All over the world, Exhibitions and Trade shows contribute significantly to the growth of various business sectors.
According to experts, the more global a business sector, the more important the role of trade shows in introducing vendors to potential buyers and ensuring that industry players maintain contact with industry developments.
During these exhibitions which provide a highly cost-efficient environment for very senior management of different organisations to meet and interact, partnership deals are discussed, business relationships strengthened, and new business opportunities identified.
In addition, exhibitions open up employment opportunities in event organising companies, event venues, hotels and associated organisations.
Having been successfully executed in the last three years since it made its debut in 2011, Foodbext West Africa, a B2-B, specialised exhibition for companies and entrepreneurs in the food and beverage industry across West Africa, has continued to grow in profile as the largest event for food and beverage products in the African sub-region.
The platform has contributed to the development of local food/beverage processing, packaging, foreign direct investments and agricultural productivity, which has in turn reduced dependence on imports within the ECOWAS regional block.
As a matter of fact, Foodbext West Africa, in some way has created new benchmarks for the industry, helped in improving food/beverage business best practices, contributed in boosting agricultural productivity and continues to help in preparing companies for intra and inter-regional market competitiveness.
Interestingly, the organisers of the exhibition, 151 Products Ltd, have also been able to pull the event alongside another of their exhibition platform tagged ‘Agrikexpo’, which unarguably has become one of the top notch Agric Exhibitions in West Africa.
According to the organisers, the reason for the collocation is to emphasise the direct relationship between primary agric production and value addition via processing/packaging.
Speaking just before the 2014 edition of the exhibition, Ugo Nwabuisi, Managing Director, 151 Products Ltd, emphasised that the creation of healthy rivalry between brands will eventually lead to localisation of production plants, and by extension lead to more jobs.
According to him, the events provide ready market for farm produce, which are principal raw materials for packaged foods/beverages. “As a matter of fact, Agrikexpo and Foodbext are both commended in all circles because of the need for business networking between entrepreneurs in the sector, especially as regards the promotion of their businesses. Several states agric development programmes (ADPs) have taken advantage of the event to invite foreign investors to their states for direct partnerships in agric development,” he said.
As preparations for the 2015 edition progresses, it is anticipated that the number of professional trade visitors for the 3-day event will double, when compared to the figures recorded in previous editions. This is given that the recent rebasing of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which makes Nigeria the largest economy in Africa, has continued to generate interest from investors across the globe who would like to take advantage of the huge benefits offered by Africa’s biggest economy.
Moreso, Nigeria’s classification by Ernst and Young, a multinational professional services firm headquartered in London, United Kingdom, as one of the top three economies in Africa to invest in, further gives her the much needed credibility investors seek for.