BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
EXHIBITORS at the 62nd edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF)are optimistic of doing good business as the annual showcase roared to life in Bulawayo yesterday.
While ailing State enterprises and parastatals such as the National Railways of Zimbabwe, the Grain Marketing Board and the Hwange Colliery Company returned to the fair this year Alpha and Omega Dairy — a fresh milk and dairy products company owned by the late former President Robert Mugabe and his wife, Grace, failed to exhibit.
During its heyday, Alpha and Omega Dairy was adjudged as one of the best exhibitors at ZITF, receiving multiple awards from 2015 to 2017, the year Mugabe was overthrown in a military coup.
By midday yesterday, some exhibitors were still setting up their stands.
“We want to show everyone that we are still in the market,” Schweppes corporate affairs manager Rupafadzo Gwanesta said, adding that the company’s new products like Minute Maid Guava drink were being showcased at the ZITF.
ZimTrade southern region manager Jacqueline Nyathi said they would nurture businesses to enable them to produce exportable goods for the international market.
Rural Electrification Agency spokesperson Johannes Nyamayedena said interaction with customers would enable them to share information on rural electrification.
Millennium Footwear co-founder and administrator Sikhangezokuhle Simali said: “We want to reach out to our end-users and get feedback from them.”
This year’s edition runs under the theme Re-think, Re-image, Re-invent Value Chains for Economic Development.
This year ZITF has attracted 514 exhibitors, including those from Malawi, Japan, Mozambique, Namibia, Indonesia, Zambia, Angola, South Africa, Belarus, Ethiopia, Kenya, Britain, Tanzania and Botswana.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa is expected to officially open the fair on Friday.
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