Economists predict a subdued Zimbabwe International Trade Fair this year due to the depressed economic outlook.
Trade Fair officials are, however, optimistic that the country’s biggest trade showcase will be bigger than last year’s despite the continuing closure of local companies and the country’s lukewarm relations with the West.
Last year the exhibition attracted 26 foreign exhibitors and 396 locals. Foreign exhibitors included Brazil, Botswana, China, Congo Brazzaville, Egypt, Ethiopia, Poland, South Africa and United States.
This year’s fair, which will be officially opened by Zambian president Edgar Lungu, runs from 28th April to May 3rd after the dates were revised from 21st to 25th April.
It will run under the theme, "Stimulating trade…seizing opportunities to accelerate growth."
The Zimbabwe International Trade Fair is the largest intra-regional trade fair South of the Sahara and showcases.
In a message to exhibitors, ZITF general manager, Nomalanga Ndlovu said: “We are therefore calling the local business community, both large corporates and Small to Medium Enterprises, to participate in ZITF 2015.
"This will be the best opportunity to showcase the best that Zimbabwe has to offer, as well as share ideas on how you are working towards stimulating trade within the economy.”
Economic commentator Eddie Cross, who is also the Economic Policy Co-ordinator general in the MDC-T said he predicts this year’s exhibition to be the worst since independendence.