By Golden Sibanda in Bulawayo
The Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) says it has registered a 40 percent increase in exhibitor numbers on the back of growing investor confidence driven by the new dispensation’s pro-business policies. ZITF chairperson Ruth Ncube, yesterday said there was a massive surge in the number of exhibitors, both local and foreign, who have booked space for this year’s edition of Zimbabwe’s biggest trade and investment exhibition.
A total of 495 direct exhibitors have registered to participate in this year’s fair, which is 40 percent more than the 356 who took part in last year’s exhibition.
Ms Ncube said ZITF 2018 was the biggest the ZITF company had staged in recent years.
“ZITF 2018 is the biggest event we have ever held in the last few years on the back of growing confidence reassurance from the leaders of this country,” Mrs Ncube.
She said the company expected several exhibiting firms to clinch business deals.
Ms Ncube said exhibitors from across the world were optimistic of economic transformation in the country following the ascendancy to power of President Mnangagwa in November last year.
President Mnangagwa is expected to officially open this year’s exhibition on Friday.
“This year’s show has seen us witness a surge in numbers with 40 percent more exhibitors having booked space compared to last year’s closing total of 356.
“Exhibitors continue to make last minute dash for exhibition space with some sending communication that they are on their way,” Ms Ncube said.
This year’s edition of the annual exhibition is running under the theme “Sustainable Industrial Development, Inclusive, Competitive, Collaborative”.
ZITF 2018 started yesterday and runs through to April 28, 2018.
Growing confidence in Government has also seen countries such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) making their maiden appearance at ZITF while several traditional exhibitors from Sadc, North Africa, Middle East and Europe returned.
The perennial participants at ZITF 2018 include Botswana, China, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Kenya, Germany, Malawi Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa.
Ms Ncube said the theme for this year’s event locates individuals and small to medium enterprises within the country’s economic tapestry to identify in areas in which they can make contribution to the domestic economy.
“Consequently, particular emphasis has been placed on increasing participant engagement through contend driven concurrent events, venues and forums for matchmaking and business networking within large exhibition,” she said.