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Mozambique’s Minister of Industry and Trade, Ragendra de Sousa, claimed that the 54th edition of the Maputo International Trade Fair (FACIM), which closed on Sunday was a great success – even though the number of exhibitors and of visitors was much lower than initially forecast.
Speaking to reporters on the final day, Sousa stressed the technological innovations on display, and claimed “in an overall assessment, we can say that this Fair was a success which surpassed expectations”.
“This Fair brought innovations”, he said. “Innovation by small and medium enterprises was particularly noteworthy. In many companies, young entrepreneurs are providing leadership. Agricultural potential is well represented”.
But he could hardly fail to notice that many companies simply did not show up. This was particularly the case with the tourism sector. “This sector could have taken much greater advantage of the Fair, but that wasn’t what happened”, he admitted.
He said that the economic problems facing many businesses might have deterred their attendance – though he also stressed that Mozambique is resuming a path of economic growth.
In fact, many of the figures for this year’s FACIM are disappointing. The organisers, the government’s Investment and Export Promotion Agency (APIEX), had expected 95,000 people to visit the fair – but in reality only 40,000 did so. FACIM is now located in Marracuene district, 30 kilometres north of the capital, and is clearly not seen as a major attraction by most residents of Maputo.
24 countries took part in the Fair, although the initial forecast was 28. The number of individual foreign companies participating was 222, only a third of what had been expected. The organisers expected 1,500 Mozambican companies to exhibit their wares, but only 1,386 did so.
APIEX played down these figures, and in contacts with reporters stressed the positive aspects of the Fair, such as technological innovations and the contacts made between Mozambican and foreign companies.
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