The Sierra Leone Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture on Wednesday 5th April , 2017, opened its annual Local and International Trade Fair and Exhibition at the Presidential lounge, Siaka Stevens Stadium in Freetown.
The event brought together a host of exhibitors, some of whom travelled from other West African countries to participate in this year’s trade fair which commenced on March 30.
President of Sierra Leone Chamber of Commerce of Commerce Industry and Agriculture, Christopher John Foster said the trade fair attracted over 220 exhibitors who are drawn from Mali, Senegal,
The Gambia, Guinea, Ghana, Egypt, Ivory Coast and other African countries including Sierra Leonean businesses from various sectors in the country.
He said the theme for this year’s trade fair is “Make in Sierra Leone en Build the Economy” was meant to inspire Sierra Leoneans to develop the manufacturing sector to grow the country’s economy and reduce the pressure on foreign exchange.
President Foster told exhibitors that having a booth at the trade fair gives them an opportunity to showcase their products by advertising to customers who visit the exhibition.
“For the first time the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) will heavily showcase their work at the trade fair by displaying the products they produce to the public,” he said.
The SLCCIA President said the trade fair and exhibition brings huge benefit to the country, noting that the exhibition is both a national and international event. He added that unlike in the past, the exhibition will be hosted longer than previous years.
Declaring the annual Trade Fair Exhibition open, the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Ibrahim Washingai Mansary described the event as a wonderful gathering, adding that it is a way of promoting the economy and empowering the private Sector.
The minister praised SLCCIA, and assured his ministry’s commitment, adding that they are also working on reforms that would encourage Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) to develop.
He said the government has implemented a lot of reforms on doing business, which will help to ease the burden of the business sector. He maintained that the new Companies Act has also been enacted to develop the private sector and SMEs.
The deputy minister said West Africans are one people who are only divided by geographical boundaries but share a variety of cultures as a people. He therefore lauded the efforts of the foreign participants.
“This trade fair is also geared towards implementing the ECOWAS protocol on enhancing the free movement of goods and persons,” he said.
He encouraged exhibitors from other countries to buy the made in Sierra Leone products to take back home.
Delivering his vote of thanks on behalf of exhibitors, the Director of Razpec Furniture, Rashid Abraham Conteh expressed appreciation to SLCCIA for creating a platform for exhibitors to showcase their products and pray for turnout and sales.
He praised the event manager, Premier Media Group Limited for their tremendous support provided to exhibitors and the quality of service provided for a successful 2017 trade fair and exhibition.
A conducted tour by organizers and stakeholders to various exhibitors in all kinds of trade formed a high point of the ceremony.
Monday April 10, 2017.