Local Banks have failed to pitch up for the ‘Made in Namibia Expo’ despite being invited to the event which was held at the Windhoek Country Club Resort and Casino recently.
This was revealed by the Deputy Minister of Ministry and Trade, Tjekero Tweya who said of more than 200 exhibitors at the expo there was only one bank, the SME Bank.
“There was no vivid participation of banks despite the expo being a forum where the banks could have understood the need of their customers. They also missed out on what specific services their clients’ need,” he said.
Tweya further lamented the fact that the absent financial institutions were not present to access the new markets that were created by the exhibitors.
“Forty nine percent of all the Made in Namibia Expo exhibitors created new market linkages, (and) I hope in the future they (banks) will see the expo as an opportunity to increase their loan books,” Tweya said.
Some exhibitors felt that the reason why the banks were not present at the ‘Made in Namibia Expo’ is because most of the banks are not locally owned.
Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry Manager Member Services and Company Secretary, Charity Mwiya told The Villager that, “Although the banks were invited, only one was in attendance and as far as I am concerned they haven’t given any reason as to why they did not attend the expo”.
Namibia Manufacturing Association Chief Executive Officer, Ronnie Varkevisser whose organisation is also a stakeholder questioned the snub.
“We know that there is room for improvement and we are going to review that but we cannot underestimate the value of this expo,” he said.
The Chief Executive Officer of Team Namibia, Daisry Mathias expressed her gratitude to the Ministry of Trade and Industry for supporting the event.
“It is very encouraging to see that there is a political will and we thank the Ministry of Trade for being the driving force for such initiative. Team Namibia’s job is to inspire consumers inside and outside Namibia through promotion. We then proposed for several things to be included at the next expo. We proposed for the improvement of networking format as well for the information to be clearer among others,” she said.
The “Made in Namibia Expo” which is aimed at exposing locally manufactured products to local consumers attracted 722 visitors for over two days.
Out of the 230 exhibitors that confirmed their attendance, only 194 showed up at the expo. The most represented sectors were textile and textile products with 39 exhibitors followed by wood and wood products sector, foods products and beverages tied on 21 exhibitors each. The thirdly place was clinched by sectors that were classified as other with 18 exhibitors. Jewelry was the least represented sector.
“Overall, 53% of exhibitors were satisfied with their participation at the show and 86% of all the Made in Namibia Expo exhibitors expressed their interest to participate in the next edition of the expo,” said Tweya.
Chairman of the Bankers Association of Namibia, Ian Leyenaar told The Villager on enquiry that the participation of financial institutions in various trade expos is the prerogative of the respective institutions.
“The banks can’t participate in every expo,” Leyenaar said.