Exhibitors snap up 80pc space at ZITF

Preparations for the 60th edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) are now advanced with over 80 percent of available exhibition space having already been taken up, it has been learnt.

The annual event — organised by the ZITF company — will take place at the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre in Bulawayo from April 23-27 under the theme, “Propagating Industrial Growth through Trade and Investment”. ZITF’s chairperson Ruth Ncube, yesterday, said the company was upbeat about participation as data for the comparable period last year had been surpassed by this year’s figures.

“Over 80 percent of available space has been taken up. We don’t have space and we have sealed parks and closed gate three and four to make space available for outside exhibitors,” she said at a stakeholders meeting in the capital. The ZITF boss also pointed out that the event had managed to attract quality exhibitors this year.
“In the past, we had almost become a flea market but this has changed and we have managed to attract quality exhibitors,” she said.

In line with its expansion drive, the ZITF is working on several refurbishments at the park. “A VIP Lounge is on target as well as broadband throughout the exhibition centre. In terms of installing Wi-Fi in the halls and venues, we are now 80 percent complete along with air conditioning and car parks,” she said.

Foreign interest in the exhibition has been high with confirmed foreign representation coming from Malawi, Mozambique and as far as Japan. From the end of last year, she said ZITF has been engaged in a concerted foreign participation drive that includes one-on-one meetings with a total of 30 foreign heads of missions based in Zimbabwe and representing target countries from SADC, South America, Asia and previously dormant markets such as Europe and North America.

“Additionally, company representatives have also taken part in high-level trade missions such as the Intra-Africa Trade Fair held last month where they had promising meetings with Government officials and businesspeople from African countries such as Botswana, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda.

“These initiatives complement Government’s efforts where, through the Zimbabwean diplomatic missions abroad, we have been actively engaging potential investors keen to partner with us for mutually beneficial projects.

“We are hopeful for a speedy conclusion to these discussions, culminating in trade and investment delegations from the afore-mentioned countries during ZITF 2019,” said Ncube.

She also pointed out that local interest in the show has also been high particularly from enterprises who wish to use the event as a showcase for home-grown industrial and technology solutions.

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