Home » Business » Aligning Zim-Asset, Trade Fair Progressive

THE Zimbabwe International Trade Fair roared into life on Tuesday with the number of countries participating at this year’s event growing, an indication of renewed confidence in the country. It is also reflective of the amount of business these countries think can be generated from the fair.

By definition, trade fairs are important promotional vehicles which provide a close match between buyer requirements and seller offerings.

This particular fair comes at an opportune time for Zimbabwe as this is the first year of the new economic blueprint, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation.

That Government holds the event in high regard as a strategic platform to market the country has been affirmed by the fact that His Excellency President Mugabe will officially open the event. Vice-President Joice Mujuru is also expected to be the key speaker at a business conference where more than 350 delegates are expected.

The business conference, organised in partnership with the National Economic Consultative Forum was slated for yesterday and ran under the theme “Technology and Innovation: A key pillar for Zim-Asset’s successful implementation”.

Government, captains of industry and commerce and all progressive Zimbabweans have an opportunity to market the country’s foremost premier economic framework for the short-term.

We hope that the conference will not be reduced to a talk shop featuring recycled speeches about the need for value addition and more recently the Special Economic Zones. At the moment what business is interested in knowing about is the how. How is value addition going to be achieved? How are the Special Economic Zones going to be set up?

Generally, the growth in trade shows is hinged upon increased local and regional interest in investing in Zimbabwe. As countries from different parts of the world converge in Bulawayo for the annual mega trade exhibition event, Zimbabwe must not miss the opportunity to sell its story about what it has to offer.

Zimbabwe’s trade figures are not in the best state that they can be and everyone must take the judicious responsibility to market the country’s potential and opportunities Zim-Asset policy presents.

The country’s 2013 imports totalled US$7,2 billion almost double the exports of US$4,3 billion, a clear indication that while exports must grow to close the trade deficit, investment and production must also grow.

As such, Zim-Asset is the master key to these objectives.

The economic development programme is extracted from Zanu-PF’s winning election manifesto that focuses on four pillars — food security and nutrition, social services and poverty reduction, infrastructure and utilities and value addition and beneficiation.

It has a two-pronged approach, the quick fix (2013 to 2015) and the policy’s long term goal is to address the woes confronting the economy after a decade of ruinous illegal sanctions.

Government requires at least US$27 billion to fund projects under Zim-Asset and apart from promoting investment the ZITF presents Zimbabwe as a platform to highlight areas of investment priority.

As a result the economy continues on a decline although the Government is expecting it to grow by 6,1 percent this year, and the growth of ZITF as an exhibition hinges on the success of Zim-Asset in revitalising the domestic economy to its glory ear of yesteryear.

Against this background, this year’s ZITF is as much an investment promotion event as it is a trade promotion exhibition platform.

This is also in light of the fact that industry is buckling under the weight of a myriad of economic challenges that have seen production capacity declining from 44,6 percent in 2012 to 39,6 percent in 2014.

Source : The Herald