Some 16 foreign firms that participated in the just-concluded Rwanda International Trade Fair have expressed interest in starting their operations in Rwanda, underlining the growing influence of the expo on investments.
“We have so far registered 77 companies, 16 of which are by foreign participants,” Eric Mutabazi, in charge of Corporate and Compliance Governance at Rwanda Development Board (RDB), said adding that, “the exhibitors have appreciated the way businesses are run in the country.”
Some of the foreign registered companies include Egypt Master Ltd, City Advocates and Paleo Group Ltd, among others.
The expo, which ended on Wednesday, attracted over 500 exhibitors from 23 countries.
Running for three weeks since July 26 at the Gikondo Expo Grounds in Kicukiro District, this year’s exhibition attracted more participants compared to previous editions.
“Our target was to attract at least 300,000 people at the expo, but we have surpassed that, to over 350,000. This is something we have to appreciate,” Mutabazi added.
Eric Kabera, the Head of Communication and Marketing at the Private Sector Federation (PSF), said that as more companies open shop in Rwanda, more jobs will be created to boost economic development, among other benefits.
“Our target was to showcase the opportunities in the country. Participants came to exhibit their products and later on became interested in starting their operations in the country. PSF has invested more efforts to attract the exhibitors,” Kabera said.
The exhibitors showcased products in various sectors, including ICT, manufacturing, agriculture, construction, finance, banking as well as home appliances and furniture.
Usually, the exhibition lasts two weeks; however, this year’s edition run for three weeks on the request of shoppers and exhibitors who noted that two weeks were not enough.