Bigger, bolder and better ZITF…Six more countries participate

21 Apr, 2024 - 00:04 0 Views
Bigger, bolder and better ZITF…Six more countries  participate

The Sunday News

 Sunday News Reporters

BULAWAYO is expected to be a hive of activity as the 64th edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) roars into life on Tuesday with business having already picked pace while organisers have reported an over subscription of exhibitors to the trade jamboree.

The Bulawayo City Council has also been steadily getting ready, undertaking key sprucing works to ensure that visitors are greeted by a welcoming and aesthetically pleasing environment.

Running under the theme: “Innovation: The Catalyst to Industrialisation and Trade” the highly anticipated ZITF will be officially opened by Kenyan President Dr William Ruto who will be accompanied by his counterpart and ZITF patron, President Mnangagwa.

In a statement, the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndhlovu confirmed that President Ruto will be in the country to officially open the trade showcase.

“It’s a pleasure to reaffirm that this critical economic event will be opened by His Excellency Dr William Ruto,” Minister Ndhlovu stated.

He highlighted that the fair will feature international participants from 27 countries, including the United States, China, Germany, Belarus, Russia, the United Kingdom, among others.

Giving an update last Friday, ZITF board chairperson Mr Busisa Moyo said all was in place for the trade showcase that has since registered improved subscriptions of exhibitors both locally and internationally.

“ZITF preparations are well advanced, we are over-subscribed as we have more exhibitors in total than we had last year. We have 576 exhibitors coming through this year compared to 565 last year. We also have more countries that will be joining the trade showcase. We have six more countries than we had last year. Last year we had 21 and this year we have 27. 

“We also have 136 new exhibitors coming in for the first time. These are signs of confidence and the value that exhibitors both locally, in the region and internationally are seeing in the ZITF. We look forward to welcoming everybody on Tuesday when we commence the showcase,” said Mr Moyo.

He said 27 percent of the companies exhibiting are from Bulawayo which he said was statistically significant.

In a bid to foster the “go green drive” and encourage healthier mobility options, Mr Moyo said the ZITF will discourage visitors from using their cars by implementing top-tier changes that are in line with the global trends of international showcases. These will include parking charges and the provision of exclusive shuttle services. 

“We want to reduce the amount of traffic in the vicinity of the ZITF through the use of shuttle services coming from local hotels to decongest traffic. We are limiting the amount of vehicles coming to the fair. There is going to be a parking charge which is US$25 for the whole fair which is US$5 per day,” said Mr Moyo.

Turning to environmental issues, Mr Moyo said they are discouraging the use of single-use plastic saying they are working closely with the Environmental Management Agency (EMA) to ensure litter is managed properly. 

The hospitality sector has also put in place necessary measures to ensure that all visitors to the city are adequately accommodated, with a snap survey by this publication revealing that a majority of the major hotels and lodges in the city are fully booked.

In an interview with Sunday News, the Hospitality Association of Zimbabwe’s second vice-president and chairperson of the Bulawayo Chapter, Mr Kudzai Ratisai said they have done their best to ensure all visitors are comfortably accommodated. 

Mr Busisa Moyo

He said the hospitality sector will deliver unwavering commitment towards ensuring that visitors get the best services.

“Generally, in the hospitality industry, almost all places are fully booked. We have been getting one or two cancellations which we then refer if someone cancels. From the bookings point of view, we are good. People are expected to arrive tomorrow (today) and the bulk on Monday. 

“With regards to foreigners looking for accommodation, we have encouraged them to contact us as HAZ and also the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority. We have been looking for accommodation for them. As far as we are concerned I am sure no one will say they could not get accommodation,” said Mr Ratisai.

He further revealed that in terms of pricing, they were implementing a balancing model after receiving pricing models recommended by the Government.

When Sunday News visited the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre yesterday, exhibitors were busy setting up their stands and those interviewed had high prospects for this year’s trade showcase.

One of the local exhibitors, Mrs Mercy Matsika, a local businesswoman whose company — Megafest Holdings — is part of the 27 percent local Bulawayo companies exhibiting during this showcase said she is upbeat and confident that this year’s exhibition comes with more opportunities.

“We are excited that as Megafest Holdings we will be exhibiting as well in Hall 4. The trade fair always brings a lot of activities in the city and I must say this year it is even bigger and better and that means more opportunities are being created for the Bulawayo business community as we foster entrepreneurial growth, especially among the young entrepreneurs. 

“We are excited because currently, we are living in an open society where global economic integration is a must for the existence and development of our city and our country as a whole. This year’s trade fair is a trade bridge for businesses to find opportunities as well as build cooperative relationships. In addition, for consumers, this is also a good opportunity to directly review services and products from many businesses,” said Mrs Matsika. 

She said trade fairs are always an effective method for exchange trade and present good opportunities to research customer needs and feedback for new product launches.

“The ZITF is not only a place to introduce products and services, but also a convergence of many different ideas, from competitors in the same industry to potential partners in different fields,” said Mrs Matsika.

Meanwhile, the Bulawayo City Council, through its corporate communications manager Mrs Nesisa Mpofu, has said the city is ready and feels humbled to host an international fair with several activities having been carried out to spruce up the city.

“The City of Bulawayo has been steadily getting ready for the ZITF which is an international trade showcase. As a city, we are humbled to be able to host this worldwide exhibition. Our various departments have been working, paying attention to grass cutting, fixing of roads as well as overall environmental cleanliness. 

“The first clean-up for this month which was a national clean-up on the first Friday was conducted in the vicinity of ZITF where we had an amazing turn out of stakeholders and residents of Ward One who turned up in their numbers to try and pick up litter around that area,” said Mrs Mpofu.

She said tomorrow (Monday) they have a clean-up which they have partnered with the ZITF where they will clean areas around the ZITF once more with various corporates and partners having approached to assist with materials. 

The council spokesperson said they desire to make sure that the city maintains international standards and they hope that they will continue to improve on cleanliness and overall sanitation and hygiene.


Share This:


We value your opinion! Take a moment to complete our survey

This will close in 20 seconds