For the first time ever, the European Union (EU) is attending the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) which kicked off today in Bulawayo.
Busisa Moyo, ZITF board chair and business leader, has suggested that President Emmerson Mnangagwa should visit the exhibition stands of the participating countries to understand their contributions to Zimbabwe’s economy.
Speaking to ZiFM’s Monalisa Dube during a radio show “Business Unusual”, Moyo emphasized the importance of business engagement for building relationships between Zimbabwe and the international community. He also highlighted the vibrant horticulture industry in Zimbabwe, noting that the EU is a significant partner in this sector as it imports flowers from the southern African country. Full interview here:
Busisa Moyo also mentioned that the United Kingdom is participating in this year’s edition of ZITF.
The theme for this year’s event is “Transformative Innovation, Global Competitiveness.” Moyo explained that in order for businesses in Africa to thrive and catch up with the rest of the world, there is a need to identify transformative solutions. While Africa has had innovation, it has not been transformative in nature.
Who can exhibit:
According to Busisa Moyo, the Zimbabwe International Trade Fare (ZITF) is a platform for local and foreign businesses of all sizes to showcase their products to the public. The criteria for selecting exhibitors is multi-sectorial, and as long as they can pay the standard fee, they can participate. He dismissed the notion that it was a preserve for big businesses saying some small businesses have been able to find partners who can help them commercialize their products by exhibiting at ZITF.
When asked if the benefits of exhibiting at ZITF can be measured at a national level, Busisa Moyo said it is difficult to track the returns. However, the fact that businesses continue to advertise at the event every year indicates that it is working for them.
Moyo also emphasized that ZITF is an annual state event and an essential tool for Zimbabwe to reach out and engage with the international community for commercial purposes.
He said close to 600 exhibitors are participating at the ZITF this year. There were about 700 exhibitors before the outbreak of COVID-19. Limited in terms of space. The ZITF board is working on expanding infrastructure to accommodate the growing number of exhibitors.
At present, most guest houses and bed and breakfast accommodations in Bulawayo are fully booked. These include Breeze Guest House, Bulawayo Rainbow Hotel, The N1 Hotel Bulawayo, The Bulawayo Club, Amalinda Lodge, Big Cave Lodge – Lodge on the Rocks, Cresta Churchill, Stay Afrique Hotel, Motsamai Lodge, Retreat Lodge and Conference Centre, Glen Lodge & Tours, Parrot Lodge, Lalani Hotel and Conference Centre, and Selborne Hotel. For a four-day stay, one would need a budget of around US$1020, as most accommodation providers are charging an average of US$295 per day.