Foreign currency shortage affects Construction Exhibition

The second edition of the 2013 International Construction Exhibition attracted a relatively lower number of participants this year compared to the one held last year.
According to the organizer, Century Promotion Services, shortage of foreign currency harm companies that were interested to participate in this year’s exhibition, as they could not import equipment’s on time. The organizers further said that the dry port congestion also contributed in the low turn-out of companies as they could not collect their equipment on time. This year’s exhibition attracted around 40 participants lower than last year’s event that attracted over 60 companies.
“The construction sector in Ethiopia has been on the rise for a while owing to opportunities brought by favorable environment, the growing demand for construction services and increasing involvement of international companies in mega projects that are being implemented in the country,” said Zewge Jemanhe, General Manager of Century Promotion Service.
It is also expected that the investment the promotion company spent in organizing the exhibition will be well over than what the company will be collecting. “You have to take risks. It shouldn’t always be about making money. We are sure next year will be different,” said the General Manager.
The exhibition that cost over 260,000 birr to organize will have a return of less than 200,000 birr, according to the organizers.
The construction exhibition is mean to be an international event but it has not yet been able to get participation from international companies.
“It goes back to what I said before;foreign companies want to import different machineries. They always ask us for details regarding customs and other information. Most companies shy away from participating because of tax related issues, if they pay tax for the machineries and try to sell it here, it would be too expensive and no one would buy it. However there are some agents that are participating in the exhibition representing foreign companies,” said Zewge.
The general manager also stated that there will definitely be foreign companies’ participation in the next year’s exhibition to be held in January 2014.The exhibition that was opened on Wednesday 23rd will close today and attracted a daily visitor of 5,000 people.