Daniel Chigaru, the ZITF general manager, told Radio VOP that the ban to sell goods during this year’s exhibition is an attempt by the organisers to meet international exhibitions standard that did not allow sales.
The ZITF had been turned into a flea market with local Small to medium enterprises (SMES) selling their goods during the showcase to make up for the lack of international exhibitors who continued to snub the annual trade exhibition.
“If we cannot bring up the level of our exhibition to an acceptable international standard by allowing sales, the foreign exhibitors and many hundreds of local SMES, would abandon the ZITF thus hindering the development that ZITF is meant to promote making the country lose lucrative contracts,” Chigaru said in an interview.
Chigaru added that a ban on the sale of goods is also an attempt to bring the trade showcase to its former glory when it used to attract international exhibitors.
“The ZITF is a place where manufactures and providers of services come to present their goods to interested buyers, hoping to receive orders and establishing a partnership that will last for years.
“If sales across the counter were permitted to continue throughout the expo, no meaningful deal making will take place…it is the aim of the government and the ZITF Company to bring the annual exhibition to its former glory,” Chigaru noted.
The theme for the 2011 edition of the ZITF is “Optimising Business Synergies . . . Now and Beyond” and runs from 3 to 7 May with the first two days set aside as business days.
Organisers of the ZITF 2011 say this year’s event will spotlight sectors such as agriculture, tourism, mining and manufacturing which are seen as driving the country’s economic revival process.
ZITF has been witnessing a low turnout of exhibitors from the West and the European who continue to snub the event in protest over President Robert Mugabe’s leadership.