By Donna Collins
THERE is always an element of excitement when an expo comes to town. And with no exception the three-day NCCI Swakopmund International Trade Expo (SWAITEX) which ended with a bang on Saturday, drew a great crowd to the Dome Indoor Sports Centre where it was all happening.
Although a whopping N$600 000 was pledged towards the expo during the glittering gala dinner event earlier this month, organisers had to cut back on the amount of stalls and exhibitions originally planned for this year due to the current economic slump.
But this was no indication of the wow factor that translated this year’s multi-million dollar expo into well organised success, which drew over 10 000 feet during the three days. The highlight was undoubtedly the first Motor Show which was represented by four multi-franchise dealerships who showed off their latest models to gasps of onlookers.
In addition there was a travelling magician who made a surprise visit and entertained the crowds with his tricks, the children’s entertainment playground that drew shrieks of delight, not to mention the variety of rows of well prepared inside exhibits, various information sharing seminars, outdoor food stalls and SME products to mention some.
At the official opening last week where Minister Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development Immanuel Ngatjizeko cut the ribbon, he stated that the Government is making a concerted effort in improving the business environment of the country, and tackling the challenges facing the economy. He commended the NCCI together with the supporting stakeholders, for pulling off an exhibition which provides opportunity for local, international and SME exhibitors to showcase their products and services to the public.
“We support these events because of the value and important role which such fairs add to our efforts towards increasing local production, import substitution and Namibian product export growth,” he said, adding that the Government has picked a number of possible projects in which foreign and local investors may be interested to invest in.
He said that Namibia will host an international investment conference in Windhoek on November 8 and 9, at which the Government will make every effort possible to encourage investors to invest in opportunities in various sectors of the Namibian economy.
“We are prepared to listen to the policy and legislative hurdles which might be making our business environment less conducive to investors, and are committed to having these addressed so our environment is improved – to make Namibia the most competitive economy on the African continent,” said the Minister.
“Furthermore we remain committed to the journey we have undertaken towards industrialising our economy and in turning Namibia into a true transport and logistics hub in the southern African region.”
Swakopmund Mayor Pauline Nashilundo expressed her thanks to the NCCI for being the driving force behind the vision and hard work that has gone into making another SWAITEX expo into one of the major highlights of the town’s calendar, whilst attracting more visitors and investors to the coastal town.
NCCI Swakopmund executive chairman Paul Ndjambula said they have been “fired up” for SWAITEX for months now and was proud of their achievement. He explained that due to the current low economic situation, they registered fewer exhibitors than what they originally planned to, but was proud that they still offered improved service and value for money.
The NCCI Swakopmund branch, out of the 21 NCCI branches countrywide, is the only branch hosting an expo, and for four years since it started, has been an innovative showcase for businesses to expose their products and services, while encouraging economic growth.
Confidente. Lifting the Lid. Copyright © 2015