WALVIS BAY: The 2012 Namport Erongo Business and Tourism Expo was officially launched by the Governor of the Erongo Region, Cleophas Mutjavikua here on Wednesday.
The expo, formerly known as the Erongo Expo, will take place at the harbour town from 30 October until 03 November.
The event, which will include the Standard Bank Motor Show and, for the first time, exhibitors from the tourism sector, is expected to draw at least 15 000 visitors.
Speaking during the launching ceremony on Wednesday, Mutjavikua explained that the region has always been known as the tourism hub of the country and said it has been a major contributor to Namibia’s national economic growth.
“It is against this background that the expo is regarded as a strong marketing tool for showcasing the immense business and investment opportunities which exist in the Erongo Region,” he said.
The governor further explained that the change in name from the Erongo Expo to the Namport Erongo Business and Tourism Expo positions the event as a business trade fair, as opposed to just an ordinary trade fair.
This could lead to the injection of national and international investments which will encourage public and private partnerships in investment, he added.
Mutjavikua emphasised that business expos are an important weapon in the marketing arsenal of a country as it promotes the region and the different business and investment offerings to a wide array of investors.
In addition, the business expo can also play a crucial role in the repositioning of existing businesses and industries and create new opportunities for growth through interactions between the exhibitors.
He went on to say that at this year’s expo, the public can expect to see a more focused, yet diversified, exhibitor base.
“This year’s expo fits well within the Erongo Region’s economic development plan which aims to promote investment in the region, support growth of small and medium enterprise SMEdevelopment and ultimately, ensure that the people of the region have a direct benefit from the business opportunities that the region has to offer,” he said.
The Namibian Port Authority Namportand Standard Bank Namibia are the main sponsors of the expo.
The expo has shown tremendous growth since its inception in 2004, with the number of exhibitors increasing from 15 in that year to more than 200 exhibitors last year.