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ZITF seeks to halt deindustrialisation

ZIMBABWE’S premier trade exhibition will next year focus on reversing deindustrialisation that has seen several companies across the country shutting down with some scaling down operations to keep afloat.

The 57th edition Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, which will run from April 26-30, will be anchored on innovation, regional integration and industrialisation.

Lack of long term capital to replace antiquated machinery has relegated Bulawayo, once the country’s industrial hub, to a mere warehouse. ZITF is based in Bulawayo.

“The 2016 theme carries over the value addition focus of this year by encouraging the different economic players to shift from reliance on natural resources to increased investment in manufacturing processes for the country to rescusiate and revitalise industries as well as to create sustainable value chains,” ZITF general manager Nomathemba Ndlovu said in a statement released on Thursday.

Capacity utilisation has declined to 34,3% from 36,5 as the company continues to be a net importer.

Ndlovu said the ZITF had embarked on an aggressive drive to court more international companies to the fair adding that countries that hadshown keen interest and are still to confirm their bookings include Botswana, Brazil, China, Cyprus, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Pakistan, Russia, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates and Zambia.

“ZITF 2016 will provide industry buyers with the opportunity to do business with local suppliers in an organised and efficient environment while engaging in technical and information exchange. To this end, the company is working with the Ministry of Industry and Commerce as well as local business bodies to organise targeted delegations, both local and foreign, to attend the show,” she said.

ZITF is one of biggest exhibitions in Africa but has over the year been negatively affected by the unending economic recession facing Zimbabwe.-Staff Writer

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