ZITF ready for take off

Source: ZITF ready for take off | The Herald  April 25, 2016

Bulawayo Bureau
Bulawayo is ready to host the 57th edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF), which opens in the city tomorrow. Expectations are high that this year’s prime trade showcase will produce positive outcomes that will assist efforts in turning around the country’s economy.

Togolese President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé will officially open the grand event on Friday April 29, ZITF general manager Nomathemba Ndlovu has said.

“The visiting head of State will be accompanied by the patron of the ZITF, His Excellency President Robert Mugabe, several Cabinet ministers and other senior Government officials,” she said.

Ms Ndlovu said exhibitors had started sprucing up their stands this week while more are expected to arrive yesterday.

“We’re still receiving last minute bookings, particularly from local companies and fully expect to have a successful show. As the ZITF Company, our aim is to bring the focus of the exhibition back on industry. This is a strategy that we’ve been pursuing for the last few years . . . that the show, which is now mostly showcasing the service industry, should increase the participation of the manufacturing industry.”

Ms Ndlovu said the trade fair should be viewed as part of the solution to the de-industrialisation that has crippled the region’s economies.

She urged Bulawayo companies to fully participate in the show as hosts.

“Through the interaction and the dialogue at the exhibition, and concurrent events, we expect positive outcomes that will benefit industry. As industry becomes more efficient, production costs will be reduced and this will make our locally made goods more competitive in the region and even around the world,” Ms Ndlovu said.

“We also wish to see local industry being inspired to finding innovative business models that are relevant to the times that we live in.”

As at end of business Thursday, Ms Ndlovu said total bookings stood at 45,683m2, which is 96 percent of space made available for sale.

“There are 404 direct exhibitors compared with the closing total of 387 at ZITF 2015. This figure includes 32 direct foreign exhibitors, the same as was achieved in 2015,” she said.

A total of 19 nations, including Zimbabwe, are represented to date. Among these are Botswana, People’s Republic of China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, Germany, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.

Ms Ndlovu also said the Agricultural Show is on this year after it was suspended last year due to the foot and mouth outbreak.

“The Agricultural Show actually begins on Monday with the judging of produce. Over the course of the week the following events will be taking place: equestrian dressage/showing, weighing and mouthing of cattle, judging of poultry, fat stock auction, judging of sheep and goats as well as home industries displays and judging,” she said.

She also outlined the programme for the week beginning Tuesday and ending on Saturday.

She said on Wednesday, April 27, there would be an international business conference to be officially opened by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

On Thursday, the ZITF, in conjunction with CZI, will host the inaugural manufacturing forum, which seeks to link local firms and overseas manufacturers of equipment.

On the same day there will also be a charity golf challenge to be officiated by the Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha.

During the five-day event, there will be Scholastica career workshops in Hall 1 with Tuesday dedicated to STEM initiatives while on April 28, there will be a high schools debate on climate change.


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