A new bigger trade fair arena will be set up at Kagarama sector in Kicukiro District, Francois Kanimba, the Minister for Trade and Industry, has said.
The new facility, to be built on an 18-hectare piece of land, will be a huge relief for the business community, especially those companies that never get a chance to exhibit their products due to lack of space at the Rwanda International Trade Fair.
Kanimba said when completed in 2017 the facility will enable more Rwandan businesses to showcase their products and services and attract international buyers.
He was speaking at the opening of the 17th Rwanda International Trade Fair at the Gikondo Exhibitions Grounds on Thursday. The project is the child brain of the Private Sector Federation (PSF), but officials were tight-lipped about the cost of the new facility.
According to Benjamin Gasamagera, the PSF chairman, a number of both foreign and local companies could not exhibit at the ongoing trade fair because of limited space.
“The Rwanda International Trade Show is now a popular annual event and an exceptional success in business transaction, since its inception. However, many companies, especially foreign firms could not get space at the exhibition grounds this year because of limited space,” Gasamagera said.
The new facility will be fitted with modern facilities to ensure the comfort of the exhibitors, Gasamagera, noted.
The project was mooted about six years ago.
Meanwhile, Kanimba also urged producers and the business community to respect consumers’ interests.
“Respecting consumer’s interests boosts a firm’s competitiveness… it’s, therefore, my humble appeal to the private sector not to underestimate consumer demands and customer care,” he said.
Kanimba noted that trade shows are avenues for self-assessment, where producers and traders interact with consumers and get feedback on their products and services.
“This generates ideas enabling innovation, product development, quality improvement and ultimately improved product standards and enhanced competitiveness,” he added.
This year’s expo has attracted over 330 exhibitors from 15 countries and 78 foreign companies, including Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Egypt, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Iran, India, Malaysia, Singapore and Poland.
The exhibition ends on August 6.