The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) is leading a group of South African companies to the 2014 Zimbabwe International Trade Fair starting in Bulawayo on Tuesday.
Deputy Trade and Industry Minister Elizabeth Thabethe said on the weekend that export sales flowing from South Africa's participation in the fair over the last three years, as reported by the companies involved, had amounted to R6.6-million in 2011, R7.1-million in 2012 and R55.6-million in 2013.
"Last year, South Africa was voted the best foreign exhibitor stand due to its quality and design," Thabethe said in a statement. "South African firms took up the largest single exhibition space of 800 square metres, followed by China with 600 square metres, clinching export deals valued at R55.6-million, up from R6.6-million recorded at ZITF 2011."
Participating companies have been assisted by the DTI through its Export Marketing and Investment Assistance Scheme (EMIA).
Thabethe said she expected the companies to return to South Africa with increased market knowledge about the Zimbabwean market, regional and international business contacts and new export orders.
She said the week-long fair was an important platform for promoting intra-Africa trade as well as to strengthening relations between South Africa, its regional counterparts and the rest of the world.
Countries represented in the fair include China, Brazil, Congo Brazzaville, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Poland, Bangladesh, India and Nigeria. The United States will also participate in this year's fair after a long absence from the annual trade showcase.