Wednesday, 31 July 2013

The 16th International Trade Fair will impact Rwanda’s economy— Rwanda’s Prime Minister

The 16th International Trade Fair will impact Rwanda’s economy— Rwanda’s Prime Minister

The 2013 International Trade Fair will greatly impact the country’s economy, especially the manufacturing sector and the small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs), the Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuremyi has said.

The Prime Minister made the remarks during the official opening of the Trade Fair yesterday at Gikondo Expo Grounds on 25, July 2013 in Kigali

He said that the country’s good governance and recent business reforms created a conducive business environment that would enable the country achieve private sector driven growth.

“We need to find ways of promoting small and medium firms, especially for growing sectors like construction, mining, textiles, ICT, agriculture and hospitality,” he said.

Habumuremyi commended exhibitors from within and outside the country for particpating in the 15-day event.

The Expo will see exhibitors market Rwanda abroad, generate income for the country, employ the youth, give people a chance to shop affordably, enable Rwandan producers learn from their foreign counterparts and promote Rwandan culture and tourism.

The trade fair has attracted exhibitors from 20 countries. These include countries from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) region, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, United Arab Emirates, India, Turkey, Belgium and Mauritius.

“Having an international trade fair like this is key to transforming the informal sector,” said Benjamin Gasamagera, chairman of the Private Sector Federation (PSF).

“I encourage exhibitors to take time off their busy schedules to actively participate in back to back meetings and forge partnerships for various investment or trade transactions,” Gasamagera said.

A ‘business corner’ where local business people will meet and interact foreign exhibitors to discuss business and network, has been reserved.

“During this year’s expo, we look at what Rwanda could do better to harness trade opportunities in both regional and global markets, thus the theme ‘Linking businesses to Markets’,” Gasamagera said.

“The government will carry on with its commitment to oversee and provide policy and regulatory framework covering the areas of trade and industry with a particular focus on the promotion of SMEs,” said Francois Kanimba, Minister for Trade and Industry.

Kanimba commended the first ever Comesa manufacturers’ dialogue that was hosted in Kigali over the past two days that helped showcase the potential of the country’s manufacturing sector.

The conference brought together business leaders drawn from across the continent and policy makers to discuss issues of competitiveness within both international and African markets.

Of the 661 stands at the expo grounds, 50 have been reserved for the Comesa Business Council and will host manufacturers from the bloc, 10 and another 15 stands were reserved for the East African Business Council, Rwanda Youth Council and the Ministry of Trade and Commerce respectively.

“PSF organised this expo largely targeting SMEs in order to expose them to foreign markets and best business practices,” said Ephrem Karangwa, head of Trade Fairs and Investmentat PSF.Karangwa gave an example of 23 managers of SMEs who were recently taken to Turkey for study tour and that another group was scheduled to travel to India soon.

There are 707 stands in the expo all of which were fully booked on a first come, first served basis.The expo hosts 112 foreign and 233 domestic companies. The exhibitors are showcasing different products, ranging from agriculture and construction to manufacturing.


The 16th International Trade Fair will impact Rwanda’s economy— Rwanda’s Prime Minister


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