Financial Gazette Harare
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The Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) Company, organisers of the country’s biggest multi-sectoral exhibition, have intensified the marketing of the jamboree which will be held in five months time.

The annual exhibition will run under the theme: Harnessing Linkages for Industrial Development at the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre from April 25 to 29, 2017.

ZITF board chairperson, Ruth Ncube, said preparations for the 58th edition of the trade fair have intensified.

“Marketing and advertising of ZITF 2017 is ongoing with an aggressive exhibitor and visitor recruitment drive targeting both local and international participants,” said Ncube.

“In terms of encouraging international participation, a high level team has already participated in trade and business delegations to target destinations in Europe and Southern Africa.”

Next year’s exhibition comes at a time when the country has slipped four places from position 157 to 161 out of 190 economies on the World Bank’s ease of doing business index, an indication the country has become even less attractive to foreign investors.

However, Ncube said the ZITF marketing team had spent a week in Harare paying courtesy calls to envoys stationed in Zimbabwe encouraging them to participate at ZITF 2017.

“Our network of international sales agents is also actively attracting participants from more markets. The country continues to seek linkages with world-wide chambers of commerce and industry to encourage their members to bring appropriate technology to Zimbabwe,” said Ncube.

Some of the countries that have shown interest in participating at ZITF next year include Botswana, Brazil, China, Japan, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Pakistan, Russia, South Africa and Zambia, Ncube said.

She added that the theme continues the industrialisation focus of this year while going a step further encouraging participants to collaborate both locally and globally towards sustained industrial development.

“As the organisation tasked with the mandate to organise trade exhibitions and events aimed at promoting interest in manufacturing, industry and commerce, we are offering the ZITF as an integral networking and sourcing platform to develop upstream linkages that enable resource-based industries to better position themselves for industrial development leading to the economic transformation of the country and indeed the region,” said Ncube.

ZITF general manager, Nomathemba Ndlovu, said Statutory Instrument 164 of 2016, which imposed restrictions on the importation of several goods, was unlikely to affect next year’s exhibition.

“We are liaising with the authorities to allow the goods (for exhibition) into the country.

“Most of the goods that come with our exhibitors from outside the country are for the show only and after the exhibition they are taken back to their country of origin,” she said.

She said ZITF viewed SI 64 as an opportunity for Zimbabwe to showcase products produced in the country.