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European Nations Back at Zimbabwe's International Trade Fair

Zimbabwe’s major commercial trade event, the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF), starts in Bulawayo Tuesday with some western nations like Italy, Germany and Poland returning to the showgrounds after shunning the fair at the height of the country’s political crisis.

ZITF public relations and marketing manager Nomathemba Ndlovu dismissed reports that some American, British and Russian firms have pulled out of the event saying they never made any initial bookings.

Ndlovu said 98 percent of the exhibition space has been snapped up by local and international firms with Chinese companies dominating the show.

She said the trade fair will be officially opened by Zambian President Michael Sata this Friday as the event shows signs of significant recovery.

More than 800 exhibitors and over 112,000 members of the public graced the event last year.

The ZITF is one of the largest multi-sectoral exhibitions in resource-rich Sub-Saharan Africa which attracted 145,646 visitors in 2011 and provides exhibitors with the opportunity to conduct regional and international business.

Meanwhile, South Africa’s Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Elizabeth Thabethe, is leading a group of companies exhibiting at the ZITF.

Pretoria is positive that the trip will create business linkages and partnerships that will benefit both countries.