The Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (PHCCIMMA) has announced that the 2019 edition of the Port Harcourt International Trade Fair would hold at the Obi Wali International Conference Centre, Chief G.U. Ake (Eliozu/Airforce) Road in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital from 6th to 20th December, 2019.
Briefing journalists at the PHCCIMMA Secretariat, ASSOTEl Building, off Garrison Bus-Stop, Port-Harcourt on Thursday, Chairman of the Trade Fair Organizing Committee, Eze (Sir) Mike Elechi, JP, said as prologue to the D-day, the traditional unveiling of the 15th Port Harcourt International Trade Fair would hold on Thursday, November 7, 2019 at the PHCCIMA Secretariat Conference Hall by 11 am.
“The unveiling of our International Trade Fair has become a traditional pre-trade fair activity aimed at informing media houses and the general public about the upcoming programmes, including inherent opportunities that abound in the 2019 Port Harcourt International Trade Fair global platform”, he said.
The Chairman expressed optimism that the 2019 Port Harcourt International Trade Fair would stand out as over 2000 companies in the organized private sector would be participating in the epochal event.
Eze Elechi who is the 1st Deputy President of PHCCIMA charged journalists, as purveyors of information, to give the trade fair the maximum publicity it deserved, stressing that investors were being expected from Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
He revealed that the committee had already interfaced with officials of the South Korean Embassy and the Embassy of Tunisia in Abuja who had given assurance of the participation of companies from their countries.
The Trade Fair Organizing Committee Chairman who was accompanied to the media briefing by Pastor Uche Onochie (Chairman, Publicity Sub-Committee); Dr. Maraizu Uche (Chief Strategist of the Trade Fair); Mrs. Ifeoma Okeke (Member of the Committee) and Mr. Erasmus Chukunda (Director-General, PHCCIMA), appealed to journalists to report the positives that abound in Rivers State to change the negative narratives being bandied by perceived enemies of the State.
He further appealed to journalists to use their various platforms to promote the Fair, adding that the relationship is symbiotic as the success of the Trade Fair will boost investment, provide employment and open up business opportunities for the media through advertisements and commercial news.
“We want the 2019 Port- Harcourt International Trade Fair to change the narrative. The negative narrative about Port- Harcourt being unsafe must be changed; and none would do that better than the media.
“In Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Kaduna to mention this few, kidnappings and all manner of criminalities happen almost on daily basis yet one isolated case in Port-Harcourt is blown beyond proportion. That's why we seek this partnership with the media to change the narrative”, he said, adding that insecurity is part of development.
All principal members of the Organizing Committee, in their separate speeches, lamented the ugly effect which the negative publicity on the State had impacted on the economy and called on the media to reverse the trend.
“This is going to be a different type of Trade Fair. It is International, Regional and State Trade Fair put together. If it leaves Rivers State, it will affect every sector of the economy, including even the media.
“The atmosphere of peace has returned and the business environment has improved. We have higher population, good infrastructure and all these have added to the GDP of the City and the State”, stated PHCCIMA Chief Strategist, Dr. Maraizu Uche.