Information from the ZITF booking schedule indicated that a total of 40 Iranian companies were taking part at this year’s trade fair. These companies are exhibiting in Hall 3 and Hall 4, where they are showcasing mainly electrical and food processing products.
Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is set to open the trade fair on Friday this week. The Movement of Democratic Change (MDC) led by Morgan Tsvangirai, has disassociated itself from the Iranian leader’s visit to Zimbabwe, saying he is a dictator like Mugabe.
However, the first of the two traders days kicked off, to a slow start with few people paying their way to view exhibits. Traders’ days are not open to members of the public but are reserved for business people to conduct business among themselves.
“This year’s trade far is slow, last year by this time we had already generated much sales but this year there are no people maybe things will improve during public days,”said Ishmael Moyo, an ice cream vendor with a local company.
This year’s ZITF is being held under the theme ‘Unlocking investment Potential.’
The main focus of the trade fair on Wednesday will be the annual business conference that will be officially opened by Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai.
Other key note speakers at the conference include Vice President Joice Mujuru, Ministers Welshman Ncube, Nelson Chamisa and Elton Mangoma among others.
Western companies under the European Union (EU) banner and those from the US are not featuring at this year’s ZITF.
ZITF general manager, Daniel Chigaru, said over 96 percent of the space at the ZITF was taken by end of day on Monday.
“This year’s trade fair promises to be much improved compared to previous years and almost 96 percent of the space at the exhibition centre has been taken and we have more than 750 local and foreign companies taking part in the exhibition,”Chigaru said.
He said this year’s exhibition was much improved as 14 foreign countries among them companies from Turkey and one from Germany were taking part at this year’s exhibition.
Last year not even a single country from the EU took part at the ZITF and hopes were high this year that more countries were going to take part after the three main political parties entered into a coalition government.