The Korea Trade Fair
By Bhavisha Patel
The Kenyan chapter of the 2018 Korean trade fair was organized by the Korea Trade Promotion Agency (KOTRA). There was more to it than being a business to business meetings affair (B2B). A number of MoUs were signed and it was much fun going by the many interactive cultural experiences it gave. The fair was held at the Village Market, Nairobi on the 23rd and 24th of November 2018. It was of grand scale with 41 participating companies, 31 of which were Korean.
To officially begin the trade fair students from King Sejong Institute, Kenyatta University performed the Samuli nori , a traditional form of Korean music. The first day focused on business to business meetings. A special IT room was set up to aid in video conferencing. These meetings ran for two days. There was also a Korean cultural showcase on the first day with various K-Pop dance performances by students from the Korean language department, University of Nairobi and King Sejong Institute, Kenyatta University. There was also an act from Professional dancers who happened to be K-pop fans. A Korean speech competition was held in the morning hours too.
In the afternoons, there were various talk shows by the represented companies concerning their products. Some of these were Emcast, dot and connect coffee Roasters. The sessions were followed by a short Q&A session, with the audience voicing opinions and asking about the products. A fun noodle eating contest was also held to entertain and involve the audience. The noodles were Korean ‘ramyon.’ Well, the first day focused on IT and food, whereas the second day focused on beauty presentations. Some of these beauty companies were Sistar and Moretu lipsticks.
The business to business meetings proved successful. Also, the high attendance of people created a great interactive platform for companies and consumers. A lot of Kenyans were able to learn more about Korean products and Korean culture.
KOTRA’s main objective in hosting the trade fair was to market Korean products in the Kenyan market, and also link Kenyans and Korean businessmen/companies. The business to business meetings contributed to this and lead to signing of more MoUs.
The future plan is to hold trade fairs with more products available for sale and not just to exhibit. They also hope to introduce more products to Kenya and develop more trading links between Kenya and Korea.
Photos: Courtesy of KOTRA, Nairobi.