The country premier trade show will be officially opened on Friday by Africa Import and Export Bank (Afreximbank) president Jean Louis Ekra. Exhibitors who spoke to Radio VOP on Tuesday paid tribute to the organisers of the fair for inviting Afreximbank boss instead of the traditional heads of state who are usually invited to officially open the trade fair.
This year’s exhibition – which ends on Saturday – runs under the theme, “Optimising Business Synergies Now and Beyond.”
“This year’s trade fair is really a fair with a difference. The organisers have set the right tone for the fair by inviting a strategic technocrat whom we believe is going to assist our local business people by identifying synergies that will see our local companies forging strategic partnership with both foreign financial institutions,” said James Moore, the Director of Infet Irrigation suppliers whose company is exhibiting at the annual trade expo for the first time in 10 years.
Moore said over the years, his company had lost faith in the trade fair because of the politicisation of the event as well as the economic meltdown which the country went through before the formation of the inclusive government.
Industry and International Trade Minister, Welshman Ncube revealed that 96% of exhibition space had been taken up by exhibitors. Thirteen foreign countries including Turkey, Germany, Botswana, Egypt, Iran, India, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia, among others are attending.
He said this year’s trade showcase is meant to be a return to the business approach, saying this is the reason why the organizers closed out flea market stands that have dominated the fair in previous years.
“It is certainly bigger than last year in terms of the space covered. The space taken this year is around 96 and 97 percent the space available. It is 3000 square metres bigger than the space available last year,” Ncube said in an interview. “This trade fair is an exhibition of the manufacturing industry’s products and trade. We expect that the manufacturing sector will showcase that which it produces.”
The chief executive officer of Association for Business in Zimbabwe (ABUZ) Lucky Mlilo said companies exhibiting at this year’s event must use the fair as a platform to establish smart partnership with foreign companies.
“ZITF presents many businesses with the best chance to secure credit facilities from multinational financial institutions. We encourage our members to utilise such opportunities as they come once year. Credit lines are hard to come by,“ he said.
The trade fair is being concurrently held with the International Business conference.