Kiyapili Sibanda, Business Reporter
THE Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) Company says Bulawayo is ripe for investment and has called on local and international investors to tap into opportunities in the second largest city.
Bulawayo, a perennial host to the country’s prime international trade showcase, has experienced closure and relocation of companies in the past decade but is slowly crawling towards a rebound.
Following the successful 2017 international exhibition in April, ZITF Company said more investors should have been exposed to the city’s opportunities.
Last week the ZITF Company took the Global Exhibitions Celebrations to the JMN International Airport where its team interacted with local and international travellers regarding trade and investment issues as a way of showcasing the country’s economy and the ability of Bulawayo to do business.
“As travellers leave here we want them to carry the message that Bulawayo is open for business by telling them of all the trade exhibitions which are on the city’s calendar and how participation in these events will positively impact their businesses and lives,” ZITF Company marketing and communications manager, Ms Stella Nkomo, said.
The global exhibitions initiative was launched last year in an effort to connect the global exhibitions industry and raise awareness about the value offered by the showcase while celebrating the professionals who make the industry a success and promoting the opportunities offered by this industry.
The theme for this year’s event was, “Think Global, Act Local” which puts a special focus on the human aspect of exhibitions; highlighting the wide spectrum of opportunities, careers, interactions, and investments created by the global exhibitions industry.
Ms Nkomo said as part of marking the celebrations, the company decided to spend time at the JMN International Airport as it is a valued strategic partner and the first touch point of the exhibition experience for the majority of their customers.
“As the gateway to Bulawayo for most of the participants in our shows, JMN International Airport is a valued strategic partner. In fact, the airport is the first touch point of the exhibition experience for the majority of our customers.
“JMN Airport is also symbolic of a larger group of stakeholders, which is all the service providers who work behind the scenes to make our exhibitions a success. It is thus appropriate that we spend this day of celebration here,” she said.
Ms Nkomo added that the ZITF Company’s focus for this year was about the value of partnerships and linkages as a conduit to business growth as well as industrial development.
Meanwhile, latest statistics from the Global Association of the Exhibition Industry show that over 4.4 million exhibitors take up 124 million square metres of space in 31 000 trade shows annually; showcasing their brands, products and services to 260 million visitors.
The $109 billion spent in the exhibitions industry directly creates approximately 680 000 full time equivalent jobs and 1.8 million jobs in tourism-related activities that is accommodation, transport, gifts, food and beverages.