IT was a hive of activity on Monday the first day of business at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) with most exhibitors expressing a lot of hope for positive trade during this year’s exhibition.
About 90 percent of the exhibitors in most of the halls were ready for the two traders’ days with only a few exhibitors still setting up base.
Most traders interviewed by NewsDay expressed an air of optimism at the outcome of this year’s ZITF.
“This year there is a different air; a positive feeling about the exhibition and we as a company are looking forward to boosting our sales through aggressive marketing of our products,” said Belinda Mlilo, the public relations officer for Lupane Women Centre, an organisation that sells pottery.
Foreign exhibitors also expressed satisfaction at the improved economic conditions and said this year’s Trade Fair would be much better that the previous ones.
The area manager in Zimbabwe for Fly Malawi, Mr Rodwell Magwaya said Zimbabwe’s economy was improving and their customers were increasing.
“Zimbabwe’s economy indicators have greatly improved and due to that, our business is growing as we now have a lot of traders flying to Malawi to buy goods for resale. Compared to 2008, we are this year more confident of this year’s exhibition,” he said.
Fly Malawi is an airline that plies the Lilongwe – Harare route.
At the Malawi stand, there were products such as rice, beans and sugar, just to name a few, which they export to countries such as Zimbabwe, South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania.
Mr Barnabas Mulenga from the Zambian stand said this year’s exhibition was exciting.
“This year, we are optimistic that at the end of this exhibition, we will have made a great deal of investment. The Zimbabwean economy has greatly improved and Zambia has had in increased volume of goods coming into Zimbabwe. We have more products which we are exhibiting this time, compared to the last exhibition,” he said.
This year’s ZITF goes under the theme ‘Unlocking Investment Potential’ and most stands had the theme boldly written on their stands and apparel.
The 21 foreign exhibitors are from 14 countries which include Iran, Botswana, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Italy, China, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Turkey and Zambia.