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Taking Advantage Of Trade Fairs Now

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A review of financial results of leading companies on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, for the first quarter ended March 11, 2018 showed a poor beginning to the year. Growth in revenue and Profit Before Tax, PBT, was reportedly muted in almost all the major sectors, including the bellwethers comprising banking, consumer goods and industrial goods sectors. The consumer goods sector, especially had an uninspiring quarter as both revenue and the PBT were negative.

This poses a great challenge to companies to buckle up as they struggle in the days ahead to better their current profit level and remain in business. One of the ways to achieve their profit goals this year is to take advantage of the upcoming  Trade fairs in Lagos. Trade Fair is an exhibition organized so that companies in a specific industry can showcase and demonstrate their latest products and services with industry partners and customers.

It provides a forum for companies to study the activities of their rivals and examine recent market trends. There would be about 15 Trade Fairs in Lagos from May this year to February 2019 covering food, building, construction, cosmetics, fashion, chemicals and technological products, Nigeria’s biggest pregnancy and parenting exhibition namely Mother and Child Expo would hold in June 2018 at Haven Event Centre in Lagos.

In October the cosmetics industry, chemicals and cleaning products industry,  would hold a fair for their goods. The Muson Centre would host within the month an exhibition for Technological Innovation for Agricultural Development. There would also be a Community Food and Drinks exhibition namely FESTAC Food Fair.

Then,  the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry would as usual stage the Lagos International Trade Fair  with the support and cooperation of the federal and state governments. It covers all aspects of business and economical activities in Nigeria. Exhibiting at these Fairs can be a great way for Nigerian companies to expand their brand’s national and global footprints.

Already the international community is gearing up for the World Expo in 2025. On November 22, 2016, France became the first country to submit its bid to the Bureau of International des Exhibitions (BIE)  to host the world Expo in 2025. The first submission launched the bidding for the EXPO. Three other countries that are bidding to host Expo 2025 are Japan in Osaka, the Russian Federation in Ekaterinburg; and Azerbaijan in Baku. All other countries wishing to organise World EXPO 2025 had until May 22, 2017 to submit their own bids after which the project examination phase started. The host is scheduled to be announced in November 2018.

The 170 member states of the BIE will in November 2018 elect the host country at the 164th General Assembly of BIE known officially as Internally Registered. On April 17, 2018, Denis Manturov of the Russian Federation at Expo 2025 presentation reportedly said; “The event budget is balanced and guaranteed”.  At the visit of the Enquiry of the BIE to Russia, the country’s Ministry of Industry and Trade presented a report on the Economic Feasibility of the Russia bid for Expo 2025.

Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada affirmed the importance of Trade Fair to the image of a country when it is staged at the global level. He   pointed out that the World EXPO is a powerful tool to reinforce a country’s economic strength and an unparalled stage to their story and leadership to the world. ‘It can analyze an important urban renewal project, give a multibillion dollar economic boost, and create tens of thousands of jobs”.

The same way would Nigerian firms’ active participation in trade fairs at this time of economic downturn not only help in marketing more of their products but motivate them to produce better and marketable products, creating    more jobs and prosperity for all.

–Yerima is a public policy analyst   



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