Auxilia Katongomara, Business Reporter
BOOKINGS for the 58th edition of the 2017 Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) are underway with 70 percent of the exhibition space already taken up ahead of the prime exhibition in April.
So far 10 countries have confirmed participation at the annual trade showcase organised by the ZITF Company.
This year’s edition will run from April 25 to 29.
“To date almost 70 percent of exhibition space has been taken up, while bookings and inquiries continue to come on a daily basis,” said the ZITF Company in its latest monthly newsletter.
“Locally, different sectors are so far fairly represented with promising leads from agriculture, business services, manufacturing and renewable energy.”
The company said foreign participation was encouraging as 10 countries have committed to participate. These are Botswana, China, India, Iran, Japan, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Turkey.
The mega trade showcase is held annually in Bulawayo and this year’s theme is “Harnessing Linkages for Industrial Development”.
The theme dovetails with Zimbabwe and the region’s thrust on industrialisation and trade facilitation for sustainable economic growth.
“The exhibition will provide a conducive platform for harnessing business and investment linkages to produce mutually-beneficial working relationships, said the ZITF Company while acknowledging that the downturn in world economies had placed businesses under severe pressure in the past few years.
“The knock-on effect has been felt, pushing companies to devise new marketing strategies in order to remain highly competitive. Those that have failed to re-invent themselves have struggled to stay afloat while others have either liquidated and or relocated,” it said.
ZITF has remained an integral platform for companies to consolidate their market positions and continues to offer a rare opportunity for local companies to penetrate new markets, benchmark their products with international brands and allow for the exchange of ideas in particular on issues to do with globalisation, new technologies and business linkages.
Among the major events at this year’s edition is the International Business Conference organised in conjunction with the National Economic Consultative Forum (NECF) focused on engaging policy makers and business leaders on policy issues, global trends and topical business issues.
Also on the table is the Original Equipment Manufacturer’s Forum, which is in its second year running aimed at addressing industry challenges of low capacity utilisation, antiquated machinery and lack of competitiveness and capital constraints.