and chairman of Intraco Corporation, when he first came to America.

“Building bridges between people and nations by promoting peace through trade and commerce” was the single goal of Nicola M. Antakli, founder and chairman of Intraco Corporation, when he first came to America. In 1971, Antakli — or Nick — founded Intraco, a multinational trade, consulting and distribution firm after establishing the Middle East/African operations for a leading Fortune 100 automotive company. Through his leadership and vision over the last 40 years, Intraco has mastered the ongoing development of mutually beneficial business partnerships in the global marketplace while maintaining its strong presence in the Middle East.

Originally established in Beirut, Lebanon, Intraco moved its headquarters to Michigan in 1973. Over the years, the business has developed as an exclusive international marketer and distributor, expanding by diversifying its product offerings to include architectural glass and building products, new motor vehicles and heavy-duty engine components. In 1999, Intraco acquired the Casite Company, a full-line manufacturer of automotive additives and chemicals, expanding global coverage as well as its product offerings. Intraco UAE, Ltd., was registered as one of the first 40 companies in the Jebel Ali Free Trade Zone in Dubai. Today, over 2,000 companies have operations in this major international trade arena. Intraco’s sales, marketing and distribution now span not only the Middle East but also include Latin America, Europe and Asia. Our regional automotive aftermarket sales office for the Middle East remains in Beirut, Lebanon.

Intraco is a leader in international trade and business services from exclusive export management, marketing and sales to warehouse, distribution, logistics coordination and execution, and after-sales customer service. Our specialty within the aftermarket division is to exclusively distribute products and create demand for high-quality branded automotive components. Whether manufacturing partners are looking to quickly penetrate international markets or build brand equity, Intraco provides the highest quality customer service and business solutions. Extensive knowledge of world trade, traditions, cultures and business customs is the key to Intraco’s success. Intraco’s multi-lingual sales teams are present in each region and constantly travel the globe to strengthen working relationships and keep Intraco at the forefront of international market trends.

Notably, the economic and political reform taking place in North Africa and other countries in the region is unprecedented. We are witnessing an extraordinary transition in the Middle East. In spite of today’s challenges, Intraco continues to remain committed to capitalize on business opportunities through our existing customer relationships in the region.


The Middle East aftermarket continues to place high value on OEM quality and brand reputation — quality is greatly valued by our customer base. The challenge to US companies is to maintain the highest quality products at competitive market prices, against lower cost countries in a timely manner.
We continue to emphasize the importance of brand commitment to the international markets by conducting product seminars in local markets clearly identifying brand names, quality, benefits and features. We also participate regularly in regional trade shows such as the upcoming Automechanika Middle East show in June which attracts customers from over 100 countries.

Intraco is celebrating 40 years of success as an export management company through its hard work and effort to maintain strong customer relationships, working continuously to create an environment that offers challenges rather than problems, hope rather than despair, progress rather than stagnation. The success of Intraco in the Middle East is largely attributed to the investment and commitment to long term growth by working in partnership with factory principals, investment in business development, careful planning, sensitive negotiations, assumption of all international collection risk and the commitment to high business standards. Most importantly, Intraco’s well-earned reputation of integrity and dedication is a permanent goal modeled by its founder and leadership team.