2021 ZITF preps underway

Judith Phiri, Business Reporter

PREPARATIONS for the 62th edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) have begun after the Government approved the shift in dates, with the exhibition showcase to be held from 20 to 23 July 2021.

In a statement on Thursday, ZITF company chairman Mr Busisa Moyo said they wish to officially inform stakeholders to  start preparations ahead of the new dates.

“The ZITF Company board and management wishes to advise all stakeholders that His Excellency President E.D, Mnangagwa, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe has approved the hosting of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair from 20th to 23rd July 2021.

“The ZITF Company wishes to officially inform its various stakeholders of the new dates as we all start the preparations for the multi sectoral event. The exhibition will be held under the theme, “Showcasing The New Normal for Business and Industry: Realities and Opportunities,” said Mr Moyo.

He also noted that they were grateful to their parent Ministry, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce for working tirelessly in this regard.

Mr Moyo also said that the ZITF 2021 will be taking place as the country and the world begins the long trek of recovery following the negative economic impacts of the global Covid-19 pandemic which has left many countries throughout the globe reeling from business closures owing to lockdowns, depressed demand and all-round devastation across economic sectors.

He added: “In the background of this devastating pandemic the Africa Free Continental Trade Area (AFCFTA) and Brexit among other global trade shifts became a reality at the beginning of the 2021. The theme therefore locates ZITF at the centre of multi-stakeholder engagement in forging innovative and sustainable business models, economic and trade re-engagement and translating new opportunities in a rapidly unfolding context to ensure business continuity while building concentric resilience from organisations, value chains (sectors), nations to regional blocs from further devastating consequences of the pandemic and other supply shocks.”

Mr Moyo said ZITF 2021 presents an ideal platform for stakeholders to converge and rebuild businesses while navigating the contours of the new normal which has become largely buttressed by technology and navigate new regional and global developments.

He also noted that as preparations for the exhibition step up, the company wished to assure its various stakeholders of its commitment to ensuring that all reasonable steps to promote and maintain safe and healthy conditions for participants.

Mr Moyo said show organisers will be working closely with local and national health authorities to format the show in a manner which complies with health and safety regulations and provides reduced exposure risk.

“Over the course of the next few days and weeks, our teams will be in touch with exhibitors, buyers and other key stakeholders with information on the show’s operational guidelines. However, stakeholders can expect to see new features which include heightened health and safety protocols, modified venue layouts, more digital and hybrid meeting platforms, and an emphasis on numbers management,” he added.

Mr Moyo noted that with the planned voluntary mass vaccination for Bulawayo, they also hope that sufficiently high numbers will have been vaccinated to achieve some level of herd immunity in time for the show.

“Our industry has been heavily disrupted by the pandemic and it is only through the support of industry partners such as our exhibitors and service providers that we will emerge more resilient and offer our events as primary agents for “post-pandemic” economic recovery and renewal.”

In 2020, the event which is one of the most significant in Bulawayo and the country at large was cancelled after the country went into lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

It had been pencilled in for 21 to 25 April under the theme: “Augmenting Trade and Investment towards a Shared Economic Vision” and the cancellation negatively impacted on the company’s revenue and tourism income for Bulawayo.

2021 ZITF preps underway