Exhibitors at the 43rd Kaduna International Trade Fair on Sunday expressed hope that the fair would be fruitful in spite of economic challenges.
Exhibitors who spoke at the Trade Fair Complex also expressed confidence that they would enter into fresh and profitable business deals and partnerships.
One of them, Mr Fasal Ghaffar, salesman for WELCO Industries, Pakistan, said that he had been attending the trade fair in the last five years, selling cooking pots and other kitchen wares.
Ghaffar said that earlier editions of the fair had been very impressive as they drew huge crowds and good business deals.
He noted that while the on-going 43rd edition took place at a time when Nigeria’s economy was facing serious challenges; there were prospects for good business deals.
“I come here every year to sell different cooking pots, unbreakable plates, vegetable cutters, and all kinds of kitchen wares. Previous editions had been very good.
“This year, the economy is down. There is insecurity in some parts of the country and in Kaduna State in particular. Notwithstanding these, we are still optimistic that we will make some good returns,’’ he said.
Another exhibitor, Mr Ali Hassan, an Egyptian, said he had been attending the Kaduna International Trade Fair for many years, but was not able to make the 42nd edition because of COVID-19.
Hassan said while there might not be many exhibitors in 2022, he was hopeful of making sales and creating new contacts for future business deals.
“If I did not sell all my goods, I will keep them till next year,” he said.
Similarly, Mr Musa Usman, Marketing Manager, Springfield Agro, dealers in Mahindra Tractors from India, said that this was the third time the company was participating in the fair.
Usman said the fair was not as crowded as previous editions when on the second day, the whole complex was be filled with people.
He pointed out that the purpose of the fair was not to make instant sales, but to get contacts, build business partnerships, and create new business networks and collaborations.
He said that the company’s participation in the previous editions of the fair was satisfactory because the new contacts followed up and made purchases of tractors and other farm tools.
He said that there was low turnout of exhibitors and people in the 42nd edition due to COVID-19, but expressed hope that the 2022 43rd edition would be different.
“I am expecting more people because COVID-19 is being brought under control and security has significantly improved,’’ he said.
Alhaji Suleiman Aliyu, President, Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture, organisers of the fair also noted that attendance was low compared to previous editions.
Aliyu attributed the development to COVID-19 travel restrictions and advisories coupled with the unfortunate incidences of banditry.
He, nevertheless, said that as many as 30 companies from different countries would attend the trade fair.