By Idah Mhetu in Bulawayo
This year’s 62nd edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) saw an increase in the number of exhibitors and exhibition space occupancy with most participants managing to clinch lucrative business deals.
Addressing a press conference yesterday, the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Honourable Sekai Nzenza said the quality of the exhibitions and products displayed were unprecedented, adding that it was a resoundingly successful event.
This year’s showcase was officially opened by President Emmerson Mnangagwa and was held under the theme: “Rethink, Reimagine, Reinvent Value chains for Economic Development.”
Minister Nzenza expressed her gratitude to the business community for heeding President Mnangagwa’s call for private sector-led growth.
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the business community for heeding his Excellency, the President’s call for a private sector-led growth,” said Hon Nzenza.
“In addition, I would like to outline that the quality of the exhibition and products displayed were unprecedented in Zimbabwe. This was a successful ZITF.”
The Trade Fair company chairperson, Mr Busisa Moyo said in terms of space utilisation, this year’s show was well subscribed, with exhibitors occupying a total number of 45 786 square metres, which represents 93% of the space made available this year.
“Organisers this year created supplementary exhibition space by converting one of the car parks into an exhibition venue,” said Moyo.
“There were 582 exhibitors, of which 420 were direct and 162 indirect. Out of the 420 direct exhibitors, 366 were traditional exhibitors, with 54 exhibiting for the first time and out the 162 exhibitors, 97 were traditional exhibitors while 65 were new, which brought the number of new exhibitors to 119, with the traditional accounting to 463,” added Minister Nzenza.
President Mnangagwa congratulated the organisers of the ZITF for hosting a successful trade fair and having 100% space subscriptions. The President also hinted on the construction of additional exhibition space.
“The increased interest in the trade fair is evidenced by the supplementary overflow exhibition space that has been set up. This must challenge the ZITF company to re-think and to re-imagine the trade fairs of the future. The construction of additional exhition space remains critical,” he added.
This year’s edition saw 13 foreign nations exhibiting. These include Belarus, Botswana, Britain, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.
The total number of foreign exhibitors was 24.
Angola participated with a delegation led by the Angolan Secretary of State for Industry.
“We have seen the coming back of countries that last participated some time ago. This demonstrates that the Second Republic’s policy of engagement and re-engagement, under the wide leadership of His Excellency, President ED Mnangagwa, is beginning to bear fruit,” said Minister Nzenza.
Minister Nzenza also said, “The upsurge in the uptake of space attests to the renewal of confidence in the country on the backdrop of the positive developments taking place in the economy, wherein the level of capacity utilisation has currently risen to 66% from 47% in 2020.”