THE 2021 edition for the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) initially slated for 20 – 23 July has been postponed to the 21 to 24 September, organisers have said.
In April, the annual exhibit was given the approval to open this year by President Emmerson Mnangagwa after business operations of the industry and commerce sector had been relaxed.
Last year, the event was cancelled after Covid-19 infections and deaths spiked.
This year’s edition is running under the theme ‘Showcasing the New Normal For Business and Industry: Realities and Opportunities’
However, in a statement, the ZITF board chairperson Busisa Moyo said the move was due to the extension of the national Level 4 lockdown by the government last Wednesday.
“Following the extension of the national Level 4 lockdown announced by … Mnangagwa last week, the ZITF company board and management wish to officially advise exhibitors, service providers, registered buyers, business visitors, and other stakeholders of the decision to postpone the 2021 edition of the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair to 21-24 September 2021,” Moyo.
He added the delay in hosting the ZITF would also give exhibitors ample time to prepare for the trade fair.
“The decision to postpone the fair was reached with the approval of the Government of Zimbabwe and after consultation with a wide cross-section of stakeholders.
“With the continued ban on intercity travel, it has been difficult for out-of-town exhibitors to effectively plan their participation and bring in their exhibits, particularly for those without Bulawayo offices.
“Consequently, postponing the trade show to September provides exhibitors with more time to adequately prepare for their participation without contravening national lockdown regulations.”
The ZITF was expected to kick-start Friday with bookings having already reached 90%.
A total of 408 exhibitors have confirmed attendance and at least nine countries will be participating.