Sukulwenkosi Dube-Matutu, Chronicle Reporter
THE Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) will be held from August 23-27 after it was postponed due to the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic which has seen an upsurge in cases being recorded in the country.
Cabinet postponed the ZITF which was supposed to be held from July 20 to 23 following an upsurge in Covid-19 cases.
The ZITF company had initially submitted a letter to the Minister of Industry and Commerce, Dr Sekai Nzenza proposing 21-24 September and 28 September- 1 October as the new dates.
In statement yesterday, Mr Busisa Moyo the ZITF company chairman said: “Due to the rising numbers of new Covid 19 infections, both locally and regionally, and the resultant movement and gathering restrictions, the ZITF Company Board wishes to officially advise exhibitors, service providers, registered buyers, business visitors and other stakeholders of the decision to postpone the 2021 edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair to 23-27 August 2021. The Company is of the view that it was no longer realistic to successfully stage the trade fair during the previously advertised dates, being 20-23 July 2021, without significant risk to participants given the current high number of active cases in the country.
“The decision to postpone the fair has been reached after extensive consultations with the Government of Zimbabwe and a wide cross-section of stakeholders including the relevant health authorities. Postponing the ZITF to the end of August allows for the nation to concentrate on efforts to curb the third wave timeously and that a later date provides more ideal conditions to conduct the much-anticipated trade show business in a relatively biosecure environment.”
Mr Moyo added: “We apologise unreservedly for any inconvenience caused by the postponement and urge all participants to bear with us as we collectively endeavour to navigate this unprecedented and rapidly evolving situation. As always, we wish to assure stakeholders of our commitment to create and promote safe and healthy conditions at both our venues and events. In that regard we will continue to keep our stakeholders informed of any new developments.”
11 countries had confirmed participation, namely Angola, Belarus, Botswana, Indonesia, Japan, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa and Tanzania.
The ZITF this year will be held under tight Covid-19 mitigation protocols under the theme: “Showcasing the New Normal for Business & Industry: Realities and Opportunities.”
The theme acknowledges that ZITF 2021 is taking place against the backdrop of Covid-19 and, as such, calls for multi-stakeholder engagement in forging innovative sustainable business models, economic and trade re-engagement.