WATCH: ZITF amplifies economic diplomacy Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) Company chairman Mr Busisa Moyo (centre) speaks to journalists during a Press conference yesterday. Listening is ZITF CEO Dr Nicholas Ndebele and Deputy CEO Ms Stella Nkomo

Nqobile Bhebhe, Senior Business Reporter
FOR the first time, the European Union (EU) delegation is set to exhibit at this year’s Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) as the country’s biggest annual trade expo amplifies the Second Republic’s re-engagement and engagement drive.

The incorporation of the ZITF Company into the communication strategy of the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) as part of efforts to promote Brand Zimbabwe has started paying dividends as the EU delegation will be showcasing as a bloc.

In previous years, EU Member States would exhibit individually.

Workers renovate the ZITF main entrance yesterday

In a Press briefing yesterday, ZITF Company chairman, Mr Busisa Moyo said the EU delegation will be exhibiting for the first time and their participation is testimony to the success of the engagement and re-engagement policy, including the economic diplomacy driven by the Second Republic.

“Notable among the first-time exhibitors which will be participating in this year’s edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair is the Delegation of the European Union to Zimbabwe. While in the past we have had individual countries from the EU participating such as France, Germany, and Italy, this year will be the first participation by the mission itself.

“In addition to certain individual national displays on trade opportunities, the bloc will also have exhibits of the various programmes that it is running in and with Zimbabwe.

“As you know, the ZITF plays a role in economic diplomacy and creating platforms where we can have conversations that have to do with business, and this year we are talking about global competitiveness,” he said.

Mr Busisa Moyo

“This is what is taking place, and it is part of that momentum that is gathering around re-engagement at the public sector level, re-engagement business to business and at multiple levels.”

Mr Moyo said 21 countries, representing both national participation and individual companies have confirmed attendance.

The countries represented are Angola, Belarus, Botswana, China, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Netherlands, Nigeria, South Africa, Sweden, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America and Zambia.

The economic diplomacy thrust, which is critical in attracting fresh investments and transforming the economy, dovetails with the Second Republic’s engagement and re-engagement policy.

This has seen the Government and the private sector scaling up trade and investment campaigns across the region and beyond.

EU countries are on a drive to develop new business partnerships in Africa to increase total trade and investment in Africa.

Over the last few years, the trade showcase has been introducing high-level business conferences that attract top business executives on the African continent and beyond.

This year, a third edition of the Diplomats Forum held in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade will run under the theme: “Crafting a Global Landscape of Resilience and Innovation: Strategies for International Competitiveness.”

Mr Moyo said over 200 members of the diplomatic corps, development body representatives as well as business leaders are expected to be in attendance.

The meeting will bring together businesses, governments, and international institutions with the aim to expand access to a global exchange of ideas and knowledge.

Ms Stella Nkomo

“The Diplomats Forum is also expected to increase co-operation for strong national alliances and promote the breadth and quality of investment opportunities in and around Zimbabwe,” said Mr Moyo.

Besides ZITF’s normal traditional role of showcasing the private sector products and offerings, the Diplomatic Forum plays a pivotal role in branding and shaping the country’s international image, which are prerequisites for attracting investment.

Last year, Information and Broadcasting Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa said there is a need to improve the look and feel of the ZITF through carefully thought-out messaging strategies.

She noted that given a shared responsibility between Government ministries, departments, exhibitors, and organisers, the implementation of Vision 2030 requires all hands on deck as ZITF is one of the major links between the public, industry and Government.

Dr Nicholas Ndebele

Under the NDS1 communication strategy, public buildings and spaces in Zimbabwe and at the country’s embassies will be adorned with the products of the nation’s arts, culture, and heritage.

This entails improving public relations at ports of entry with appropriate welcoming messages and imagery.

The overall aim of the strategy is to achieve an accurately informed nation and international community on developments in the country to facilitate two-way communication between Government and citizens, and to reshape the national viewpoint through content creation, development and dissemination.

ZITF Rennovations

The ZITF is held annually at the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre in Bulawayo and this year it will run under the theme:“Transformative Innovation, Global Competitiveness.”

At least 97 percent of space at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) has been taken up.

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