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EIPA’S OPPORTUNITY FOR HANDICRAFT RETAILERS, ARTISANS

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MBABANE - Eswatini Investment Promotion Authority (EIPA) will host a Handicraft Fair on BuyEswatini.com this coming Friday.

BuyEswatini.com is EIPA’s online shopping mall and online exhibition venue. The event, which will run for 21 days, is aimed at local handicraft retailers. It will be hosted in order to allow local handcraft businesses a platform to showcase their unique products to potential customers. The handicraft fair will open with a free webinar on Friday, which will host a series of speakers who will launch the official proceedings of the fair. Industry experts from the private and public sector will form part of the programme including speakers from the Ministry of Commerce Industry and Trade; a representative from the Swaziland Fair Trade (SWIFT) and other relevant organisations including EIPA. Each of these speakers will give perspective on how local handcraft stores of any size can increase capacity; find new markets; and create sustainable long term partnerships, while also giving an overview of the industry’s performance in current market conditions. Retailers are encouraged to register for the exhibition by contacting trade@sipa.org.sz. The free Handicraft Fair webinar will also be live on Zoom. The log in ID is 894 5595 1192 while the passcode is 552168.  “The Handicraft Fair forms part of the Eswatini Virtual Trade Fair (EVTF) which was launched in late 2020.

Digital

“The EVTF was set up in response to the need for safe digital spaces to host events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while also allowing local industry, such as the handicraft industry in this case, to continue showcasing their capability despite limitations on physical exhibitions,” said Bongani Ntshangase, who is Head of Trade at EIPA. As one of Eswatini’s leading export goods through tourism, the handicraft industry was largely sustained by tourists coming into the country and buying wares which they would then take back to their homes.

In recent months, however, with the imposed travel restrictions many businesses have taken a hard hit. The Handicraft Fair is an attempt to give these retailers support to continue displaying their goods to an international market despite the sharp decrease in international visitors to the country, while also offering them the permanent benefit that they can get from registering their goods on BuyEswatini.com. The Eswatini Virtual Trade Fair offers exhibitors the benefit of a virtual 3D exhibition booth, product activations and demos, on demand video and file uploads/ downloads and online visitor registration and profiling among other features.

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