Amanda Ncube, Business Reporter
CAPTAINS of industry have said the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) remains one of the biggest platforms for local companies to attract potential foreign investors as well as showcasing their products to the world.
This year’s edition of the 58th ZITF starts on Tuesday and ends on Saturday and will be held under the theme: “Harnessing Linkages for Industrial Development”. It will be officially opened by Namibian President Hage Geingob on Friday.
Affirmative Action Group (AAG) vice-president Mr Sam Ncube said local manufacturers should take ZITF as an opportunity to showcase their products to foreigners that visit the country’s premier exhibition to enable them to tap into various export markets.
“We have to make sure that our industries work. It’s not just about doing business among ourselves but to attract buyers from all over the world. It doesn’t make business sense to bring finished products from other countries and display them as if they are manufactured by us. We should be displaying our own products, manufactured by us,” said Mr Ncube.
He said ZITF should also be used as a springboard to facilitate a platform for captains of industry to work together with the Government to revive the country’s industries.
“It’s not only the Government which is responsible for our business but business is run by entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs should liaise with the Government to revive the industries so that we can be able to create jobs and export goods thus generating the much needed foreign currency.
“People should be the ones who are directing the Government on what to do with the industries so that they produce quality products. People always think in a parochial way or perspective instead of having a cosmopolitan global outlook. Zimbabwe is not the world but it is part of the world so we should see what is happening in other places and try to emulate and do better than that,” Mr Ncube said.
He also urged young entrepreneurs to take the opportunity presented by the ZITF to grow their business.
Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce president Mr Davison Norupiri said the ZITF was of paramount importance to local companies as it gives them an opportunity to tap into the foreign markets.
“During the trade fair we identify investors who want to invest in our businesses and we are likely to attract foreign markets through showcasing our products. Foreign visitors will look at products which will add value to their products and that way they will identify some of our business.
“It is also an opportunity for local companies to identify reliable suppliers. We will be having many foreign exhibitors gracing the exhibition and as such it is through this platform that we get to identify some of them as our suppliers. Companies have to take advantage of this opportunity as all these aspects will help them in their businesses,” said Mr Norupiri.
More than 90 percent of the exhibition space had been sold, translating to 43 900 square metres early last week although more exhibitors were still making last minute books.