COMMENT: Zimbabwe International Fair a huge success

The Chronicle

The country’s largest trade show, the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF), which ended yesterday, was a huge success.

Held under the cloud of Covid-19, the four-day fair held in Bulawayo attracted 396 exhibitors from 11 countries – Botswana, South Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Belarus, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius , Namibia, Nigeria and Tanzania. President Mnangagwa was the guest of honor at the exhibition which was held under the theme “Introducing the New Standard for Business and Industry: Realities and Opportunities”.

The Covid-19 prompted the cancellation of last year’s event. Although infections were lower than the numbers currently on record, no one had a clue how the pandemic would develop and how best to deal with it. The country, like others across the world, was under a strict lockdown that limited activities to essential services with minimal social interaction. Gatherings have been banned around the world as authorities feared large gatherings could cause more infections. It is not surprising that the government, after postponing the ZITF a few times, subsequently made the decision to cancel it altogether.

Scenes from ZITF: Chido Nemhara receives certificate and trophy from President Mnangagwa for his South African company Mureza which won the best foreign exhibition in the automotive category at ZITF

This year’s edition was supposed to be held in the first half of the year, but was moved twice before the government and ZITF Corporation decided on this week. They made this decision taking into account the decline in infections and the success of the ongoing vaccination program against the highly contagious disease.

The fact that the ZITF took place, and that it took place in a physical sense, was a great success in itself.

Businessmen were able to meet, present their products and services, discuss business and agree on agreements. We hope that the agreements reached will be followed up after the exhibition and carried out for the benefit of enterprises and the national economy.

Another strong point to note is the excellent quality of the exhibits that we saw at the show. We marveled at how the local manufacturing industry is on the path to recovery and growth given the predominance of locally made shows at the show.

The president is delighted.

“The private sector has made sure that they are working extremely well so that we never prevent them from hosting this exhibition again,” he said Thursday after visiting several booths at the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Center (ZIEC).

“The quality of the products and the arrangements, you wonder if we are in Zimbabwe under sanctions. It’s really amazing that we are achieving what we have achieved under the conditions we find ourselves in. I am proud of our employees in the private sector. You deserve praise.

We share the President’s joy for the resilience of the local private sector and the quality of the products and services they have displayed at ZITF. Sanctions are an obvious burden, as the President made clear, but Zimbabwe is still Zimbabwe – resilient and smart. Industry must build on this strength to do better, whatever the challenge.

The commercial content of the show was world class and this is further proof of the show’s success. Besides the excellent exhibits which we admired, ZITF company offered a set of more formal platforms on which exhibitors and trade visitors discussed serious business. There was the ZITF Diplomats Forum, the Zimbabwe International Business Conference, the ZITF Innovators Forum, the Scholastica Conference and the CZI / ZITF Indaba. A number of important speeches were made at the forums. Vice President Constantino Chiwenga officiated at the business conference while many ministers, senior officials and representatives of the private sector made presentations which we believe were useful to their audience.

Another sign of success has been the rigor with which ZITF and the government, through the Ministry of Health and Child Protection, have applied the Covid-19 prevention and response protocols. There was in fact a strong police presence of Covid-19 to ensure that the participants in the show wore face masks correctly and always, social distancing was observed, and the disinfection and hand washing facilities were in good working order. functioning. A testing service was also available for those who wanted to know their Covid-19 status.

We know that Covid-19 does not show its side effects immediately after infection, but with the strict measures that were in place at ZIEC, we are confident that the show was not only a resounding success commercially but also on the health plan.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade, ZITF and the Bulawayo Agricultural Society deserve congratulations for putting on such a successful show. They really presented the new standard for business and industry in the midst of Covid-19, exposed the realities of this new standard and the exceptional business and investment opportunities that abound in our country.

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