Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt
The Port Harcourt Chambers of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture (PHCCIMA), has fixed December 6, 2023, for the commencement of its 17th Port Harcourt International Trade Fair in Rivers State.
The President of PHCCIMA, Mr. Mike Elechi, disclosed this in Port Harcourt during the unveiling of the fair and launch of the Rivers State Government/ PHCCIMA Small and Medium Scale Enterprises Database Project.
Elechi said that the fair is expected to attract millions of vendors from both local and foreign agencies, adding that it would attract foreign investors to the state and also show to the world that Rivers State is safe for investment.
“It is a time to showcase what we are doing, each and every one of us, whatever we do and we are not selling it, and then we are not doing anything.”
“It’s a time to network for foreign investors to come, big business people to come and see all the goods and services that come from Rivers State including the crafts, the businesses, the agricultural products and others.
“The economic importance of this fair is very enormous. It is an international trade fair, which means you are bringing people from foreign nations and international embassies to come and participate.
“Another economic importance is that investors would come in at that period to identify things they can trade in, that was why we say that it involves all the local governments because there are lots of small cottage industries and other things lying waste in the local governments and we are expecting at least one million vendors in this year’s fair,” Elechi explained.
He explained that the SMEs Database Project is to help to factor small scale business into the business plans of the Rivers State Government.
He said: “If you listened to Governor Siminalayi Fubara’s address in May, you would see that he promised to work with private sector to see how he can help small businesses to grow, to see how he can drive the economy through small business people and that’s exactly what we have done here.
“We have come to a stage where we try to form a database because before you get these SMEs you must also collate them and profile them and that’s what we are trying to use our own business acumen to do through the ministries because it’s only from us the state can have these SMEs.”
Elechi also encouraged small scale businesses to take advantage of the project and get their businesses registered and captured to enable them to benefit from government business incentives.