Business people were arriving in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, on Tuesday, for an international investment conference organized on the sidelines of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair which could prove to be a useful barometer of the business climate.
Trust Chikohora, president of the National Economic Consultative Forum, organizer of the conference along with Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce, said the meeting at the trade fair grounds is crucial to drawing new investment to fuel growth.
Chikohora said it is hoped that the summit will focus the attention of international players on business opportunities in the country, “creating linkages between local and international business people and in the long run they benefit Zimbabwe."
Economist Eric Bloch said that while the number of deals struck at the conference may not be large, such meetings can help revive the struggling Zimbabwean economy.
The Zimbabwe International Trade Fair itself opened with more than 560 local and 136 foreign exhibitors. They were drawn from more than 10 Southern African Development Community nations, Egypt, Germany, Iran, Indonesia and Pakistan.
ZITF General Manager Daniel Chigaru said the annual event, which often features President Robert Mugabe or a top political figure will this year be officially opened on Friday by African Export and Import Bank President Jean Louis Ekra.