CLOSE to 80 percent of exhibition space has been booked ahead of this year’s Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF), with organisers pledging to avail more economic platforms that will help unlock value from the global economy.
The 63rd edition of the premier multi-sectorial exhibition will run from 25 – 29 April in Bulawayo under the theme: “Transformative Innovation, Global Competitiveness”.
It is expected to have new features geared to add further impetus to the country’s accelerated drive to achieve a knowledge-driven economy as a catalyst for sustained growth, industrialisation, and modernisation.
ZITF company chief executive officer, Dr Nicholas Ndebele, yesterday said the exhibition has generated huge interest from domestic and international participants.
“Barely two months post the official launch of the marketing and promotional campaign, just under 80 percent of available space has been taken up (37 616 square metres),” he said.
“This compares favourably with the situation at the same time last year were 34 000sqm had been booked.”
Dr Ndebele said the hyper-connected world brings with it a new era of opportunity for industrial and economic growth hence the speed at which the economy moves should go in tandem with global patterns.
“The theme, therefore, rallies economic players to invest in the innovation economy as a conduit to unlocking value from the global economy,” said Dr Ndebele.
“It positions ZITF as the ‘opportunities platform’ where visionaries can showcase their innovations (products/services/ideas) to like-minded, domestic and international value-chain actors and co-develop home-grown solutions, which can competitively meet global standards.”
This year’s showcase will take place at a time when several innovative strides geared towards ensuring that the country reclaims its space in the global community of progress are being explored.
To derive the full value of the innovations, Dr Ndebele said this year’s trade show will be characterised by new packages that will add further impetus to the country’s accelerated economic growth as espoused in the National Development Strategy (NDS 1).
He said ZITF officials continue to lure foreign participants by holding high-level stakeholder visits to heads of foreign diplomatic missions based in the country.
Dr Ndebele said the visits, which targeted Zimbabwe’s traditional and new trading partners, sought to invite envoys to facilitate national exhibition participation by their home countries, as well as business delegations of buyers, financiers, and investors to visit the show for unparalleled opportunities to interact with Zimbabwean brands, products, services, and business people.
Meanwhile, the ZIFT Company has reassured various stakeholders that all reasonable steps will be taken to promote and maintain safe and healthy conditions for participants.
Dr Ndebele said they will continue to work with local and national health authorities to format the show in a manner that complies with health and safety regulations and minimises exposure risk to Covid-19.