Bralirwa limited emerged the overall best exhibitor at the closure of the 17th 2014 Rwanda Trade Fair yesterday.
Tigo and Made in Kigali Ltd were first and second runners-up, respectively.
Best foreign exhibitors were Movit products from Uganda, Afro Park and Kenya ports Authority from Kenya.
Egypt emerged the best foreign country exhibitor followed by Kenya and Pakistan.
“The outstanding winners exhibited a great deal of excellence in quality of customer care services, innovation and consistency,” Benjamin Gasamagera, the chairperson of Private Sector Federation, said.
Amb. Valentine Rugwabiza, the minister for East African Community affairs, challenged exhibitors to maintain professionalism in meeting consumer demands.
“Professionalism will result in more businesses and growth for Rwanda and the region; there is no doubt that this trade fair was a sound success. I appeal to the private sector to turn challenges faced during expo into business opportunities.”
The minister added that challenges are good in a sense that they allow us to do better and put us a lot of pressure for all of us to do better.
She encouraged traders to take full advantage of integration process and promote regional trade.
Impressive turn up
According to Hannington Namara, the hief executive of Private Sector Federation (PSF), the expo attracted more than 15,000 shoppers on a daily basis and 30,000 during the weekends for the last two weeks.
“We did not only create more than 1500 employment opportunities for Rwandans during the trade exhibition but also gave a business opportunity for exhibitors to learn from one another in growing businesses. There is no doubt that this was an opportunity to learn from new technologies, innovations and trade experience,” Namara said.
Many exhibitors who talked to The New Times cited power and water shortages among the challenges faced at the expo.
However, government promised to address these challenges during the next trade fair.
The 2014 trade attracted more than 300 exhibitors from across 15 countries including Singapore, Pakistan, Kenya, Poland, Uganda, Ghana, among others.
The 2015 Rwanda Trade Frair is expected to take place on July 22 to August 5, 2015.
Other exhibitors awarded include Sina Gerald Enterprise, best exhibitor on agro processing, Nyange Ltd, MTN, Liquid Telecom, UAP, Rwanda Social Security (RSSB), National Dairy Platform Rwanda, Kenya Commercial Bank, Bank of Kigali, Petrol.com, Equity Bank, and Teleten Group of companies among others.
WHAT THE EXHIBITORS SAID
Usufu Mugiraneza, a trader and exhibitor, said the expo was an opportunity to network with foreign exhibitors in understanding the scope of business.
“The turnover was excellent and we made profits, we hope next time the turn up will be much bigger,” Mugiraneza said.
“I was impressed by the level of security, and coordination by government bodies, including the Immigration, Rwanda Revenue Authority and Ministry of Trade and Industry at the way they handled us from the point we came into the country to date. It shows that Rwanda is on the right track in terms of doing business,” Faizal Azeez, an exhibitor from Pakistan, said.