THE Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) Company has opened more exhibition space for the Mining, Engineering and Transport (Mine Entra) expo taking place this week to accommodate more exhibitors after a record spike in occupancy on rising business confidence in the sector.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
The expo will run from tomorrow to Friday under the theme Mineral Beneficiation: Catalyst for Economic Growth.
ZITF Company’s marketing and public relations manager Stella Nkomo said a total of 218 direct exhibitors had booked exhibition space to date, which compares favourably to last year’s closing total of 153 direct exhibitors—representing a 42% increase.
Nkomo said 7 538sqm of space had been sold by Monday, compared to 4 414sqm sold last year.
The space sales represent 93% of space made available for sale and a 70% increase from last year’s space occupancy, according to the bookings figures.
“Based on an overwhelming interest in the event, supplementary exhibition space has been availed, with an additional exhibition hall being opened and more external sites being put to use,” Nkomo said.
Registration fees for youths and women mining conferences, running concurrently with the exhibition, have also been slashed significantly, to boost the attendance of target groups.
“Attendance at the Women in Mining Conference will be $20 per delegate, while young professionals will be required to pay $10 for entry into the relevant forum. To assist us deliver on this objective, we invite like-minded corporates and individuals to partner these events,” Nkomo said.
Ordinarily, the registration fees for these conferences were pegged at $100 per delegate.
Both conferences—the Women in Mining Conference and Young Professionals Forum—will take place tomorrow.
More than 150 delegates are expected to attend each conference.
Meanwhile, Nkomo said preparations for the exhibition were almost coming to an end.
“The exhibiting companies will have a varied product mix, which includes engineering equipment, fittings and accessories, building and construction, chemicals; education and training, hydraulic and lifting equipment, mining seismology, transport, signage and labelling equipment insurance services and protective wear among others,” she said.
Of these, approximately 20% were new exhibitors, indicative of greater market confidence in both the Mine Entra brand and the potential of Zimbabwe’s mining industry in general, Nkomo said.
On the foreign exhibitor front, 11 companies have confirmed participation.
“The increase from two foreign exhibitors last year is reflective of a growing confidence in the Zimbabwean mining industry and strong international interest in doing business with Zimbabwe,” she said.
The exhibitors by country are China (5), Japan (1) and South Africa (5).