Oliver Kazunga, Acting Business Editor
A TOTAL of 231 direct exhibitors have confirmed participation at this year’s Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) with 78 percent of the available space having already been taken up.
The annual event, which is being organised by the ZITF Company, runs from April 21-25 at the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre in Bulawayo under the theme, “Augmenting Trade and Investment towards a Shared Economic Vision”.
The firm’s marketing and public relations manager, Miss Stella Nkomo, last week said preparations for the upcoming trade showcase, which is in its 61st year-running, were on course.
“With just under three months to go to the 2020 edition of the ZITF, preparations are well on course. The marketing and promotion campaign which was officially launched in November last year has gained traction with a total of 231 direct exhibitors having heeded the call to book exhibition space.
“In terms of space taken, 38 882 square metres of the available 49 631 square metres of exhibition space has been taken up,” she said.
Miss Nkomo said they were delighted that exhibitors to the trade fair continue to see value in the exhibition, particularly in challenging economic times such as this, when the trend by most businesses is to scrap all marketing-related expenditure.
She said her organisation was urging existing and prospective customers at the trade fair to take advantage of the opportunities presented by the premier engagement platform between and among trading and co-operating partners, potential investors, international and local businesspeople.
Miss Nkomo said last year 86 percent of their customers indicated they made useful contacts during the show while 88 percent noted that they will recommend the show to their peers.
The ZITF Company expects this year’s show participation to comprise an estimated 90 percent returning exhibitors and 10 percent first-time exhibitors.
She said the 2020 ZITF’s theme continues to build on the engagement and re-engagement thrust that the country is pursuing which means developing relationships with everyone and at every level (individual, business, national and international).
“This is displayed even in the theme logo that shows the creation of these global networks through beading. Only when Zimbabwe’s industry has created a strong network of international trading partners and value chain players, can we hope to augment our trade and investment levels to achieve our shared economic vision (Vision 2030, industrialisation, modernisation, economic prosperity).
“We are positioning ZITF as the preferred platform to meet potential partners needed to build and re-build these relationships and achieve this economic vision,” she said.
In line with the theme, the ZITF 2020 concurrent event diary has been crafted with a heavy focus on providing, increasing and enhancing opportunities for striking trade and investment deals.
As promised during their diamond jubilee celebrations last year, Miss Nkomo said they seek to reaffirm ZITF as the definitive meeting place for the who’s who of Zimbabwe industry but also track trade and investment inflows coming directly from contacts made at the show.
Notable events that will take place at the show include the ZITF International Business Conference that is organised in conjunction with the National Economic Consultative Forum on April 22 and the Official Opening ceremony on 24 April.
The International Business Conference is expected to kick-off with a review of and update on last year’s resolutions to ensure the event continues to be an effective influencer for policy and business strategy formulation.
The ZITF Company is also collaborating with the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries to host the Manufacturers’ Conference on April 23 while the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce will host their annual Business Luncheon on the same day.
Among other concurrent events, this year’s trade fair will host the inaugural Diplomats Forum which aims to promote Zimbabwe bilateral relationships with the international community as part of Vision 2030.
The event will see a high-level Zimbabwe government representation host foreign diplomats accredited to Zimbabwe as well as delegations from their host counties to showcase the breadth and quality of investment opportunities available in the country.
“Additionally, there is already interest from foreign countries that would like to organise separate bilateral trade and investment fora,” said Miss Nkomo. — @okazunga