Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) has confirmed its bookings for this year's edition have hit a 90% mark amid optimism the event will proceed safely and as planned despite the ongoing Covid-19 containment measures.
The event will be held from 20 to 23 July at the ZITF Grounds in Bulawayo.
In an update Wednesday, ZITF chairperson, Busisa Moyo said the uptake of space had nearly reached full capacity.
"Space bookings now at 90% to capacity with 405 direct exhibitors having thus far booked 44,878sqm out of the 49,547sqm which had been made available for sale," he said.
"In terms of foreign participation, 11 countries have confirmed namely Angola, Belarus, Botswana, Indonesia, Japan, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, and Tanzania," he said.
Moyo expressed optimism the event will proceed despite the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions being implemented.
He said following the announcement of revised restrictive measures to curb the spread of Covid-19, by the Vice President Constantino Chiwenga who doubles as the Health Minister, the ZITF assures all relevant stakeholders of its commitment to hosting ZITF 2021 safely.
"As indicated by the authorities, the situation will be periodically reviewed, and we are hopeful that this will be within a reasonable timeframe for exhibitors to finalise preparations for the show which is scheduled for July 20-23, 2021. In this regard we will keep our stakeholders apprised in liaison with Ministry of Health," he said.
Under the new Covid-19 measures, all gatherings for people exceeding 30 are prohibited, restrictions which may affect the business showcase.
Moyo said the current response from the market had affirmed exhibitors are eager to resume face-to-face trade show participations to increase awareness of their companies' products and services following the unprecedented disruption in 2020.
This year's multi-sectoral trade exhibition will be held 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 and sustainable business models, economic and trade re-engagement and translating new opportunities in a rapidly unfolding context," he added.