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Mnangagwa applauds Zimbabwe's biggest trade showcase ever

by Staff reporter
01 May 2022 at 11:15hrs | Views
THE Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) ended in Bulawayo yesterday, marking another milestone for the city, with President Mnangagwa noting that the success of the event was evidence that the country's economy was now on a recovery mode.

The end of the ZITF comes just a week after the city hosted another major national event-the main Independence Day celebrations at Barbourfields Stadium on 18 April. Speaking while touring stands on Friday, President Mnangagwa said the growth of ZITF was an indication that the economy was improving.

"There are several issues that we need to recognise, first this is the biggest exhibition that ZITF has achieved since its creation. This is a result of the policy of the Second Republic for engagement and re-engagement. After 20 years we have countries like Britain coming back to exhibit here.

"I have also been advised by the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Dr Nzenza that Zimbabwe is now producing more than 75 percent of products that are found on our shelves in the supermarkets. Most of these people are our own people and they come here in order to exhibit their products and do the networking among themselves which is critically important.

It shows that Zimbabwe is now out of depression, we are on the trajectory of recovery of our economy," he said.

The 62nd edition of the ZITF lived up to its billing and ran under the theme: "Rethink, Reimagine, Reinvent Value Chains for Economic Development."

Addressing a Press conference yesterday, Industry and Commerce Minister, Dr Sekai Nzenza said this year's event has been a success as evidenced mainly by the quality of local products which were on display.

"I would like to outline that the quality of the exhibition and products displayed were unprecedented in Zimbabwe.

This was a successful ZITF.

We were given a mandate by President Mnangagwa to move up the value chain and the trade showcase provided a platform for local and international companies to market their products, network and strategise," she said.

Dr Nzenza said as seen through the exhibitions the business community took heed of President Mnangagwa's call for private sector-led growth and this year's edition was different as industry players managed to identify the shortcomings that plague the sector. She said one of the challenges noted in the country was the high number of imports, mostly of products that could be produced in the country.

"We realised our problem as a country is that we were importing so much before Covid-19.

A lot was coming into the country which we could make ourselves but we took Covid-19 as an opportunity for us.

One of the key opportunities for us was to begin to implement our local content policy, whereby we identified some of the key products that can be made locally.

We also partnered with the Buy Zimbabwe Campaign and we developed a number of strategies which we have started to implement and this was showcased here with the theme showing that we have started to rethink, reimagine, reinvent looking at technology and innovation."

Dr Nzenza said the trade fair increased connection between the country and international companies, embassies and diplomats that reflected confidence in the Second Republic and the work President Mnangagwa was doing.

ZITF Company chairman, Mr Busisa Moyo said a total of 45 786 square metres were taken up representing 93 percent of the available space, and this was after organisers created supplementary exhibition space.

"The majority of the 542 exhibitors (420 direct exhibitors and 162 indirect exhibitors) who participated have expressed satisfaction with their participation, particularly with the quality and quantity of their interactions," he said.

Mr Moyo said among local exhibitors, 63 percent were from Harare while 23 percent were from Bulawayo and 14 percent from other cities. Mr Moyo said 24 foreign exhibitors participated, representing 13 foreign countries.

The participating countries included Angola, Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, Belarus, Britain, Indonesia and Japan.

He said approximately 200 delegates representing 30 countries participated in the second edition of the ZITF Diplomats Forum. President Mnangagwa officially opened the trade showcase on Friday where he also lauded this year's edition as being the largest ever, noting that it was evidence that the country's economy was now out of depression and on a recovery trajectory.

Meanwhile, Vice-President Dr Constantino Chiwenga officially opened the 2022 International Business Conference (IBC) last Wednesday and challenged the private sector to join hands with Government on the development and domestication of value chains.

On Thursday, addressing delegates during the inaugural Connect Africa Symposium he called on Africa to make the continent a united and prosperous economic super power, utilising its abundant natural resources.

For the first time in three years, this year's event also witnessed huge numbers of the general public on Friday and yesterday. Some of those who graced the show yesterday said the event has always been a major provider of family entertainment for Bulawayo.

"It feels so nice to be back in full force, we missed the ZITF and kids also used to ask about it.

We hope it will remain like this for the coming years," said Ms Locadia Moyo, who was accompanying her children to the event.

Last year when the 61st event was held after it was cancelled in 2020 due to Covid-19, only adults were allowed on the public day that was set aside.

Source - The Sunday News