What should Zimbabweans read from this year’s Zimbabwe International Trade Fair?


Zimbabwe’s shop window to the world, the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair, opened in Bulawayo today with a record number of exhibitors.

The event, which runs under the theme: Propagating industrial growth through trade and investment, has attracted a record 532 exhibitors, up from 491 last year.

This is the highest number of exhibitors in the fair’s 60 year history.

What is more interesting, however, is that all the space available for exhibition was taken up forcing management to pitch up tents to accommodate more exhibitors.

  • 16 percent of the exhibitors are doing so for the first time.
  • 55 percent of the exhibitors are from Harare.
  • 25 percent are from Bulawayo.
  • 5 percent are foreign.
  • The remaining 15 percent are from other towns.

Belarus, one of the biggest manufacturers of earth moving machines is exhibiting for the first time. It is also supplying 500 buses for Zimbabwe’s public transport system.

The United States has returned after an absence of three years, though it still maintains sanctions on Zimbabwe.

The question is: What does this mean for Zimbabwe?

Could the doors for much needed local and foreign investment opening up?



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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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