ZITF: Epicentre for fortifying local and regional enterprise ecosystems ZITF

Nqobile Bhebhe, Senior Business Reporter
THE ZIMBABWE International Trade Fair stands at the epicentre of fortifying local and regional enterprises’ ecosystems to be able to compete on the global stage and it is imperative for local exhibitors to take full advantage of, ZITF company chairman, Mr Busisa Moyo said yesterday.

To that end, the only way to grow the Zimbabwean economy is to improve competitiveness of locally produced products through improving the capacity and capacity utilisation of our various real sectors.

The ZITF runs from April 25 to 29 under the theme “Transformative Innovation, Global Competitiveness”.

In a media briefing on the state of preparedness for this year’s edition, Mr Moyo said the international and multi-sectoral trade showcase will be both a meeting arena and a learning platform for industry players to accelerate their growth and innovate with impact.

“This year’s theme “Transformative Innovation, Global Competitiveness,” locates ZITF as the epicentre for fortifying local and regional enterprise ecosystems to be able to compete on the global stage,” said.

Elaborating on the theme, Mr Moyo said it resonates with the National Vision 2030 and the National Development Strategy 1.

“The ZITF 2023 theme is particularly fitting because it touches on the core elements of our National Vision 2030 and its current medium term plan NDS1, by highlighting that the only way to grow the Zimbabwean economy is to improve the competitiveness of locally produced products through improving the capacity and capacity utilisation of the manufacturing sector.

National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1)

“Moreover, for that to happen, our businesses need to be innovative in terms of both their industrial processes and their business models.”

He added that industrialisation is not just a Zimbabwe problem but also one that affects the whole of the African continent and the Sadc region.

On the number of confirmed exhibition space taken to date, over 48 000 square metres, which converts 97,2 percent of available exhibition space has been sold.

The figure compares favourably to the same period as last year where uptake was at 43 100 square metres.

Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga

“In terms of exhibitor numbers, we are currently sitting at 533 direct exhibitors which is 27 percent higher than last year’s closing total of 420 direct exhibitors and 13 percent higher than the booking situation at the same time last year (471 direct exhibitors).

“This figure includes 108 new exhibitors, indicating an 80 percent retention rate on traditional exhibiting organisations.”

Added to that, 25 direct exhibits from 21 foreign nations, representing both nation participation and individual companies have confirmed participation.

“This compares favourably to the 2022 edition where 16 direct exhibitors from 13 countries took part in the show. 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.”


However, locally, 65 of the confirmed exhibitors are from Harare while Bulawayo-based companies accounted for 21 percent, added Mr Moyo.

In keeping with industry’s expectations for a platform that delivers constructive engagements, useful insights and invaluable networking opportunities, Mr Moyo said the International Business Conference hosted by ZITF in conjunction with the National Economic Consultative Forum which is now a regular feature would be held.

The business conference will run under the main ZITF theme.

It will focus on evaluating Zimbabwe’s innovation standing in terms of regional and global competitiveness, sharing insights on the innovation opportunities available as well as mapping the way forward for a globally competitive Zimbabwe.

Over 600 delegates are expected to attend the conference to be headlined by Vice-President, Dr Constantino Chiwenga.

Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC).

Representatives from the European Union, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology, African Development Bank (AfDB), Zimbabwe Development Agency (ZIDA), ZimTrade, Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI), Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC), Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Centre (SIRDC) are set to give presentations.

The second edition of the Connect Africa Symposium is expected to draw over 300 delegates from across the region will run under theme “Unlocking Africa’s Potential: Innovation, Competitiveness and Sustainable Development.”

Mr Moyo said the ZITF Diplomat’s Forum organised 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.”

The official opening ceremony will take place on Friday, April 28.

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