The Sunday News
Dumisani Nsingo, Senior Business Reporter
THE Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) Company will this year host an inaugural Diplomats Forum, a move meant to augment Government and President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s clarion call to re-engage with the international community and attract investment needed to spark economic growth in the country.
ZITF Company marketing and public relations manager Ms Stella Nkomo said a Diplomats Forum, which will attract high-level Government officials and numerous foreign diplomats would be held during the course of the exhibition.
“ZITF will this year host its inaugural Diplomats Forum which aims to promote Zimbabwe bilateral relationships with the international community as part of Vision 2030.
“The event will see a high-level Zimbabwe Government representation host foreign diplomats accredited to Zimbabwe as well as delegations from their host counties to showcase the breadth and quality of investment opportunities available in the country. Additionally, there is already interest from foreign countries that would like to organise separate bilateral trade and investment fora. More details will be provided once the events are confirmed,” she said.
The annual multi-sectoral trade showcase will be held from 21-25 April at the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre in Bulawayo under the theme: “Augmenting Trade & Investment towards a Shared Economic Vision.”
“The theme continues to build on the engagement and re-engagement thrust that the country is pursuing which means developing relationships with everyone and at every level (individual, business, national and international).
“This is displayed even in the theme logo that shows the creation of these global networks through beading. Only when the Zimbabwean industry has created a strong network of international trading partners and value chain players, can we hope to increase (augment) our trade and investment levels to achieve our shared economic vision. We are positioning ZITF as the preferred platform to meet the potential partners needed to build and re-build these relationships and achieve this economic vision,” said Ms Nkomo.
Other notable events that would take place at the showcase include the ZITF International Business Conference that is organised in conjunction with the National Economic Consultative forum on 22 April and the Official Opening Ceremony on 24 April.
The ZITF Company is also collaborating with the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) to host the Manufacturers’ Conference on 23 April, while the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) will host their annual Business Luncheon on the same day.
The third ZITF Innovators Forum will take place from 21 to 23 April under the theme, “Industrialisation, Modernisation through Innovation.” Ms Nkomo said preparations for the 61st edition of the country’s premier business exhibition were at an advanced stage with 78 percent of the exhibition space already taken.
“Trade Fair preparations are well on course. The marketing and promotion campaign which was officially launched in November last year has gained traction with a total of 231 direct exhibitors having heeded the call to book exhibition space. In terms of space taken, 38 882 square metres of the available 49 631 square metres of exhibition space has been taken up accounting for 78 percent of the space that has been taken so far,” she said.
Ms Nkomo said the company was expecting 90 percent of last year’s exhibitors to return for this year’s showcase.
“Last year 86 percent of customers indicated that they made useful contacts during the Show while 88 percent noted that they will recommend the show to their peers. We are expecting approximately 90 percent returning exhibitors and 10 percent first-time exhibitors to participate,” she said.