Bulawayo businesses to capitalise on ZITF 2024

31 Mar, 2024 - 00:03 0 Views
Bulawayo businesses to  capitalise on ZITF 2024 Ms Sithabile Bhebhe

The Sunday News

Judith Phiri , Business Reporter

BUSINESSES in Bulawayo are looking forward to the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) 2024, scheduled for 23 to 27 April, as it provides them with a platform and opportunities to grow their enterprises and generate the much-needed income.

The 64th edition of the ZITF will run under the theme, “Entrepreneurship: The Catalyst for Industrialisation and Trade.”
ZITF provides engagement platforms for local and international investors, offering interactive opportunities crucial to the national development agenda.

The President of the Republic of Kenya, Dr William Ruto, is set to officially open this year’s trade showcase.

The trade fair has over the years been one of the biggest economic events for the city in particular and the country in general.

During ZITF, Bulawayo witnesses a hive of activity as Government officials, diplomats, international buyers, local and foreign exhibitors as well as captains of industry among others converge on the city for the country’s premier showcase.

It provides a platform for Bulawayo companies to rise to the occasion and put themselves on the world map by creating new partnerships and synergies.

In an interview, Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) Matabeleland region vice-president Mr Mackenzie Dongo, said the trade fair was a major boost for business in the city.

He said they have already started witnessing infrastructure development and renovations that include road markings and rehabilitation in the Central Business District (CBD) and the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre (ZIEC) area.

“The ZITF is a major boost to the Bulawayo business ecosystem and as business we are quite upbeat and optimistic about it this year. This is a major boost for our city and country at large given our major economic re-engagement drive. It dovetails well with the Government efforts to resuscitate industry, especially in Bulawayo which was once an industrial hub in line with the new industrial revolution and artificial intelligence.

“We are encouraging all business players to attend the business days, be it small to medium or large organisations, so as to establish strategic business ties with local, regional and international businesses partners. They need to capitalise on the trade showcase and also showcase local capabilities,” said Mr Dongo.

Mr Mackenzie Dongo

On accommodation and hospitality, he said players will have a major business boost which has ripple effects on employment creation, both permanent and seasonal, while players in the food catering, transport, telecommunications, branding, leisure and recreational centres should prepare for an increase in business activities.

Economic commentator and businessman Mr Morris Mpala said the trade showcase was an opportunity for local industries in different sectors to promote and get strategic partners for their businesses.

“This has always been the time to showcase what Bulawayo has and the country as a whole, while creating a market for various goods and services that will be on offer. ZITF also creates a networking platform for all the various sector actors so that they can understand how other players in the sector around the world are doing it.”

Bulawayo Chamber of Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs), vice-chairperson, Ms Sithabile Bhebhe said they are in the process of facilitating for SMEs from the city to exhibit and showcase their products at this year’s edition of the ZITF.

She, however, bemoaned that some of the exhibition stands prices were beyond the reach of some SMEs that survive and live on hand to mouth.

“Over the years a few SMEs have had the opportunity to participate at the ZITF. However, this year we want to make sure that more get space to exhibit their products and services at the ZITF so that they can also get more visibility and opportunities that can contribute to the growth of their businesses.

“The only challenge some are faced with is the prices of exhibition stands as they are a bit steep for them,” she said.

Ms Bhebhe said the ZITF period was a platform for the SMEs to market their products to a wider and more diverse populace.

Meanwhile, in a post-Cabinet briefing on Tuesday, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Dr Jenfan Muswere said 466 direct exhibitors had registered to participate as of 21 March with 65 being first time exhibitors.

He said 96 percent or 47 425 square metres out of the net space available or 49 499 square metres have been taken up, while there were 25 international exhibitors from 21 countries that have confirmed attendance and the international exhibits will cut across several sectors.

Share This: