THIS year’s edition of the premier trade showcase, Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) has seen an increase in the number of both local and foreign exhibitors with some of the local exhibitors participating for the first time.
The show will run from 24 to 28 April under the theme, “Sustainable Industrial Development-Inclusive, competitive, collaborative” and would be officially opened by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Speaking at a press conference, ZITF Chairperson Ms Ruth Ncube said this was a pleasing move which indicates an improved trading environment and renewed impetus to compete in the global marketplace.
“The Zimbabwe International Trade Fair has seen an increase in the number of new local exhibitors and 25 percent of the 454 direct exhibitors who have confirmed participation will be participating for the first time.
“In terms of exhibitor numbers, we are currently sitting at 454 direct exhibitors which is 27 percent higher than last year´s closing total of 356 direct exhibitors and 35 percent higher than the booking situation at the same time last year,” said Ms Ncube.
She said this year´s edition has also seen an increase and diversity of foreign exhibitors, with 18 foreign nations being represented.
“To date, national exhibitions from Botswana, Ethiopia, Indonesian, Japan, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia have confirmed their participation while China, Cyprus, Germany, Ghana, India, Namibia, Malaysia and UAE will be represented by individual companies from those countries.
“It is interesting to note that this is the first time we will be hosting exhibitors from the UAE as our agent in that country has mobilised exhibits by producers of energy products and consumer goods¨, said Ms Ncube.
She added: “The international exhibitors will cut through a number of sectors including education, mining, aviation, transport, food, clothing and textiles, packaging materials, event management and cultural exchange programmes. We will also rededicate Hall 2A which have been used for concurrent networking events back into an exhibition hall so as to cater for the exhibition overflow”.
Speaking at the same event, ZITF general manager Mrs Nomathemba Ndlovu said the company was pursuing long term plans to construct a convention centre and a hotel within the ZIEC. \
The convention centre will complement existing tourism infrastructure in the city and enable Bulawayo to host large conferences and conventions.