Senior Business Reporter—
THE Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) is encouraging its members to participate at the forthcoming Zimbabwe International Trade Fair as it provides a platform for growth and clinching of deals. The 55th edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) runs from April 22 to 26 in Bulawayo under the theme, “New Ideas to New Heights”.
Some of the objectives of the trade fair include creation of marketing, networking and linkage platforms with existing and potential investors and in this light the first three days of the exhibition have been exclusively set aside for business.
Over the years, one of the major highlights of the ZITF is the Zimbabwe International Business Conference to be held on April 23.
In an interview early this week, ZNCC regional chairperson for Matabeleland Crispen Mugova said despite the challenging business operating environment in the city, it was imperative for their members to take part at the trade fair.
“As ZNCC, we are encouraging our members especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and large corporates based here (Bulawayo) to participate at the trade fair. Participation at trade expos such as the ZITF will assist them to strike business deals and also market their products,” he said.
Since the liberalisation of the economy, Bulawayo has suffered massive de-industrialisation resulting in a number of companies scaling-down operations, relocating and shutting down largely due to the liquidity crunch Zimbabwe is reeling under.
“We are very much aware of the challenges that companies in Bulawayo are facing. Even if they are financially challenged, we encourage our members to negotiate with the trade fair company on terms of payment for the exhibition space.
“As ZNCC, we will have our own exhibition stand during the trade fair and some of our members who would have failed to pay for exhibition stands can display their products at the ZNCC stand,” said Mugova.
He also urged SMEs to partner and book exhibition space at the event so that they do not lose out on opportunities presented by the trade showcase.
Mugova said ZNCC membership in Bulawayo was about 300.
The ZITF Company chairman Bekithemba Nkomo has said 50,000 square metres of the exhibition space had been reserved for the trade showcase.
This year’s trade fair is the ZITF Company’s landmark event as it celebrates 55 years of excellence in trade facilitation and exhibition.