Bigger ZITF 2024 expected

10 Mar, 2024 - 00:03 0 Views
Bigger ZITF  2024 expected

The Sunday News

Rutendo Nyeve, Business Reporter

ORGANISERS of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) have said they expect to surpass last year’s number of international exhibitors, with 19 countries confirming their participation in this year’s trade showcase.

The annual event which will be in its 64th edition is set to take place from 23 to 27 April and will be held under the theme “Entrepreneurship: The Catalyst for Industrialisation and Trade.”

Giving an update on preparations to this year’s showcase last week, ZITF Board chairperson Mr Busisa Moyo said they expected to surpass last year’s figure of 21 countries that exhibited with 19 having already confirmed their participation.

“Space uptake by foreign exhibitors has also been good with 19 foreign nations being represented at ZITF 2024. So far, to date, we have confirmed exhibits from Belarus, Botswana, the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Iran, Japan, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Netherlands, Romania, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States of America and Zambia. We are currently waiting on other nations to consolidate and confirm their space requirements and are positive that we will surpass last year’s closing total of 21 countries,” said Mr Moyo.

In keeping with industry’s expectations for a platform that delivers constructive engagements, useful insights and invaluable networking opportunities, Mr Moyo said they have curated an industry-focused programme.

“We will host the ZITF welcome cocktail, ZITF International Business Conference, Connect Africa Symposium, ZITF Diplomats’ Forum, ZITF 2024 Charity Golf Challenge, ZITF Innovators’ Forum, Scholastica Expo, as well as various other value-added services. Key industry players and entrepreneurs alike can look forward to insightful discussions on the impact of entrepreneurship on industrialisation and trade, identification of opportunities for international collaboration and investment, dissemination of actionable strategies for fostering entrepreneurial ecosystems in Zimbabwe and exploration of innovative approaches to overcome trade barriers and promote global market access,” he said.

Speaking on the theme of this year’s fair, Mr Moyo said entrepreneurs were playing a pivotal role in revitalising the Zimbabwean economy, emphasising the need for clear and identifiable ecosystems to galvanise their participation and potentially attract members of the diaspora community back to the country.

“Throughout history, it has been the innovative spirit of entrepreneurs that has driven industrial revolutions. They are the ones who birth ideas, inventions, and technologies and nurture them into practical applications that change the world.

“They identify needs, develop solutions and build businesses that create jobs and wealth.

“But entrepreneurs do not operate in a vacuum. They rely on a thriving industrial ecosystem. The ZITF 2024 theme recognises this and seeks to tap into and harness the entrepreneurial spirit which exists in many of us. This year’s exhibition floor will therefore feature established industries showcasing their latest advancements, alongside the newest start-ups brimming with fresh ideas. ZITF 2024 will essentially be about the cross-pollination between established players and agile entrepreneurs, and the creation of an enabling environment that propels them to industrialise and trade,” said Mr Moyo.

Mr Moyo said while people like Henry Ford in America are considered as some of the pioneers of industrialisation, Zimbabwe is not an exception with businesspersons such as Zeblon Maplanka in Bulawayo, Jafoka in Harare and Strive Masiywa, being some of the entrepreneurs at the centre of industrialisation, business expansion and economic growth.

“The signs of a vibrant healthy economy is when we have entrepreneurs populating the business space. So we believe at the heart of reviving the Zimbabwean economy and if we begin to galvanise these people into ecosystems that are clear and identifiable, we will see more of them stepping up. We will also see more of the diaspora community returning. The lodges that we are seeing coming up in Zimbabwe are being done by entrepreneurs because they see a business opportunity and come in,” he said.

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