Sep 26, 2014, 10:56 AM
This was disclosed by the Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) at a launching event held yesterday at the GCCI headquarters in Kerr Serign.
This is the first time the GCCI has organised its grand international trade fair twice in a year, having already organised one in March. This development, according to GCCI Chief Executive Officer Alieu Secka, has been undertaken due to the demands of the trade fair participants.
In his remarks, CEO Secka said: “The idea was to change the usual date for the trade fair from March to December, meaning the next trade fair would have taken place in December 2016. But having consulted the vendors and businesses, we will now hold a second trade fair this year to coincide with Christmas and the New Year.”
The end-of-year trade fair is expected to be more successful than the one held in March, which, according to a report by GCCI’s Senior Business Development Officer, Baboucarr Saho, was a record breaking event.
In his report, Mr Saho stated that “the March 2015 trade fair attracted 40,000 visits, an increase of 5% from the previous year and the highest ever on record”.
The report also stated that 55% of the visitors were female and that sales on fashion products were the highest at the trade fair.
The GCCI trade fairs have helped to boost the growth and expansion of various businesses and enterprises in the country, and organisers hope that the upcoming trade fair will go a long way in achieving GCCI’s 2015 theme and aim of “Supporting Sustainable Enterprises”.
In his launching statement, Fady Hocheimy, Chairman of the Trade Fair Committee, called on members of the private sector in The Gambia to join the chamber.
He said the benefits of being a member of GCCI are immense, making reference to many, including himself and his business LG Electronics, who have gained a lot from being a member of the chamber.
In almost all events and business promotion activities by the chamber, those who are members are given greater opportunities to benefit from business growth and expansion initiatives generated or attracted by the GCCI, he said.
In his launching statement, Mr Hocheimy urged economic operators/members of the private sector to register and make payment on time in order to secure stalls of their choice.
This time around it is not necessarily ‘first come first served, but first paid first chosen’ for a vantage stall or place at the trade fair grounds, he told members of the private sector as regards the forthcoming trade fair.
The GCCI also announced that it will be organising a Tobaski Sales Week in partnership with Mall of Gambia.
The event will take place one week before Tobaski at the Mall of Gambia in Bakoteh.
GCCI board member Sulayman Joof shed light on the upcoming event, saying: “The ultimate aim of the Tobaski Sales Week is to bring Gambian businesses on board to showcase their products and services to the general public.”
He added: “There are fifty stalls readily available for interested vendors and businesses, and we urge them to seize this opportunity to make sales during the Tobaski.”
Mall of Gambia Admin Manager Lansana Sesay, who spoke on the services and facilities of the mall, said they are out to promote various businesses in The Gambia.
Electricity supply at the mall is always 24/7 made certain by the availability of a giant standby generator, Mr Sesay said, adding that security is always assured in addition to the high quality CCTV cameras well positioned to capture unseen thievery and unsuspected thieves.
“Excellent customer service is uppermost at Mall of Gambia,” Mr Sesay added, whilst inviting all and sundry to visit the mall always to get quality and affordable goods, especially during the special Tobaski Sales Week organised by both the mall and GCCI to run from 15 to 22 September this year.
The occasion was moderated by GCCI’s Director of Corporate Services, Mrs Beatrice Mboge.