From Odogwu Emeka Odogwu, and Cynthia Chidimma Igbokwe, Awka
The Chuba Ikpeazu stadium, Awka Road, Onitsha, the commercial hub of Anambra state, will play host to notable manufacturers, traders, industry players and members of the public in this year’s Anambra 2018 International Trade Fair.
The fair scheduled to begin on November 26 and end on December 11, will be declared open by the Anambra state Governor Willie Obiano.
The trade fair is jointly organized by Association of Anambra Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (AACCIMA) comprising of three city chambers of Onitsha, Nnewi, and Awka.
According to the organizers, the theme of this year’s fair is “Promoting economic development through manufacturing, trade and agriculture.”
The Chairman of the Organizing Committee, Sir Chris Ukachukwu, told journalists that the upcoming trade fair in Anambra state had become an annual congregation of business giants, agricultural experts, inventors, investors, and key manufacturers.
He said that the 2018 fair would surpass the two previous editions held in the state.
Ukachukwu further said that this year’s fair would be the biggest commercial event in the South-East, noting that Anambra state government and its ministries, departments and agencies, MDAs had endorsed the trade fair due to the economic advantages accruable to the state.
He said: ‘‘Local and foreign investors, trade groups manufacturers, multinationals companies, financial institutions, entrepreneurs, inventors and MDAs have all indicated interest to participate in this trade fair.
“Just like you have popular annual Canton Fair in China which has transformed to a global event, and a must-attend summit, this trade fair seeks to formally institute an annual global meeting and an international commercial platform in Anambra state.
“We are already partnering with trade missions, embassies and multinational companies to be part of this event and the responses have been overwhelming.
“So we seek to present a very strong platform for global and local businesses to exhibit their products and services to a global market thereby presenting a huge opportunity for business visibility and international patronage.
‘There shall be specialty exhibitions, displays, entertainment from the creative arts and industry. Prices of products and services shall crash and an atmosphere of festivity and fun shall be created. It shall be a precursor to Christmas festivities as it presents a great platform for people to make Christmas purchases.
‘High level of security is guaranteed as close-circuit television (CCTV) shall be installed to monitor the activities of visitors at the fair ground and beyond.
“Fire- fighting equipment shall be installed in strategic points. There is adequate medical facilities respond to any medical challenges swiftly.
There shall be networking and establishment of relationships, forging of partnership and closure of new deals, exchange of information and knowledge in global best practices and creative ways of conducting businesses.
“Diverse and various products shall be exhibited and sold at the fair. New products shall be launched and old products shall be repackaged.
“This Trade Fair will create jobs directly and indirectly; create new customers, create new opportunities and also create a more intense competitive environment that will lead to excellence in products and services delivery.”
He described Anambra state as a critical economic hub in West Africa, adding that the trade fair seeks to stimulate a high dimension economic growth that will improve the disposable income of residents, showcase the entrepreneurial resourcefulness of Anambra state and bring about a radical transformation of the state’s economy.
Unveiling the prospectus for the Anambra 2018 International Trade Fair, the Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs, Culture and Tourism Mrs. Sally Mbanefo, said the state government has recognized the importance of trade fair as key factor in transforming all sectors of the state economy.
According to Mrs. Mbanefo, there is need for the committee to extend its reach to Ndi Igbo in diaspora as according to her, every Igbo man is known for his activeness in any part of the world economy.
He promised that through her ministry, Ndi Anambra in Diaspora will remain connected with the cultural and home-made products the state is known for.
She called on all illustrious sons of the state to key into the “Aku lue Uno” concept of the Governor Willie Obiano-led administration to bring their investment and intellectual achievements home.
The Commissioner for Agriculture, Mechanization, Processing and Export, Mr. Afam Mbanefo, and his Trade and Commerce counterpart Mr. Christian Mmadubuko, represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Daniel Okolie, noted that the ministries have commenced plans towards building permanent center for the Anambra Trade Fair.
Others in attendance included the Managing Director of Anambra State Small Business Agency ASBA, Chief Clement Chukwuka, and the President South-East Manufacturers Association of Nigeria Chief Azubuike Okafor.