By Yolanda Moyo
THE huge number of exhibitors at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF), which begins next week, has been described as a positive signal that local companies have managed to shrug off the effects of COVID-19.
With about five days left before the ZITF roars into life, all the exhibition space has been taken up.
ZITF Chief Executive Officer, Dr Nicholas Ndebele says the increase in the number of exhibitors is a signal that the business sector is responding positively to the effects of the COVID-19.
“We are excited by the pace of preparations for ZITF 2022 and in particular, the manner in which the market has favourably responded to our call for reinvented, re-imagined exhibition. We have 471 exhibitors that have taken up exhibition space and there is an overflow of 128 exhibitors,” said Dr Ndebele.
With small and medium enterprises contributing to the gross domestic product, the ZITF has been identified as a platform for the sector to seek expansion opportunities.
“As ZITF, we realise the importance of SMEs especially considering that the sector was heavily impacted by COVID-19. Of interest to ZITF is the role of SMEs as the driver of the economy. So exhibitors need to understand that exhibition is not for large business only but also meant for them to leverage on those kind of networks that ZITF provide,” he said.
Major highlights for this year’s edition of the ZITF is the Connect Africa Symposium, the International Business Conference and the Diplomats Forum, where President Emmerson Mnangagwa will deliver the key note address.
This year’s ZITF will also have platforms for youths to discuss topics such as education and innovation.
The country prime trade showcase will be held from the 26th to the 30th of April under the theme, ‘Rethink, Re-imagine and Re-invent Value Chains for Economic Development.’