More than 80% of available space has been booked ahead of the regional Mining, Engineering and Transport (Mine Entra) exhibition to be held at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) grounds in Bulawayo this month, an official has said.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
The exhibition is set to run from July 22 to 24. It will be held under the theme “Unearthing Opportunities” — a rallying statement challenging inter-dependent sectors to uncover and take advantage of the potential, opportunities and growth prospects in the region’s mining industry and related sectors.
ZITF Company general manager Nomathemba Ndlovu yesterday told journalists at a Press conference that preparations for the exhibition were at an advanced stage.
“With less than two weeks to go before the 20th edition of Zimbabwe’s largest mining, engineering and transport expo, preparations are progressing well.”
“Space bookings are currently sitting at 84% of available space occupied by a total of 147 exhibitors. These include foreign exhibitors coming from China, Germany and South Africa,” she added.
Ndlovu said among 147 exhibitors, five were foreign direct exhibitors.
She said the figures compared favourably with last year’s statistics where they had the same amount of space booked two weeks before the exhibition.
Ndlovu said Mine Entra was taking place at a time when the mining industry was operating below capacity amid a number of challenges which include, but are not limited to inadequate capital and liquidity issues, power deficits, depressed mineral prices, a sub-optimal fiscal landscape as well as the high cost structures.
“In spite of this, Zimbabwe’s mining industry remains a key driver to the country’s economic revival and contributing 15% of nominal gross domestic product, more than 50% of total exports and approximately 13% of fiscal revenue,” she said.
Ndlovu said the exhibition will feature concurrent networking conferences and events to give participants a one-stop marketing intelligence, corporate profiling and business development solution.
The exhibitor profile consists mainly of specialised companies supplying exploration, extraction, processing or beneficiation machinery, as well as suppliers of equipment relating to the engineering and transport of mining resources.
Ndlovu said visitor registration for the event was at its peak and interested visitors can register on the company website.
She said on July 22, there would be the Mine Entra 2015 Conference, where industry leaders would meet with key policymakers who include Mines and Mining Development minister Walter Chidhakwa, to deliberate on issues affecting the industry. She said particular emphasis would be on topical issues of value addition and beneficiation.
The conference has been organised in conjunction with the Chamber of Mines of Zimbabwe (COMZ), she said.
On July 23, a joint suppliers and producers’ conference — co-organised with COMZ — would be held. This, according to Ndlovu, was a forum for upstream players in the mining value chain to meet with users of their products and services that are mining houses to discuss opportunities and challenges to business co-operation.