The 10th Rwanda International Trade Fair that ended early this week registered a remarkable increase of exhibitors and visitors compared to last year’s.
Private Sector Federation statisticians survey indicates that exhibitors’ sales increased by 30 per cent compared to last year.
Emmanuel Hategeka, the Secretary General of Private Sector Federation (PSF) said while giving his closing remarks that the expo has maintained its growth trend.
At the close of the expo, the number of exhibitors had increased by 14 per.
At least 323 exhibitors were registered this year compared to 271 of last year’s expo.
Ninety-six were international exhibitors from eight countries; Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Ghana, Ethiopia, Egypt and India.
Local exhibitors also increased by 22 per cent, from 186 registered last year to 227 exhibitors.
There was however a slight decline in the number of visitors.
“The total number of people that visited the stands was 129,654 throughout the whole exhibition,” disclosed Hategeka. The previous expo statistics indicate a total 136, 500 visitors.
He said the lowest entry of visitors was 7,516 on Tuesday 28th, August 2007 and the highest attendance was Sunday, on the September 2nd which was 27, 301.
The average attendance per day was 12,965 people.
“High attendance is a manifestation for a bigger expo ground”.
The project to construct an expo ground of international standards is ongoing, expected to be complete in two years.
The survey reveled that international exhibitors from Comesa complained that while exhibiting in Rwanda, they never benefit from tax exemptions accorded in the economic grouping.
“In the next exhibition we [PSF] shall endeavor to facilitate organising Comesa certificates to Comesa exhibitors,” Hategeka promised.
One cannot benefit from tax exemptions accorded in Comesa without a Comesa certificate.
Exhibitors expressed discontented about security around stands and also suggested that the number of days the expo runs be increased.
“With the help of security organs security around stands will be beefed up during the next expo, and we shall consider increasing number of days after assessing how feasible it is,” Hategeka promised.