ZimAsset to dominate key ZITF conference

Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF)

THE GOVERNMENT’S latest economic blueprint, Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socioeconomic Transformation (ZimAsset) is set to dominate this year’s Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) one day international business conference.

Nqobile Bhebhe
Chief Reporter

ZITF will now run from April 22 to 26 after having been brought forward from May 6 to 10.

The business conference slated for April 23 is organised in partnership with the National Economic Consultative Forum.

According to a released schedule, the theme would be “Technology and Innovation: A key pillar for ZimAsset’s successful implementation” and Vice-President Joice Mujuru is expected to give an address.

Mujuru’s topic is ‘ZimAsset setting the tone for the revitalisation of Zimbabwe’s Industries”.

ZimAsset is a five-year economic blueprint (2013 to 2018) development programme extracted from the Zanu PF election manifesto that focuses on four pillars — food security and nutrition, social services and poverty reduction, infrastructure and utilities and value addition and beneficiation.

It has a two-pronged approach, the quick fix (2013 to 2015) and the long term thrust to dealing with the woes confronting the economy.

The government requires at least $27 billion to fund projects under ZimAsset.

However, the government has been struggling to attract the required funding largely due to policy inconsistences.

As a result the economy continues on a decline although the government is expecting it to grow by 6,4% this year.

Other speakers at the ZITF Conference include Finance and Industry and Commerce ministers Patrick Chinamasa and Mike Bimha respectively, Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries president Charles Msipa, Econet Wireless boss Douglas Mboweni and Bankers’ Association of Zimbabwe president George Guvamatanga.

Chinamasa would focus on innovative funding of ZimAsset the case of joint ventures, private-public partnerships and special economic zones.

US, Chinese and Indian ambassadors to Zimbabwe are expected to give presentations focusing on ZimAset and small enterprise reforms.
More than 21 countries have expressed interest in the exhibition compared to 16 that exhibited last year.

ZITF sold 95% of available space in 2013. Bangladesh, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia have already reserved space.

This year’s exhibition is running under the theme “New Ideas, New Heights” and will feature product groups such as machinery and expertise for infrastructure, manufacturing processes and equipment, innovation, automation and supplies for agro-processing, among others.

The exhibition will run concurrently with Asambeni Africa Expo, which has been rebranded to a business tourism expo to promote the country.