THE Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) Company says it has invited international business delegations and potential investors to meet local industry players during the annual fair to encourage business linkages and promote industrial development.
Running under the theme, Harnessing Linkages for Industrial Development, the 58th edition of the ZITF runs from April 25 to 29 in Bulawayo.
It will be officially opened by Namibian President Hage Geingob.
ZITF Company general manager Nomathemba Ndlovu told NewsDay that for the last three to four years, their strategy had been to rebrand the ZITF to bring its focus back to industry.
“For ZITF 2017, we have invited international business delegations and potential investors to meet our local industry players as we seek to encourage business linkages and mutually-beneficial working relationships to promote industrial development,” Ndlovu said.
“In line with the Southern African Development Community and African Union thrust, the ZITF 2017 will be one of the key platforms that the Ministry of Industry and Commerce will use to popularise the region’s industrialisation theme.”
Zimbabwe is currently suffering from severe deindustrialisation since the turn of the century due to poor economic policies.
As such, manufacturing firms are operating under subdued capacity.
Ndlovu said both at the ZITF International Business Conference and CZI/ZITF Manufacturers’ Forum that will be taking place on 26 and 27 April 2017 respectively, policy makers and key decision makers will have vibrant discussions focusing on strategies for sustainable industrial development.
“As a value-add to our participants, we will also be introducing a new forum to profile innovations which will be a launch pad for home-grown solutions to tackle industry challenges,” she said.
Over 42 000 square metres has been sold to date, occupied by 385 direct exhibitors, Ndlovu said.
Foreign countries that have confirmed participation include Botswana, China, Ethiopia, Germany, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa and Turkey.
Highlights of the five-day event include the ZITF International Business Conference on April 26, organised in partnership with the National Economic Consultative Forum.
Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa will deliver the keynote address at the conference.
A forum on original equipment manufacturers will be held on April 27 in conjunction with the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries.
The trade fair will also run concurrently with sector-specific expos — A’sambeni Africa Business Tourism Expo, Ultimate Home, Pakprint and Scholastica.