Record turnout at the 2011 EXPO

The 14th edition of the International Trade Fair ended on a high note yesterday recording the highest number of foreign exhibitors than ever before. The event, commonly known as Expo, attracted over 220,000 visitors compared to last year’s 180,000, the president of Rwanda's Private Sector Federation (PSF) Faustin Mbundu said, while closing the Trade Fair.
SORWATHE Director General Cally Alles carries the trophy high as he celebrates with his staff after the company emerged overall best exhibitor. The New Times /John Mbanda.
SORWATHE Director General Cally Alles carries the trophy high as he celebrates with his staff after the company emerged overall best exhibitor. The New Times /John Mbanda.

The 14th edition of the International Trade Fair ended on a high note yesterday recording the highest number of foreign exhibitors than ever before.

The event, commonly known as Expo, attracted over 220,000 visitors compared to last year’s 180,000, the president of Rwanda's Private Sector Federation (PSF) Faustin Mbundu said, while closing the Trade Fair.

 “This year’s Expo attracted unprecedented numbers, both in terms of exhibitors, visitors and sales volume. This, therefore, provided chances more than ever before for visitors to acquaint themselves with the latest developments in Commerce and Industry,” Mbundu noted.

He added that the Trade Fair opened other windows of opportunities for prospective local and foreign businessmen to explore Rwanda’s abundant investment and market potential.  

“These numbers are very encouraging, more than we have ever registered before. This gives us confidence that the International Trade Fair grounds we are planning to set-up will be well utilised and it’s a plan well thought of,” he explained.

Mbundu further observed that the results are proof that businesses in Rwanda have gained momentum and the general turn-up shows that the 14th Expo was a success.

This year’s International Trade Fair attracted 486 exhibitors compared to last year’s 444.

The award for the best foreign country exhibitor went to Syria while Pakistan and Kenya were first and second runners-up, respectively.

The best exhibitor award – overall - went to SORWATHE, a local tea company, while MTN Rwanda and Energy, Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA), were the first and second runners-up, in that order.

“83 percent of the exhibitors confirmed having made sales and in terms of employment opportunities, 500 young people got jobs in the trade fair earning between Rwf 5,000 to Rwf 20,000 a day for two weeks,” Mbundu said.

He added that 90 percent of the exhibitors confirmed having carried out successful promotional campaigns and marketing their products well.

The two-week EXPO was attended by exhibitors from 15 countries compared to 13 that attended last year; Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, DRC Congo, Burkina Faso, Egypt, Ghana, Turkey, Syria, India, Pakistan, Iran and USA.

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