Tradeshows create investment opportunities in any country, according to Smart Egypt which organises the biannual Egypt and Middle East expo in Kigali.
Speaking ahead of this year’s expo that opens on April 28-May 11 at Amahoro National Stadium, Ashraf Mahmoud, the Smart Egypt executive manager, said about 10 Egyptian businesses; mostly in general trade, and the health sector, have set up shop in Rwanda thanks to the bi-annual tradeshow. The expo was launched in the country in 2014.
He said another company is studying the possibility of setting up a sugar factory in the country.
“They are currently assessing the environment, especially source of raw materials and land. There is also a furniture firm that is planning to set up offices in Rwanda,” said Mahamoud on Friday.
He said these firms will facilitate knowledge transfer, noting that each firm that opens business in the country partners with a local firm. “This will, in the long-run, boost expertise of local people in the sectors where Egyptians invest,” he added. He added that the bi-annual expo supports the tourism and hospitality sectors, especially hotels and accommodation facilities used by exhibitors.
Natacha Haguma, a local entrepreneur and event organiser, said the expo provides an avenue for the local private sector to network and develop business linkages that they can exploit to enter new export markets.
Haguma said the expo also provides employment opportunities for more than 200 Rwandans each time the event is held. “This money supports a lot of households and enables some youth to pay school fees. Therefore, one can say that Rwanda is benefiting significantly from the bi-annual trade fair,” she said.
She added that the expo was initially planned as an annual event, but it was transformed into a bi-annual event staged every April and October.
According to organisers, this year’s tradeshow will attract participants from Egypt, Iran, Malaysia, India, Singapore, Pakistan, who will be exhibiting a range of products, including textiles, leather products, jewelry, and kitchenware, among others.
The expo is organised in conjunction with local businesspeople and the Egyptian Embassy.Follow https://twitter.com/anithakirezi