Kiyapili Sibanda, Business Reporter
NAMIBIAN President Hage Geingob will be the guest of honour at this year’s edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) scheduled for April 25 to 29 in Bulawayo.
ZITF Company’s board chairperson, Mrs Ruth Ncube, told stakeholders during a luncheon in the city yesterday that President Geingob will officially open Zimbabwe’s prime business showcase.
“We have met the Embassy of Namibia and they have increased their stands once it was announced that their President is officiating in the country,” said Mrs Ncube.
President Geingob has been in office since March 2015.
As preparations for the 58th edition of the ZITF gather momentum, organisers say about 90 percent of the available space has been taken up.
“Bookings and inquiries continue to come on a daily basis from within Zimbabwe and abroad with a total of 41 000 square metres having been booked so far.
“This represents close to 90 percent of space taken which is at par with the figures we had this time last year,” said Mrs Ncube.
She said foreign participation was encouraging this year with 14 countries having so far confirmed participation.
These include Botswana, China, Ethiopia, Germany, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa and Turkey.
This year’s event runs under the theme, “Harnessing Linkages for Industrial Development.”
“With regards to our foreign participants, engagement with the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and the Department of Immigration has been completed.
This will ensure smooth travel and clearance at our border posts,” she said, adding that they have also made a formal request to Zesa for exemption of the exhibition centre from load shedding.
Highlights of the five-day event include the ZITF International Business Conference on April 26 organised in partnership with the National Economic Consultative Forum.
Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa would be the guest of honour at the conference and is also expected to deliver the key note address.
A forum on original equipment manufacturers will be held on April 27 in conjunction with the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries.
The trade fair will also run concurrently with sector-specific expos; A’sambeni Africa Business Tourism Expo, Ultimate Home, Pakprint and Scholastica.