Blantyre — Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) has expressed satisfaction with the 31st International Trade Fair which took place in Blantyre despite the volatile political situation in the country.
Speaking in an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana) on Thursday, Head of Communications at MCCCI, Millie Kasunda said despite the low turnout of exhibitors in this year's trade fair, the institution met its objectives.
"Political and economic factors are the main issues that have contributed to low turnout of patrons to this year's trade fair.
"As MCCCI, we have managed to meet some of the objectives that are required, such as building linkages between different businesses to create viable partnerships," said Kasunda.
She added that MCCCI is going to submit questionnaires to the exhibitors to obtain feedback from them, saying such information would help them to improve on some areas.
However, Kasunda agreed with complaints raised by some exhibitors that business was very slow.
Speaking on the same, one of the exhibitors, Tissa Kapasa, who was selling second hand clothes during the trade fair said this year's has never been successful compared to the past ones, saying the trade fair was marred by a number of obstacles.
"This year's business has been very slow due to the challenges that the country is facing, the unstable fixed dates for the trade fair has also contributed to the low turnout.
"For example, this year the international trade fair was supposed to be held in May, but it has been held in August and students have gone on holidays.
"This has also affected my business because they are the ones who also buy the clothes," said Kapasa.
She added that the post electoral demonstrations that have been happening across the country, especially on Tuesdays and Thursdays also affected her business.
Another exhibitor who expressed dissatisfaction with the patronage, Dickson Kamesa said in this year's trade fair the outcome was very slow as compared to last year's.
This year's trade fair attracted 187 local exhibitors and two foreign exhibitors while last year, 224 local exhibitors and 13 foreign exhibitors participated, according to MCCCI officials.