Far fewer exhibitors attended the annual PPC Botswana Builders Expo this year compared to last year. Only 80 exhibitors participated in this year’s expo compared to last year’s estimated 150. “Yes, we have witnessed a decline in the number of exhibitors this year, but this is mainly due to the difficult year we had last year in this industry,” explained Chris Ernest, the event organizer.
He however pointed out that the introduction of the government’s Economic Stimulus Packaging (ESP) had since helped revive the industry and turned fortunes, something he hopes benefits the expo next year.
“Last year was really a tough for our industry, it is only now that many companies are beginning to get back on their feet again. The ESP helped revive things, and money has started reaching most companies now. We however hope that next year’s event will be bigger and even better, as we have now started to attract interest from several stakeholders, both government and private companies,” he told Gazette Business.
In the three years of the expo’s existence, PPC Cement have been the main sponsors of the event, but this publication understands that the cement producing company is likely to step aside from sponsoring the event going forward.
Ernest however put it this way: “This year is the third year that the expo has been running, and already there are intentions from PPC to continue as our platinum sponsors. But just as we have said earlier, we have now started to attract interest from many none sponsors. The relationship we have with PPC is a year on year contract. The contract is renewed every year, it’s not a tight contract with a certain duration,” he said.
He however said if PPC does not continue sponsoring the event, they could seek other sponsors. “But I do not see PPC stepping aside,” he said, adamantly.
This year’s expo was held under the theme ‘Botswana Construction @50years.’