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Trade fair patronage triples, MCCCI says

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Number of exhibitors at the 32nd International Trade Fair tripled to 199 from 69 registered the last time the event took place in 2019, organisers, the Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) has said.

Figures from MCCCI show that 235 pavilions were mounted during this year’s fair which ended last Sunday.

MCCCI Head of Business Linkages and Events Linda Pete said the growth shows that businesses realise the importance of the fair to their growth and linkages that they create.

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She added that this year, the fair was patronised by different diplomatic missions including Mozambique, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

“There have been a lot of business discussions that will help Malawi to grow economically. For example, a delegation from Zimbabwe said they have tried to cultivate Kilombero rice in their country but it has failed, therefore, they are interested in importing from us,” she said.

Pete said the future of the fair remains bright, saying each year, businesses realise the importance of the fair and it continues growing and impacting on growth of businesses including Small and Medium Enterprises.

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National Association for Small and Medium Enterprises of Malawi (Nasme) facilitated participation of some of its members at the exhibition.

Nasme General Manager Frank Tauzi said the drawback remains the fees for a pavilion space because most SMEs cannot manage the fees which reach up to $1000.

“The fees are indeed exorbitant and most of our members who participated were sponsored by the Ministry of Trade and Industry under the Buy Malawi Strategy who sponsored the fees for space and members catered for transport and accommodation only,” he said.

MCCCI explained that different fairs have different pricing mechanisms but the organisers will consider the concern.

The Trade Fair returned this year after taking a break for the past two years due to the Covid pandemic.

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