MASERU — Lesotho will take part at World Expo 2010 — an international trade exhibition to be held in Shanghai, China, from May 1 to October 31 next year.
At least 200 countries — among them 48 African states — are expected to participate in the event, with more than 70 million people from around the world set to visit the fair. A total 192 countries and 50 international organisations have so far confirmed their attendance, according to organisers of the event.
Principal secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Co-operatives and Marketing, Teleko Ramotšoari, told reporters last week the expo would give the government and the private sector. An opportunity to work together in marketing Lesotho to potential investors.
“Government will facilitate the whole process, and this will give the private sector a platform to market their products and the country in general. This is a very good opportunity for the marketing of products from Lesotho and there will be many potential investors where there can be some serious business connections,” said Ramotšoari.
He said they would work in conjunction with four other government ministries, namely Communications, Science and Technology; Foreign Affairs; Tourism and Cultural Affairs and Local Government and Chieftainship.
Chief trading development officer in the Ministry of Trade, ‘Matokoloho Khuta said one of the reasons for participation in the Expo was for Lesotho to gain more recognition as a sovereign state.
“The other objective is to brand Lesotho worldwide and gain exposure in the global community. There will be an average of 400 000 visitors daily and up to 700 000 on peak days,” said Khuta, adding they planned to run a series of investment promotions from July to August next year at the expo.
“We will be telling them about the incentives we offer in Lesotho. Some of these promotions have been timed to coincide with visits by either the prime minister or His Majesty King Letsie III, so as to make a good impression about the country,” Khuta said.
Lesotho is expected to display local products manufactured from grass, aloe and wool.
“We will also showcase minerals such as diamonds and sandstone products and also market our country for tourism purposes,” he said.
Khuta added the Basotho Enterprise Development Corporation would be co-ordinating commercial activities for small and medium-sized enterprises “as it is the specialist arm of the ministry”.