Making an Expo internationally attractive

This is the third year that the Swakopmund International Trade Expo (SWAITEX) will be held in the coastal town, both to showcase and to attract investment. Partnering again with the Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI), the organisers plan to make this year’s Expo bigger and better.

The NCCI recognized that Swakopmund as a big town, an international tourism hotspot, a mining and logistics hub, should play a more crucial role in promoting economic activities within the town and the Erongo region at large. “SWAITEX is very much us delivering what was missing all along in this city,” said Heinrich Hafeni, Chairperson of the NCCI in Swakopmund.
Hafeni announced that two years ago they had an idea as the board, and that idea was to create an expo for their members so that they have a platform to showcase and display their products and at the same time network with other industries. “Our first expos was called NCCI Swakopmund Expo and we had over 40 exhibitors, mostly small traders and two banks,” he said. He explained that the following year they decided to go bigger and with the help of the NCCI head office, who helped them to craft a professional document that is internationally focused, they than renamed it to SWAITEX. “A project fully endorsed by the NCCI national leadership, and therefore our exhibitors last year were 120 and mainly we had international mining companies, government agencies and banks such as First National Bank, the Development Bank of Namibia and Standard Bank. This year we are looking at 170 stalls, and the venue will be the Swakopmund Dome,” he added.
He said that it has not been easy because the first year they faced a tough time trying to sell the idea. However, because they are passionate and believe in building long-term relationships, they remained positive irrespective of the factors that may discourage them.
He added that as a Chamber their mandate is to create platforms and events that are beneficial to their members and the business community. “Over the last four years, the NCCI leadership scanned through its past activities and we found that for us to increase our membership we need to deliver big creations if we are to be taken seriously as a chamber.”
“The SWAITEX will be held from 7 to 10 October 2015 and this year we have added one extra day,” he concluded.
While exhibitors will be able to share information with the attendees, they will also be able to absorb information through conferences in auxiliary conference sessions.