KIGALI - The total number of exhibitors for the 10th Rwanda International Trade Fair increased by 8 per cent compared to last year. The exhibition kicked off yesterday and will run until 3rd September. During a recent press briefing, the Secretary General of the Commerce Ministry (Minicom), Justin Nsengiyumva said total participation, of both foreign and local exhibitors had hit 293. Last year, total number of exhibitors was 271; - eighty-five for foreign and 186 for local exhibitors.
“Increase in exhibitors is a sign improved trade between Rwanda and other countries in the region, rest of Africa and internationally,” Nsengiyumva remarked.
Most foreign exhibitors came from Burundi, India, Ethiopia, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
Among foreign exhibitors, Ethiopia is featuring for the first time though.
The prices of stands has been maintained as compared to last year—between 250,000 and 300,000 per stand depending on the size for all local exhibitors and $700 (about Frw378,000) for a 12 metres stand for all foreign exhibitors.
To Emmanuel Hategeka, the Secretary General of Private Sector Federation (PSF) the prices are competitive compared to what is charged elsewhere in the region.
The main corporate sponsors of this year’s expo are; MTN Rwanda, Commercial Bank of Rwanda (BCR), Caisse Sociale du Rwanda (CSR), Bralirwa, Banque de Kigali (BK) and Electrogaz among others—of platinum category of PSF rankings.
The theme of this year’s fair is “Enhancing Trade through regional integration”. The fair organizers; PSF and Minicom were inspired to craft the theme that way because Rwanda has joined the East African Community.
“This year’s theme is in line with government’s policy of enhancing regional economic integration—one of the pillars of vision 2020,” remarked Nsengiyumva
The SG said the exposition is opportune moment for Rwandans to market their products as well as copying best production practices from foreign exhibitors. “On the other hand, foreign exhibitors are ambassadors, taking the good and new image of Rwanda around the world,” he added.
Hategeka urged the media to supplement PSF effort in making expo known to Rwanda and the rest of the world, particularly by websites.
“Our long-term vision is to see that the annual Rwanda International Trade Fair becomes an important event in the exhibition of the world,” he emphasized.
He said the annual Rwanda International Trade Fair has been improving over the last decade.
“We have this time round improved on the quality of stands. They are now made out of aluminum and branded with respective exhibitors’ company names”.