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Keetmanshoop expo to boost growth of SMEs and local economy

//Kharas governor Aletha Frederick says trade exhibitions are the most effective means of fostering growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs), as well as local economies.

Fredericks was speaking at a fundraising gala dinner and the launch of the tourism expo website, hosted in preparation of the Keetmanshoop Agricultural and Industrial Trade Expo, at Keetmanshoop on Friday, where close to N$200 000 was raised.

The trade expo is expected to provide an opportunity for businesses to showcase their services and products, as well as offer stakeholders a platform to network and learn about modern agriculture and industrial practices.

“In order to achieve economic growth, job creation, accelerating business development and expansion, and fostering entrepreneurship within our economy, the government is duty-bound to support these regional economic activities and initiatives since they facilitate the development of business relationships and links between buyers, sellers and producers.

“Therefore, this initiative requires support of all key sectors, including all government institutions and agencies, and in particular the trade, agriculture, environment and health ministries, as well as regional and local government structures and all corporate businesses in Namibia and outside the borders of Namibia,” said Fredericks.

Fredericks said the dedication to the growth of the SME sector and trade stems from the conviction that SMEs are significant generators of long-term job creation and are, thus, essential to the success of an enterprise economy.

She noted that the industries of tourism, agriculture, and commerce are well positioned to promote the expansion of local SMEs and hold the promise of providing young people with much-needed employment opportunities, besides opportunities envisioned with green hydrogen and oil and gas industry developments.

Fredericks said they put together and completed a joint travel guide as part of an agreement with South Africa’s Northern Cape Province to promote tourism attractions, particularly in the two southern regions of Hardap and //Kharas, with the aid of the regional office of the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism.

“Hence, the next expo is the perfect venue for displaying this booklet and fostering industry growth,” said Fredericks.

“I would like to implore the corporate and business fraternity to support the Keetmanshoop Agricultural and Industrial Tourism Expo to raise sufficient funds, and to acquire much-needed resources so that we can once again have a memorable expo,” said the governor.

At the occasion, //Kharas Regional Council acting chief regional officer Bennie Diergaard was announced as the patron of the Keetmanshoop Agricultural and Industrial Trade Expo.

“It gives me great pleasure to accept this role to mobilise resources for this important business stimulator. Expos are very close to my heart as I believe this is a perfect vehicle that can promote our town, the region and our country,” Diergaardt said.

The Keetmanshoop Agricultural and Industrial Trade Expo is expected to be held from 31 October to 4 November, and will be held under the theme: ‘Unlocking Economical Opportunities through Trade’.