This year’s edition of Rwanda International Trade Fare, commonly known as EXPO opens its doors today with more foreign exhibitors than the previous year. Event officials have confirmed that 141 foreign exhibitors drawn from 19 countries will showcase their products and services.
The annual event organised by the Private Sector Federation (PSF) in partnership with the Ministry of Trade and Industry will open today with the official opening ceremony set to take place tomorrow (Friday 29th). The exhibition will end on August 10, 2011.
The Acting Director of Investments and Special Projects at PSF, Ephraim Karangwa, told Business Times, that this year’s event is special because of the significantly bigger number of first time foreign exhibitors.
Countries attending include Pakistan, Syria, India, Turkey, Ghana, Sudan, Burkina Faso, Senegal, DRC Congo, Egypt, Emirates, Iran, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, USA and Nigeria.
“419 exhibitors have already registered , 141 of whom are designated as foreign exhibitors . 721 stands are already booked,” Karangwa explained.
However, Karangwa noted that in this year’s edition, the total number of exhibitors has declined from last year’444 to 419 while foreign the number of foreign exhibitors has shot up from 99 registered last year to 141.
Karangwa further announced that this year’s trade fair will incorporate a new feature. It is expected that part of the opening ceremony will include a fashion show to be managed by a renowned African designer Patheo Ouedraogo from Senegal.
“The event will no doubt enable Rwandan fashion designers to maximise the potential benefits of their industry by interacting more closely with such a renowned designer,” he said.
Karangwa noted that the exhibition’s objective is to create linkages between local and foreign companies participating under one roof.
“The trade fair also generates income to the federation, where foreign companies get a chance to market their products to the locals,” he added.
To bring on board foreign participants, Karangwa said the PSF approached Rwandan embassies abroad, foreign embassies based in Rwanda, and PSF sister organisations abroad, to facilitate the Federation in the mobilisation of foreign exhibitors.