Malawiâ€™s Ministry of Trade and Industry says it will come up with promotional messages to sensitise Malawians on the seriousness of trade fairs.
The ministryâ€™s remarks come after some companies complained that many foreign exhibitors participate in trade fairs to sell their products and not necessarily to establish partnerships with local companies.
The ministryâ€™s spokesperson Wisikesi Nkombezi admitted that some foreign companies sell their products during international trade fairs instead of establishing potential markets.
But he added that local companies are also to blame since they are not interested in establishing partnerships.
“Once the foreign companies showcase their products and see that there is immediate market, they do not want to take them back home. As for us, [Malawians], we just go to the trade fair to see things instead of hammering partnerships. Government encourages Public Private Partnerships.
“We are looking at possibilities to start sending messages of what we expect to be done during trade fairs. We will come up with promotion messages to tell people that trade fair is about serious issues where people hammer partnerships not just going there to dance and see things,” said Nkombezi.
One of the local companies that participated in the just-ended 24th international trade fair called on government to intervene on the matter so that foreign companies showcase their products with the aim of becoming potential buyers of Malawiâ€™s products.
The company observed that the tendency by the foreign companies to sell their products right at the trade fair defeats the essence of trade fair.
“Most of those that come for the trade fair are exporters and they come and sell their products instead of being potential buyers of Malawiâ€™s products. They can also get potential buyers of their products from Malawi. That is what trade fair is all about. The Ministry of Trade and Industry should look into this otherwise trade fair is losing focus,” sales and marketing manager of the company said.
Commenting on the business environment prevailing in Malawi now, the manager said people are now free to trade.
“Towards the last days of the old regime, people hoarded their money but now business is coming back to normal. I hope this business environment will continue,” he said.