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ZITF struggles to attract international exhibitors

The Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) is struggling to attract international exhibitors to this year’s edition with just less than two months before the jamboree to be held under Covid-19 protocols kicks-off in Bulawayo.

The trade showcase which could not be held last year owing to the Covid-19 pandemic control measures, which saw countries across the globe shutting their borders and restricting international travel, is set for run from July 20 to 23 under the theme: “The New Normal for Business and Industry: Realities and Opportunities.”

ZITF is going ahead despite analysts having warned that conditions were not yet conducive for the country to hold a successful exhibition.

The government disclosed Wednesday that only nine countries have so far confirmed participation at the trade fair set to be officially by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

“A total of nine countries have confirmed their participation at the fair, while engagements with other nations are ongoing,” said Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister, Monica Mutsvangwa, during a post cabinet briefing Wednesday.

Some of the previous exhibitions have attracted at least 16 countries.

“As at 20 May 2021, 46 309 square metres out of 49 877 square metres of exhibition space available for booking had been taken up. Three hundred and ninety-five companies have expressed interest to exhibit at ZITF 2021, 94 of which are leaseholders and 52 are new exhibitors.”

She said different exhibitors in a variety of sectors were expected at ZITF 2021.

“The exhibitor profile is varied, with a range of products and services including the following: agricultural implements and equipment; automotive products; building and construction; clothing and textile; food product manufacturing and processing; tourism business products and services; information communication technology; pharmaceuticals and chemicals; and mining equipment,” said Mutsvangwa.

The highlights of the trade fair include the International Business Conference, a Charity Golf Challenge and the first ever the first Zim-Diplomats Forum.

“The Zim-Diplomats Forum will be hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in conjunction with the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA) and is aimed at engaging locally-based foreign diplomats on Government’s ongoing measures to facilitate investment,” said  Mutsvangwa.”

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