Businesses and other stakeholders shunned this year’s third Mzuzu Trade Fair organised by Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI).
The event, which ran for three days, had 16 pavilions most of which were displays of agriculture services.
The fair started on Friday and ended on Sunday.
In an interview, guest of honour at the event, Mzuzu University (Mzuni) deputy vice-chancellor Fred Msiska could not hide his disappointment at the low turnout.
He blamed the private sector lobby group for not publicising the event.
“There was muted advertisement from MCCCI. There are lots of businesses here in Mzuzu and if MCCCI had contacted them in good time, there would have been many exhibitors,” said Msiska.
He said MCCCI only targeted 16 exhibitors that showcased their goods and services.
Msiska, however, appealed to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the region to take advantage of the trade affairs to build their business partnerships.
In an interview, MCCCI spokesperson Millie Kasunda acknowledged the low turnout, but said the fair achieved its objectives.
“Our objective was to create a platform for small scale businesses to link with larger ones and that was achieved,” she said.
But Kasunda said MCCCI will improve its publicity in the future to reach out to more businesses and people.
“It might be possible that those who are complaining of poor publicity did not access the channels that we used. There is still room to improve on that in future,” she said.
This was the third trade fair to be held in Mzuzu organised by MCCCI.
The fair, according to MCCCI, was organised to champion business development and promote trade between large corporates and SMEs. n