VICE President Emmerson Mnangagwa will today deliver a key note address and officially open the 2017 Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) International Business Conference in Bulawayo.
The business conference is a major highlight of the five-day premier trade showcase jointly organised by the ZITF Company in conjunction with the National Economic Consultative Forum (NECF).
The high level forum is expected to draw participants from local industry and commerce executives, the academia, representatives of foreign exhibitors, embassies, civic society, development partners and other stakeholders who will share the stage on a range of economic issues.
This year’s business conference comes at a time when Zimbabwe is angling for a robust economic turnaround riding on the successful farming season under the Command Agriculture scheme, which is expected to yield more than two million tonnes of grain.
The country is also working on fine-tuning its investment image through the doing business reform agenda. Economic projections by Treasury and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have already pegged Zimbabwe’s growth this year to between two to three percent.
In recognition of the need to enhance domestic business efficiency and attract foreign direct investment, Deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr Ray Ndhlukula, will make a presentation on the on-going ease of doing business reforms in Zimbabwe as the bedrock for robust industrial development.
Dr F Bokosi, an executive director with the African Forum and Network on Debt and Development, will lead the discussion on curbing illicit financial flows for industrial development. Externalisation of foreign exchange and money laundering are some of the major problems bedevilling African economies.
Joint ventures and partnerships are an integral component of developing businesses. To that end, the Indian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Rungsung Masakui will lead a discussion on promoting international value chains through the India-Zimbabwe business partnerships.
There will also be a session on how to break into the international and intra-regional markets for economic transformation through trade investment. This session will be led by Namibian Industrialisation, Trade and SMEs Ministry deputy secretary, Ms B K Menyah-Artivor.
Developing a sound infrastructure forms a solid foundation for investment. In that regard, Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) chief executive officer, Mr Thomas Zondo-Sakala, will make a presentation on closing infrastructure gaps for industrial development in Zimbabwe focusing on the critical steps.
The gathering will also tackle insurance issues in relation to sustainability of industrial development. This year’s ZITF runs under the theme: “Harnessing Linkages for Industrial Development”.