HomeLocal NewsHarare firms dominate ZITF

Harare firms dominate ZITF

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THIS year’s edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) is dominated by Harare companies who make up 57% of local exhibitors, with Bulawayo firms accounting for 35%.

Report by Nqobile Bhebhe

More than 100 firms have closed in Bulawayo in the last few years citing viability constrains and the poor presence of city firms at the country’s premier trade showcase dash hopes of any imminent recovery prospects.

ZITF company chairman Bekithemba Nkomo told journalists that although participation at the fair was not different from last year, they were impressed by the quality of products being showcased.
But he bemoaned the poor turnout by city firms, which he described as worrying.

“The local exhibitor profile is made up of mostly companies from Harare (57%), while 35% of companies are from Bulawayo. Other cities account for 8%,” Nkomo said.

According to the official ZITF catalogue, notable Bulawayo-based companies at the fair include Datlabs, Treger Products, Zimplow , Turnal and Zimtile.

Over the years, companies in Bulawayo have been closing shop, while others relocated to Harare citing viability problems.

In 2011, the government set up the Distressed Industries and Marginalised Fund to address de-industrialisation, but only a few Bulawayo companies have managed to tap into the $40 million purse.

Nkomo also said participation by the manufacturing sector was still low.

“Overall, manufacturing companies make up 14% of total exhibitors, a testimony to the fact that manufacturing levels in the country, though picking up slowly, are still relatively low,” he said.

Meanwhile, South African exhibitors yesterday claimed that some of their exhibits were still stuck at Beitbrige border post.

Responding to inquiries from journalists on concerns raised by South Africans, outgoing ZITF general manager Denial Chigaru said they were not “100% sure” as to the cause of the delay.

“We are not 100% sure as to the cause of the delay,” he said.

“Our understanding is that cargo goods are flown and cleared in Harare as (the Joshua Mqabuko International Airport) does not clear cargo.

“We have what we call quick service at the border where goods are allowed to enter in bonds to be cleared here at the trade fair.

“However, we advised exhibitors to use clearing agents as that is much faster, but some are not doing so.”

Malawian President Joyce Banda will officially open the 54th edition of the ZITF this afternoon.

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