Optimism as ZITF opens

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EXHIBITORS were yesterday putting final touches on their stands ahead of the 54th edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) that starts in Bulawayo today.

Report by Blondie Ndebele

The premier annual business exhibition that runs from April 23 to 27 will be officially opened by Malawi President Joyce Banda on Friday.
It will run under the theme “Building Value, Enhancing Growth.”

ZITF deputy general manager Nomathemba Ndlovu told NewsDay that all was set for the showcase as most exhibitors had finished putting up their stands.

“Preparations are going  well. We have sold over 49 000m2 compared with last year’s 48 697m2. From a logistical perspective, stand building is complete and exhibitors are now setting up their displays ahead of the start of the fair tomorrow (today),” Ndlovu said.

“We have 17 foreign nations compared to last year’s 14 namely; Botswana, Brazil, China, Ethiopia, Germany, Ghana, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Pakistan, Poland, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.”

This year we have a dedicated on-site match-making facility for business-to-business meetings in Hall 4.

The Zimbabwe Water Infrastructure Summit organised by MN Capital of South Africa also opened at the ZITF with about 150 local and international exhibitors.

Other exhibitions that will run concurrently with ZITF include Scholastica, A’Sambeni Africa Tourism and Travel Expo.

“Our sector-specific exhibitions are going ahead as usual. A’sambeni Africa Tourism Travel Expo in Hall 3 will have match-making meetings taking place during business days between exhibitors and international buyers,” Ndlovu said.

There are 465 direct exhibitors expected this year and by last week 95% of the exhibition space had been taken up.

Last year, 94% of the exhibition space was taken up.

About 250 delegates are expected at today’s International Business Conference that is among the major highlights of the fair.

Vice-President Joice Mujuru will address the conference on the topic: “Zimbabwe on a new tidal wave of socio-economic transformation and sustainable development in the modern era.”
Police spokesperson Superintendent Andrew Phiri yesterday said they were ready for the exhibition as they started their preparations at the beginning of February.

“We will take the opportunity to educate the nation on how we operate. We will also hold awareness campaigns on issues to do with crime,” he said.