INDUSTRY and Commerce minister Mike Bimha has said the just-ended Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) was a success, claiming 93% of the exhibitors had met their target customers, while 87% received prospects for future sales.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
Running under the theme, Harnessing Linkages for Industrial Development, the 58th edition of ZITF ended on Saturday last week.
Giving his ZITF 2017 overview at a press conference, Bimha said this year’s show was focused and compact, occupying a total of 43 595 square metres, which represents 91% of the space made available for sale.
“We had a total of 706 exhibitors taking up space. Of these, 367 were direct exhibitors whilst 339 were indirect exhibits. Thirteen foreign nations took part in this year’s show. These countries were represented by 14 direct exhibitors and 44 indirect exhibitors. With regards to local participation, 59% of exhibitors came from Harare while 30% came from Bulawayo and the remainder from other cities,” he said.
Bimha said the business-to-business trading period saw 3 200 business visitors walking through the exhibition centre. He said the calibre of this year’s business visitors was quite high as there were a significant number of senior level business executives and representation from the highest echelons.
“Exhibitors were also quite satisfied with the quality of their interactions. Preliminary survey results show that 93% of our exhibitors met with their target customers and 87% received prospects for future sales,” he said.
However, contrary to what Bimha said, NewsDay witnessed a subdued fair with low public turnout.
Also the type of companies participated was a cause of concern. There were very few manufacturing companies as compared to yesteryears.
This prompted industry officials to call for the private sector to take the lead role and be more prominent than parastatals and government departments.
“Industry and private sector need to take the lead role and be more prominent and less of parastatals and government departments since it is a ‘trade’ fair. There should be a separate event for public services,” Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, president Busisa Moyo said.