Exhibitors at the ongoing 12th Rwanda International Trade Fair (RITF) are requesting the Private Sector Federation (PSF) to postpone the closing date of the trade fair.
Traders who spoke to the Business Times said that there are a few days for exhibiting and the turn up of show-goers is also poor.
“We paid a lot for the stands expecting a good turn of people but only to be disappointed right from day one,” Monica Mulindwa, a crafts and textile exhibitor.
“The few people coming in either want to buy at very low prices or only inquire. It is as if we are here for a tour,” she lamented.
Mulindwa from Uganda said that it would be better if the organisers extend the closing dates for at least two days if not five.
Hital Chheda who works with X-Change Technologies also said that considering the turn up, it would make sense if the deadline is extended.
“It doesn’t matter how many days. We all need to recover the costs incurred by selling our products,” she explained.
One working for SAMONA Beauty Products but preferred not be named said that setting of the official launch days after the opening day affect their operations.
“The official opening came after we had settled in our stands which interrupted our businesses. The show was just gaining momentum,” she explained.
The expo which started last week Thursday is scheduled to end Monday. It was officially opened on Tuesday this week by the Prime Minister, Bernard Makuza.
Despite the claims from exhibitors who include local, regional and international, the organisers of the trade fair at the Gikondo showground are not willing to comply by the demands.
The PSF Officer in Charge of the Expo Secretariat, Nasta Munara said that it is surprising.
“Some exhibitors are claiming the days to be many. In fact they say that ‘how can we spend much of our time here?’” she revealed.
“As organisers, we have to consider a duration which favours all; that which is not so long neither short,” Munara added.
“Claims of high costs of a stand? I doubt if there are any. Rwanda’s expo has the cheapest rates in the region,” she stressed.
This year’s expo has attracted about 419 foreign and local exhibitors, the highest turn-up since inaugurated 12 years back.