The Sunday News
Judith Phiri, Business Reporter
A TOTAL of 396 local exhibitors and international exhibitors from 11 countries have confirmed participation at the 61st edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF), which is expected to be officially opened by President Mnangagwa.
Speaking at a post-Cabinet briefing, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the international exhibitors are from Malawi, Tanzania, Namibia, Botswana, Nigeria, Indonesia, South Africa, Belarus, Kenya, Mauritius and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
ZITF will run under the theme, “Showcasing the New Normal for Business and Industry: Realities and Opportunities”.
The premier trade fair will run for four days from 21 to 24 September, with the first three days scheduled as business days.
“His Excellency the President will officially open the Fair on 23 September and attendance will be strictly by invitation to manage numbers. The Zimbabwe-Diplomats Forum is scheduled for 23 September and hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
“Given that the Fair is being held during Covid-19 times, the nation is advised that an elaborate Covid-19 Risk Management Plan has been produced and circulated to all exhibitors. There will be heightened health and safety protocols, modified venue layouts, digital and hybrid meeting platforms and emphasis on numbers management,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.
Minister Mutsvangwa said the Vice President, Constantino Chiwenga, is expected to deliver the keynote address at the ZITF International Business Conference on 22 September. She said the third edition of the ZITF Innovators’ Forum will be held on 21 to 22 September and will target innovators drawn from Innovation Hubs of the local universities, and will present students with an opportunity to showcase their innovations to address real life challenges.
While 24 September will be a public day, the Minister said no children will be allowed entry.
Meanwhile, addressing a press conference on Tuesday, ZITF company board chairman, Mr Busisa Moyo said children under 18 have been barred to avoid mishaps.
“We think adults will self-manage better than children and so we want to avoid any mishaps with children under the age of 18,” said Mr Moyo.
He said that the pandemic has not only disrupted life, but also upended international economic development. Mr Moyo said the country was at a very critical point in dealing with both the pandemic and its long-term effects, therefore it was crucial to host the show at this point in time, in an attempt to bring normalcy and stability to business, industry and the national economy.
“Going forward, international trade and strategic business transactions will be essential to the economic recovery and development of Zimbabwe and its allies.”