Story by Yolanda Moyo
The 2023 edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) is set to be bigger and better with more than 20 countries expected to converge in Zimbabwe for the exhibition.
In two weeks’ time, the nation opens its gates to inbound and outbound business opportunities from around the world through the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) which will run from the 25th to the 29th of April.
Briefing the media in Bulawayo this Wednesday, ZITF board chairperson Mr Busisa Moyo confirmed that the country’s prime trade showcase will be bigger and better.
“In terms of exhibitor numbers, we are currently sitting at 533 direct exhibitors which are 27% higher than last year’s closing total of 420 direct exhibitors and 13% higher than the booking situation at the same time last year (471 direct exhibitors),” he noted.
“This figure includes 108 new exhibitors, indicating an 80% retention rate on traditional exhibiting organisations. Notable amongst the first-time exhibitors which will be participating this year is the Delegation of the European Union to Zimbabwe. While in the past we have had individual countries from the EU participating the likes of France, Germany and Italy, which will be the first participation by the mission itself,” he said.
He also said, “In addition to certain individual national displays on trade opportunities, the bloc will also have exhibits of the various programmes that it is running in and with Zimbabwe.
“To date, ZITF 2023 will feature 25 direct exhibits from 21 foreign nations, representing both nation participation and individual companies. This compares favourably to the 2022 edition where 16 direct exhibitors from 13 countries took part in the show,” he added.
“The countries represented are Angola, Belarus, Botswana, China, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Netherlands, Nigeria, South Africa, Sweden, Tanzania, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America and Zambia,” he highlighted.
He went on, “In terms of local participation, 65% of the confirmed exhibitors came from Harare while Bulawayo-based companies accounted for 21%. Representation from other cities around the country is currently 14%.”
The theme for the exhibition is: “Transformative Innovation, Global Competitiveness,” and touches on the core elements of the National Development Strategy 1.
“The ZITF 2023 theme is particularly fitting because it touches on the core elements of our national vision 2030 and its current medium-term plan NDS1, by highlighting the following fundamentals: The only way to grow the Zimbabwean economy is to improve the competitiveness of locally produced products through improving the capacity and capacity utilisation of the manufacturing sector,” he said.
He added, “For that to happen, our businesses need to be innovative in terms of both their industrial processes and their business models. Industrialisation is not just a Zimbabwe problem but also one that affects the whole of the African continent and the SADC region.”
Among the major highlights at the fair is the International Business Conference, the second edition of the Connect Africa Symposium and the ZITF Diplomats Forum.
Youth-focused programmes which include the ZITF Innovators Forum and Scholastica are also on the cards.