Addis Chamber Fair Goes Trendy With Less Exhibitors

By IAfrica
In Ethiopia
Feb 24th, 2014

Connection, markets top the list of targets for foreign companies that count 122 out of a total of 188

From left to right,Elias Geneti, president of AACCSA , Ali Siraj,State minister for Trade,Gashaw Abate, director of Trade & Investment at AACCSA,Tamrat Admassu,general manager of the Addis Ababa Exhibition Center and Endashaw Ashenafi, marketing reasercher & Promotion expert at the National Alchol & Liquor Factory.

The 18th Addis Chamber International Trade Fair had the halls and empty space of the Exhibition Centre full with exhibitors from Ethiopia and many countries. The numbers have declined; whereas a year ago it had attracted 313 participants, with 213 coming from outside Ethiopia, this year there are only 188 participants, with 122 coming from outside.

The country of origin of foreign participants has also declined from 25 to 17. With so few participants occupying the entire space, the Chamber says that this year’s participants have demanded more space than before. Those that responded late to the Chamber’s call were too late for this year’s event.

The increased demand has promoted the Chamber to introduce a second event, called, the Addis Chamber Meskerem International Trade Fair, to be held every December.

“The Fair creates opportunities to  communiacate with different types of companies in the world,” says Aster Seife, owner of the Aster brand of tej (honey meade), who was busy in the morning of Thursday, February 20, 2014, inviting visitors to taste samples of her products.

She has presented such products as dry tej, medium tej, birz or honey juice and distilled tej, all available for sale. Her company is a regular in most bazaars organised at the Addis Abeba Exhibition & Market Development Centre (AAEMDC).

These events have enabled this brewer to connect with potnetial customers. Similarly, most of the participants at the Addis Chamber fair come seeking market or business connections. The organisers claim that many foreign companies have been able to introduce their products and services to the Ethiopian market; others have returned to Ethiopia for various investments, although figures supprting this claim are not available.

These participants have occupied most of the 2,400sqm space of the three halls and the 3,000sqm space in the open. The foreign companies are paying 25 dollars a square metre a day for a space in the halls, 20 dollars for a tented space outside, and 15 dollars for an open space without any tent, although they can bring their own shades. Local participants are paying 110 Br, 100 Br and 60 Br for similar spaces.

Among the foreign participants were those that came from Turkey, Dubai, Sudan, Egypt, Kenya, the Netherlands, South Africa and Italy.

The 38 companies from Italy taking part at the event were part of a delegation of 50 companies that came to Ethiopia. This delegation was to be led by Carlo Calenda, deputy minister for Economic Development, but his trip was canceled following the change of government in the Country. The delegation was finally led by Jilulio Mules, director of Italian Trade Agency in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Italian delegation, which included businesses energy & power, machinery, construction and water treatment areas, had a business dinner at the Hilton on Friday, February 21. The official was scheduled to visit the trade fair on Saturday afternoon. The delegation will hold meetings with the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce & Sectoral Association (ECCSA) and the Ethiopian Investment Agency (EIA) during its stay in Ethiopia.

Business to business discussion and meetings will be part of the Fair, which was opened by Ali Siraj, state minister for Trade.

Eva Cosmotics, an Egyptian company established in 1972 is among the participants. It claims 13 distibutors in Africa for its skin and hair care products.

“The event helps to expand our buisness further,” says Ghada Hussein, the Company’s regional marketing manager. “Based on customer response by the end of this event, we may even  open a  distributing shop in Addis Abeba.”

The event, which  aims to facilitate technology and experience transfer, according to Gashaw Abate, manager of Trade Fair at the Chamber is expecting 4,000 to 6,000 visitors a day.

The organisers are looking forward to even better events in the future. One change is replacing the tents by rubber halls for exhibitors that will hold space out of the halls, according to Getachew Regassa, secretary general of the Addis Abeba Chamber of Commerce & Sectoral Association (AACCSA).

Future events, starting from the next one, could also include, Getachew said, “professionally organized business to business meetings”.


Published on February 23, 2014 [ Vol 14 ,No 721]



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