The national and international trade fair and exhibition, which is organised by the Sierra Leone Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture at the perimeter of the Siaka Stevens Stadium in Freetown, has been extended to April 28, 2019.

A trade fair and exhibition, which is organised each year by the Sierra Leone Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, offers companies and businesses the opportunity to showcase and demonstrate their latest products and services, meet with partners and customers, study activities of rivals, and examine recent market trends and opportunities.

The president of the Sierra Leone Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, Mr Christo Forster told a news conference on Tuesday in Freetown that, the trade fair has been held since 2000, and it an annual event that attracts not only national businesses but also international participants.

“We have always had very large contingent from Ghana and other West African Countries, and I believe last year we had participant from Egypt,” he said.

He said that the trade fair gives local traders, manufacturers, and businesses a good opportunity to showcase their businesses so that the public will know what they are doing, adding that it is a good platform to advertise products and services.

The Chamber President spoke about the African Continental Free Trade Agreement and that the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme, noting that Sierra Leone is now competing not only in ECOWAS region but throughout Africa.
He called on Sierra Leonean businesses to step up their game, be professional, efficient, and to ensure that their products are well packaged. “We must be serious about how we market them and how we conduct our businesses; we most keep proper financial record, we most know how we are doing and we must be professional,” he said. “The trade fair gives opportunity to people to reach that mark. We will continue to host the national and international trade fair every year,” Mr Forster said.

Director General of Local Content Agency, Fodeba Daboh said that their mandate is to put Sierra Leonean businesses first, as it goes beyond just employment of Sierra Leoneans, but also local products. He said that last year, the Ministry of Trade and Industry in collaboration with Ministry of Finance developed a policy that is called Made in Sierra Leone, which is to ensure they put premium on our locally produced goods and services.

He said that it is the priority of government to change the narratives by strengthening our domestic private sector.

“Local content means improving on productivity; ensuring quality standard and management are met because Sierra Leone belongs to international treaties. We don’t have the right as a country to say we don’t want Ghanaians or Ivoirians to display their product,” he said.

He called on Sierra Leoneans to up their game in terms of quality, standard and management. “We don’t compromise that as agency which is working hard to see that Sierra Leone products take center stage,” he said.