THE 59th edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) roars to life today in Bulawayo, with President Emmerson Mnangagwa set to officially open the trade showcase in Bulawayo on Friday.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Running under the theme ‘Sustainable Industrial Development-Inclusive, Competitive, Collaborative’, this year’s edition has reportedly surpassed the previous years’ records with 495 direct exhibitors already booked for the fair.
ZITF general manager, Nomathemba Ndlovu told NewsDay that this year’s exhibition was interesting and unique as it was being held against a backdrop of a palpable national excitement in a renewed positive economic outlook brought about by the new political dispensation.
“We have seen an increase in exhibitor numbers and pre-registrations for other attendees as business people from around the country seek to ride the wave of optimism that bodes well for our country,” Ndlovu said.
“In terms of exhibitor numbers, we are currently sitting at 495 direct exhibitors, which is 40% higher that last year’s closing total of 336 direct exhibitors and 30% higher than the booking situation at the same time last year.”
However, Ndlovu said these figures would change as there was still room to accommodate last-minute bookings, space adjustments and cancellations.
“We have also seen an increase in the number of new local exhibitors as 25% of the 495 direct exhibitors who have confirmed participation wil be participating for the first time.
“This to us is pleasing because it is indicative of an improved trading environment and renewed stimulus to compete in the global marketplace,” she said.
ZITF would be attended by foreign exhibitors and buyers from countries across the world including Botswana, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia.
China, Cyprus, Germany, Ghana, India, Namibia, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates were being represented by individual companies.
The fair provides a platform for Zimbabwean companies to showcase their products and attract international buyers and business partners.