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Lagos agog as trade fair kicks off

Nothing is more suggestive of the importance stakeholders in the  nation’s business community, attach to the annual  Lagos International Trade Fair,  than the sudden rise in the  flurry of activities, in the last few days, at Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos, in preparation for this year’s edition.

A brainchild of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), this year’s edition of the Fair, scheduled to hold between Friday 4th and Sunday 13th November, 2016, is expected to  cover all aspects of business and economic activities in Nigeria, while offering unique exposition for manufacturers, suppliers, buyers and users of a wide range of goods and services.

According to the Chamber, besides providing a platform for major businesses to showcase their offerings, one of the highlights of the 2016 edition of the Fair, expected to hold at three different centres, are the opportunities it also holds for small businesses in the country.

Interestingly, one unique feature of this edition, for many people, is the aptness of its theme, Positioning The Nigerian Economy for Diversification and Sustainable Growth.

For instance, the fortune of the nation’s economy has continued to dwindle by the day, a development many economists have attributed to the ‘fading glory’ of crude oil, the sole mainstay of the nation’s economy on the global market, a development that has adversely affected the nation’s foreign exchange earnings.

Not a few therefore believe that no time could be more apt to focus on this issue than now when the nation is looking for ways of diversifying its economy and move away from its mono-product economy.

According to LCCI, the fair, therefore, provides opportunities for various trade groups and professionals to present new products and new ideas.

“Also, our foreign visitors have the privilege of visiting places of interest in the country through our hospitality and tourism programmes. Moreover, eminent dignitaries and decision makers from all over Nigeria will visit the Fair on a daily basis throughout its duration.

“The Fair brings into focus the full potential and business opportunities existing in Nigeria,” the Chamber said.

Interestingly, just like the last edition, this year’s edition would also provide opportunities for those in the nation’s art world to express and experience their passions.

For instance,  the Lagos Creative Fair ‘Eko Akete’ celebrates African creativity of traditional and contemporary (Creative and Performing Art), literary works, fashion, music and Nollywood.

The creative fair, which is  a  ten-day cultural manifestation, will provide  hundreds of performers to set the  Freedom Park aglow with artistic and intellectual offerings, both indigenous and international acts, fused into the biggest and best trade exposition in West and Central Africa

This aspect of the Lagos international Trade Fair will focus on exposing the business side of the Nigerian creative industry and have those in its value chain interface with local and international players and investors.  It is a platform, designed for the teeming population of the creative industry to meet with key decision and policy makers, regulatory agencies, media content buyers, investors and a rare opportunity for partnership using best global practice.

Another major highlight of the Fair is the hosting of an international investment conference. Apart from the need to accentuate the position of the trade fair as the preeminent trade and investment forum in West and Central Africa, the conference will bring together major players in various sectors of the economy, especially the non oil sectors in the spirit of economic diversification and growth sustainability of the Nigerian economy.

“The investment conference is primed to be a prestigious business event which will take the form of series of dialog sessions on various sectors of the economy. These would be facilitated by eminent speakers from the private and public sectors of the economy,” the Chamber stated.

Interestingly, the introduction of a Special Day for corporate organisations,  every day during the ten-day event, is no doubt seen by many as an opportunity for participants to really formally interact with the people at a dedicated place, Focus Centre, created by the organisers.

It provides a unique opportunity for exhibitors  to take the centre stage at the ceremonial arcade of the fair also known.

For a minimum of one hour, organisations can take advantage of the Special Day celebrations to promote their products, services and facilities to their exhibiting and potential clients and customers.

While the whistle is being blown today, Friday, for the commencement of the Fair,  not a few believe that some of the  high points of the  Fair, would be the quality and quantity of those expected major events at the Fair.

What you need to know about 2016  Lagos  International Trade Fair

–    The Focus Centre, provided by LCCI, is where brands and businesses are expected to come and interact with their potential clients, at a fee.

–    The Focus Centre provides opportunity for  televised launchings, promotion of investment opportunities, new products and services.

–    The fair will take place at three distinct venues, which will host different aspects:

–    The main Arena, Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos will hold the general interest / Business consumer fair

–    The Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos will hold the corporate exhibitions and B2B meetings and the International Investment Conference.

–    Prominent Nigerians from both the public and the nation’s private sectors will play key roles at the event.