ZITF roars to life Cattle are one of the major attractions at the Agricultural Show running concurrently with this year’s ZITF exhibition in Bulawayo.— Picture: Eliah Saushoma

Nqobile Bhebhe  

Bulawayo Bureau       

THE 63rd edition of the premium trade exhibition — the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair — kicks off in Bulawayo today amid high optimism that the platform will strengthen existing business linkages and create new ones.

The annual trade exhibition will be held under the theme, “Transformative Innovation, Global Competitiveness” and will run from 25 to 29 April.

In the lead up to the exhibition, captains of industry said they looked forward to expanding their networks and establishing new export markets. The focus on new export markets dovetails with the part of the theme on global competitiveness.

Added to that, the country under its successful economic blueprint, the National Development Strategy 1 (NSD1), which among other measures, seeks to develop an export-led economy.

The exhibition has been identified as a unique platform for sealing and enhancing business synergies.

It has attracted an array of local exhibitors with a range of products and services, including agricultural implements and equipment, automotive products, building and construction, civic representation, clothing and textiles, education and training, energy products and equipment.

Food products manufacturing and processing, business tourism products and services, information communication and technology, medical/health-related products, mining equipment, pharmaceuticals and chemicals are also on display.

Speaking to journalists during a post-Cabinet briefing last week, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said “the nation should therefore look forward to a resoundingly successful 2023 Edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair.”

“As the Second Republic’s re-engagement and engagement policy continues to yield tremendous results in facilitating trade and investment, more than 100 participants have registered as first-time exhibitors, including the European Union.”

Local exhibitors have a huge opportunity to expand their global reach as more than 20 countries confirmed participation.

Among the participants is the European Union which is exhibiting for the first time as a bloc. In previous years, EU member states exhibited individually.

“The foreign nations expected to exhibit include Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia, Angola, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Belarus, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, China, and the United States of America,” said Minister Mutsvangwa.

The economic diplomacy thrust, which is critical in attracting fresh investments and transforming the economy, dovetails with the Second Republic’s engagement and re-engagement policy. This has seen the Government and the private sector scaling up trade and investment campaigns across the region and beyond.

EU countries are on a drive to develop new business partnerships in Africa to increase total trade and investment in Africa.

Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) Matabeleland Chapter chairperson, Mr Mackenzie Dongo, is of the view that the exhibition presents an opportunity for businesses to expand their footprints locally and abroad.

“The premium trade show will provide vast business opportunities for local suppliers to match international business partners. We expect to generate a lot of international trade as a result of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair.

“We are mainly focusing on exporting our own local produce and marketing our local tourist destinations given the positive response from new airlines that have started landing in Zimbabwe with the latest being Eswatini Airways. This points to the positive trajectory the Government is focusing on as Zimbabwe is open for business,” he said.

Posting on its website and unpacking the theme, “Transformative Innovation, Global Competitiveness,” the ZITF Company said: “The theme is apt as it posits innovation as the driving force, which will push our society into the future where new ideas are increasingly becoming the currency of achieving success.

“ZITF 2023 is taking place in the epoch of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) which represents changes in work, everyday life and relationships with innovation and technological advancements at the heart of it all.

“Consequently, economic mobility and impactful entrepreneurship will be key indicators of a positive trajectory in this revolution while sustainable economic confidence and global competitiveness are the ultimate end goals.

“ZITF 2023 is undoubtedly the ideal platform to position your business for global competition through innovation exploration and information interchange among economic visionaries determined to be positively disruptive in their various fields through both entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship.”

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