Maputo International Fair Will Be a Hybrid Model

The 56th edition of this year's Maputo International Fair (FACIM), to be held from August 30 to September 5 this year, will, for the first time, be held on a face-to-face and virtual basis, as a way to prevent the spread of covid-19, as a result of the potential agglomeration of exhibitors and visitors.

The decision was taken by the Government and announced by the Minister of Industry and Trade, Carlos Mesquita, who said that this year's edition could be innovative in the sense that exhibitors and visitors will be able to interact face-to-face and virtually being inside or outside the venue of FACIM located in Ricatla, in the district of Marracuene, Maputo province.

The digital platform that will be made available to the public will allow any exhibitor to commercialize its product in a virtual way. To do so, the exhibitor will only need to purchase space and tickets on the electronic page to be assigned a stand in the (virtual) pavilion of its province.

Then the exhibitor will have to send photos and videos of the products to be exhibited and will be able to follow virtually the usual conferences about business opportunities, investments, and the internationalization of companies.

The tool will make it easier, among other services, for exhibitors who are not physically at Ricatla to know how many companies are participating, how many visitors have accessed their products, and to establish contacts with other national and international exhibitors.

Carlos Mesquita made this announcement during the award ceremony for the best exporter of 2020 and, on the same occasion, made it known that the 56th edition of FACIM, to be held this year, will take place under the theme "Industrialization: Innovation and Diversification of the National Economy".

As for the award-winning companies, Mesquita explained that these are Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that in 2020 exported various products to the markets of South Africa and the United States of America, despite the adversities that the world has been facing due to the adverse effects of covid-19.

He mentioned that the recognition to those companies should serve as an incentive for the persistence that they have been demonstrating to place Mozambican products abroad, even with the challenges in the market.

"Believing that anything is possible, we hope that the businessmen use this edition to establish contacts to exchange experiences considering the period we are in. Therefore, this exercise must be done by scrupulously following the sanitary protocol so that that place is not a focus for the spread of covid-19," he stressed.

For his part, the representative of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Pete Gauthier, said that the country exported last year more than 137 million dollars in products such as seafood, sugarcane, minerals, nuts, among other products, to the American market, through the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) program.

In the same period, according to Pete Gauthier, Mozambique exported to South Africa about 658 million dollars in various products, especially fuel, aluminum, oils and products used in the distillation process.

In the same period, according to Pete Gauthier, Mozambique exported to South Africa about 658 million dollars in various products, especially fuel, aluminum, oils and products used in the distillation process.

The president of the Confederation of Economic Associations (CTA), Agostinho Vuma, said, in turn, that exports have been affected because of the restrictions on economic activities.

Last year, for example, the volume of exports at the national level was 3.58 billion US dollars, corresponding to a decrease of 23 percent compared to 2019.

Even though, according to Vuma, covid-19 was the determining factor for the national economic recession, there are other structural factors that have constrained the competitiveness of companies, namely, deficient information about export markets, difficulties in access to financing, barriers to obtaining certification that enables compliance with international quality standards for products, among others.

"Despite these challenges we want to praise the efforts that the award winners have evidenced to prove that with resilience, reinvention and commitment we can make a difference in a context of adversity."

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