Govt pledges more support to businesses as annual expo opens

Government will continue to build capacity of the Private Sector Federation and facilitate domestic trade to help achieve the country’s economic goals, Francois Kanimba, the Minister for Trade and Industry said.  
Trade and Industry Minister Francois Kanimba (R) with BNR Governor John Rwangombwa look at shoes on one of the stands at the Expo yesterday. John Mbanda
Trade and Industry Minister Francois Kanimba (R) with BNR Governor John Rwangombwa look at shoes on one of the stands at the Expo yesterday. John Mbanda

Government will continue to build capacity of the Private Sector Federation and facilitate domestic trade to help achieve the country’s economic goals, Francois Kanimba, the Minister for Trade and Industry said.

Kanimba was officially opening the 17th Rwanda International trade fair yesterday in Kigali.

The two-week trade fair has attracted over 330 exhibitors from 15 countries, including 78 foreign companies.

According to Kanimba, supporting the private sector enables it to effectively engage in key strategic development activities as well as supporting small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

 “Strengthening public-private partnerships will remain government’s priority. In order to achieve our economic objectives under vision 2020 and EDPRS2 strategy, government will play a key role in facilitating trade by building a strong infrastructure that speed not only the implementation of regional integration process  but also facilitate small and medium enterprises,” Kanimba said.

The minister challenged the exhibitors to take full advantage of the available infrastructure and try and consolidate achievements while working toward economic transformation.

 “Where the private sector has done well for its self, it has also done well for the country. However, it’s important that we consolidate achievements made over the last 20 years so as to attain economic liberation.”

Benjamin Gasamagera, the Private Sector Federation (PSF) chairman, said trade fairs play a key role in boosting private sector development.

“The partnership between private sector and government has been a key ingredient of restoring economic growth. However, to set stage for sustainable development, there is urgent need to design transformational interventions that are targeting Small and Medium Enterprise. Trade fares like this one play a key role towards transforming the informal sector by exposing them to a wealth of business information and aspirations,” Gasamagera said.

Hannington Namara, the PSF chief executive officer, said there has been tremendous growth in the international trade fair both in numbers, size and standard.

 “The standard is amazing, companies have grown both in terms of products and skills,” Namara said.

The expo is being organised by the Private Sector Federation in partnership with the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

It runs until August 6 at the Gikondo Expo Grounds in Kicukiro, Kigali. 

Firms from Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, Egypt, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan, Iran, India, Malaysia, Singapore and Poland are participating in this annual event. 

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