Eswatini International Trade Fair 2024 Targets Half a Million Visitors

By Phiwa Sikhondze

The Eswatini International Trade Fair (EITF) 2024 has set an ambitious goal of attracting over half a million visitors.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Commerce, Industry & Trade, Manqoba Khumalo when officially launching this year’s edition.

The event, which has been a significant part of Eswatini’s economic landscape since 1968, has evolved into the nation’s premium business networking platform. This year’s edition of the EITF is particularly notable for its focus on digitization, with the introduction of the EITF App, which is expected to streamline operations and enhance the experience for exhibitors and visitors alike. The move towards digital integration reflects the broader changes in the business environment brought about by the 4th Industrial Revolution.

The EITF 2024 is themed “Accelerating Business Growth through Digital Transformation,” highlighting the importance of digital technologies in creating efficiencies and enhancing sustainable business practices.

The event is also aligned with Eswatini’s e-Government initiatives and the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), aiming to propel local businesses into intra-African trade and sustainable economic growth.

Eswatini Investment Promotion Authority (EIPA) CEO, Sibani Mngomezulu, expressed gratitude for the support that made the launch possible, particularly acknowledging the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade.

He emphasized the importance of digitization, highlighting the 4th Industrial Revolution’s influence on business practices.

“We need to find ways of incorporating the benefits of technology into our daily operations and strategies. The EITF has begun the first stages of digitization this year through the launch of the new EITF App. This app mirrors a move towards technological efficiencies in EITF operations while also providing value to our exhibitors and visitors,” Mngomezulu noted.

The Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade, Manqoba Khumalo, highlighted the fair’s substantial impact on the local economy, projecting millions in economic benefits through direct and indirect activities.

“The EITF has become Eswatini’s premium business networking event, with over 250 exhibitors and vendors showcasing their goods and services for 10 days. This year, we anticipate welcoming over 500,000 visitors, injecting millions into our economy through direct and indirect economic activity. Moreover, we estimate that the EITF will create potential trade opportunities worth E150 million during and after the event. These numbers demonstrate the immense impact that the EITF has on our nation’s economy and the potential it holds for our businesses,” he stated.

The new tagline, “CONNECT | CREATE | GROW,” encapsulates the fair’s mission to foster dynamic interactions, innovation, and business growth. Minister Khumalo urged businesses to seize the opportunities presented by the fair, emphasizing the importance of digital technologies in advancing local enterprises and enhancing intra-African trade.

Partnerships are crucial to the success of the EITF. The launch recognized key partners such as Jenny Internet and First National Bank (FNB), whose contributions enrich the trade fair experience. The Minister also invited further collaborations, highlighting the significance of innovative sponsorships and participation.

As the preparations for the EITF 2024 continue, the event promises to be a transformative platform for business networking and economic development in Eswatini. With its strategic focus on digital transformation and robust business opportunities, the EITF 2024 is set to make a significant impact on the nation’s economic landscape.

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