Uganda’s President Museveni to officially open 60th ZITF

09 Apr, 2019 - 00:04 0 Views
Uganda’s President Museveni to officially open 60th ZITF UGANDAN President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni

The Chronicle

Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter

UGANDAN President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni will officially open this year’s 60th edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) in Bulawayo on April 26.

This year’s trade fair, which is being held under the theme, “Propagating Industrial Growth through Trade and Investment,” runs from April 23-27.

Speaking by telephone from Harare yesterday, ZITF Company board chairperson Ms Ruth Ncube said: “I confirm that the President of Uganda, His Excellency Yoweri Museveni, will officially open this year’s ZITF on Friday, 26 April”.

She said two other foreign nations, Germany and Belarus, have confirmed their participation at this year’s trade fair, increasing the number of foreign nations to 14 so far.

Addressing a press conference at the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre in Bulawayo last week, Industry and Commerce Minister Mangaliso Ndlovu indicated that over 90 percent of the available exhibition space at this year’s ZITF had been taken up. 

Some of the countries that have already confirmed participation are Botswana, Ethiopia, Japan, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, United States of America and Zambia.

The United States of America is returning to the ZITF after a three-year absence, a development which Minister Ndlovu is on record as saying is an indicator of Washington’s commitment to re-engage with Zimbabwe.

Under the new political order led by President Mnangagwa, the country has been on a re-engagement drive with the international community with a view to attracting the much-needed foreign direct investment from across the globe.

Some of the major highlights of this year’s trade fair include the ZITF International Business Conference to be held on the 24th of April, the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI)/ ZITF original equipment manufacturers forum on April 25, while public days will be April 26 and 27.

Ms Ncube said preparations were going on well so far and more exhibitor inquiries were still coming in.

“For the first time in history of the trade fair, all the available exhibitor space has been sold out and we have made special arrangements to accommodate more exhibitors. We are still accepting bookings,” she said.

As of last week, there were 16 direct international exhibitors who had booked space at this year’s trade showcase compared to 17 that had booked during the comparable period last year. Displays from international exhibitors are expected from sectors such as agriculture equipment, food and beverages, cosmetics, education services, ICT, automation equipment, energy products, transportation, building and construction as well as clothing and textile.

It is hoped that as the country continues on a sustainable industrial development agenda, ZITF 2019 will be an ideal platform for individuals, companies and communities with bankable investment projects to showcase them to potential investors and partners.

Government has also taken a deliberate stance to assist small-to-medium enterprises to access and fully utilise the trade platform by subsidising their participation at the trade fair.

This is against the background that the Government strongly recognises the critical role played by the SMEs sector in economic development as well as contribution to the Gross Domestic Product.

—@okazunga

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