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Michael Tome Business Reporter
BOOKINGS for participation at this year’s edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair have increased by 28 percent to 362 from 282 recorded during the same period last year, according to official figures.
A total of 685 exhibitors participated at the fair in 2018, a 5,4 percent increase from 650 recorded in the prior year.
The international fair, the biggest in the country, traditionally attracts exhibitors from cattle breeders, mining, agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, services and the education sectors.
It seeks to promote sustainable micro, small and medium enterprises growth and development through business linkages, market access, cluster development, business incubation and support services.
Speaking at an interface with business community in Harare recently, ZITF chairperson Ms Ruth Ncube highlighted that the trade fair would focus on areas afflicting the country’s economy.
“In the short term the emphasis is on development side,” she said. “It’s about linkages; we are very serious about getting people to have meetings that talk to the economy of this country. The idea is essentially to interface closely with industry and commerce to get feedback to shape our various interventions.
This event is critical in advancing Zimbabwe’s goal of creating synergies with global firms.
Ms Ncube indicated that the quality of exhibitions had improved over the years unlike half a decade ago.
“We are now attracting good quality exhibitors in recent years as compared to years before. I know that four to five years ago we had turned into a flea market; we have since improved our quality,” she said.
Running under the theme “Propagating Industrial Growth through Trade and Investment”, ZITF 2019 will provide an ideal engagement platform for both local and international investors, offering consultative opportunities that are crucial to the national economic development agenda.
ZITF this year took part at the Intra African Trade Fair (IATF) in Cairo, Egypt in a bid to lure more foreign countries, companies and organisations to participate at this year’s edition of the exhibition.