According to the General Manager of ZITF, there was a huge waiting list of companies that had wanted to exhibit at the event. “After the first of April, we started turning away people who had not committed themselves fully on whether they would exhibit and gave the space to others,” he asserted.
With China as the leading exhibitors with 35 companies and about 170 Chinese participants, China is taking the exhibition seriously as it has organised an investment seminar with local people to identify viable investment opportunities.
China is one of Zimbabwe’s major sources of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). “China is one of the BRICS nations which Zimbabwe is targeting to boost its economic growth through increased flow of FDIs, which will enable Medium Term Plan (MTP) to be implemented,” Economic Planning and Investment Promotional Secretary, Desire Sibanda said.
South Africa was the second largest foreign investor at the fair. The country representative said it is prepared to use the fair to market its product and service in areas like retail, hotel, mining as well as food and beverages.
South Africa’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Prof. Vusi Mavimbela said Zimbabwe is a good investment destination. He urged the country to take advantage of its skilled labour to boost its economy.
“Zimbabwe is so advanced in terms of education, if not the leader. There is a need to integrate these skills towards economic growth of the country and the region,” Mavimbela said.
This year’s annual exhibition with the theme ”Investing locally, Reaping globally” features thirty African countries and about thirteen countries from other continents like Germany, China, Poland, Italy, Brazil and Pakistan.
Zimbabwe is presently recovering from a decade economic meltdown after western countries sanctioned it in 2001 for implementing agrarian reform. At this period when the western countries shunned the country, Zimbabwe introduced the Look East Policy, which has since been favourable.
However this year, western investors are trooping in to maximize economic opportunities, it had earlier ignored.
According to Italian Assistant Cultural Attache, Robyn Koen, it has been 8 years since Italy last exhibited. “We want to promote investment into the country and with the help of stabilisation of the economy, there are now lots of investment opportunities.” He said.
Indonesian Deputy Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Kusnarebi Takaijanto, also said, “We are here because Zimbabwe is growing. Its economy is one of the fastest growing in the region and we believe Zimbabwe will be a good country to do business in.”