ZITF OVERWHELMED BY DEMAND
THE Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) Company has increased exhibition space by six percent due to overwhelming demand from prospective participants at this year’s edition of the annual trade showcase.
Addressing journalists at a Press conference in Bulawayo yesterday, ZITF board chairperson Ms Ruth Ncube said this year’s edition will be bigger than the previous ones spurred by Government’s re-engagement with the international community and the positive economic reforms, which have boosted business confidence.
She said the usual space, which is 48 400 square metres, has been fully booked but after extending exhibition space, bookings stand at 91 percent. Ms Ncube called on prospective participants to secure their space at the historic exhibition.
“Market signals are projecting that the 2018 edition will be larger than any of the last few editions of the show. The main reason for this upward growth is that ZITF 2018 is taking place against a unique and exciting backdrop. Coming at a time when Zimbabwe has made concerted efforts to re-engage with the international community and position itself for an economic rebirth,” she said.
“Due to overwhelming demand, the amount of space made available for exhibition purposes has been increased by six percent from 2017 and seven percent from 2016. Of this area availed, 91 percent has been booked to date, placing us at 104 percent of last year’s closing total.”
The number of direct exhibitors has surged by 27 percent to 454 as compared to last year’s 356. Local exhibitors have also overwhelmingly secured their spot at the 59th edition of the show case, with 25 percent of the direct exhibitors being first timers.
“This is pleasing to us because it is indicative of an improved trading environment and renewed impetus to compete in the global marketplace,” said the board chair.
Foreign participation in this year’s edition, which is running from 24 to 28 April, has also increased, with 18 nations having confirmed their participation.
Ms Ncube also indicated that countries, which have never participated before, among them United Arab Emirates (UAE), have also shown interest. She said international exhibits will cut through education, mining, aviation, transport, food, clothing and textiles among other sectors.