By Joyce Mukucha
As a way of connecting business with prospective investors and financiers for the country’s economic growth, Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) is set to hold the 59th edition of the exhibition.
The show that will take place from 24 to 28 April 2018 is meant to enable beneficiation of local resources to promote local empowerment and provide an opportunity for all citizens to participate in Zimbabwe’s economic future.
The exhibition takes place against a backdrop of Zimbabwe’s re-engagement with the international community and genuine shared excitement about the country’s economic outlook. It will run under the theme: “Sustainable Industrial Development-Inclusive, Competitive, and Collaborative.”
Briefing the media on the 1st of February 2018, Minister of Industry and Commerce ,Mike Bimha said external interest in the display has been extraordinary with definite representation coming from Ethiopia, Japan, India and the South Africa.
“From the end of last year, ZITF has been engaged in a flurry of meetings with total of foreign heads of missions based in Zimbabwe and representing target countries from SADC, South Africa, America, Asia and previously dormant markets such as Europe and North America.
“This complements government’s efforts where, thorough the Zimbabwe diplomatic missions abroad, we have been actively engaging potential investors keen to partner with us for mutually beneficial projects. This is a joint effort between my ministry as well as colleagues from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Tourism and Hospitality Industry,” Bimha said.
Minister Bimha pointed out that 34,034 square metres have so far been taken up by a total of 168 exhibitors as compared to last year’s bookings which were 29,600 square metres taken up by 156 exhibitors.
The 2018 ZITF exhibition will also be a platform for individuals, companies and communities with bankable share schemes to showcase them to potential investors and partners.
Bimha said the ZITF Company is also in close communication with the trade promotion agencies and chambers of commerce for countries like Brazil, China India, Egypt and Japan.
“We are hopeful for a speedy conclusion to these discussions, culminating in trade and investment delegations from the afore-mentioned countries during ZITF 2018. We are pleased to report that the Association of Rural District Councils in Zimbabwe has taken up space for 50 of their members who wish to display the investment opportunities in their local authorities,” he said.
The International Business Conference which is hosted by ZITF in concurrence with the National Economic Consultative Forum programme is said to be concentrating on addressing topics of investment, infrastructural gaps, competitiveness and value chain linkages.
Bimha mentioned that as the country is moving forward in the new dispensation, there was need for new equipment so that Zimbabwe’s industry would be successfully transformed and present an opportunity for industry to meet leading international original manufactures passionate to supply the nation’s local industry.
A challenge of accommodation, he said will be faced in terms of charges that will be obtaining during the exhibition period since they will be very high and prices would double but he said they will continue working with ministries of Foreign Affairs, Tourism and Hospitality Industry to make Zimbabwe a nation ready for business.
In as far as the level of preparedness for the exhibition, Mrs Nomathemba Ndlovu, the ZITF General Manager said they have set a budget for observers to come and see and she said they will continue engaging with different partners to assist.
She also alluded that currently 21 company exhibitors have registered as compared to last which were 16 direct and 44 indirect.
Minister Bimha said all local and non-Zimbabwean corporates who wish to join on the stimulating journey on the road to dynamic, inclusive economic growth that empowers and enriches the Zimbabwean people are welcome to take the countless chances presented by ZITF 2018.