THE Midlands Business Conference, which usually runs concurrently with the province’s agricultural show, has been set for April 10 this year, months earlier than usual.
Speaking to journalists on Wednesday, Midlands Show Society president Pascal Muringani said the business conference had been brought forward so questions could be asked about the province’s dilapidating business environment.
“We need to ask those hard-hitting questions about how, as a province and as individuals, we would benefit from these multimillion-dollar deals we always read about in the press,” he said.
Muringani lamented the shutting down of big businesses that are thriving in the province, saying it had been reduced to a vending hub.
“It is unfortunate that we no longer have big businesses to talk about in the Midlands,” he said.
“The only business that people know of now is termite poison.”
Invited guests include Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, a number of ministers and company chief executives.
Murangani said the government should encourage those companies that were investing in the province to buy local goods so as to provide a springboard for economic growth.
“Why should a company come from as far as Germany with their own materials like bricks and shovels, when they could easily get those here?” he asked.
“Purchasing managers should shift their mind-sets and think about local investment so that small businesses do grow.”
The theme for the business conference will be “Getting Midlands Back to Business” and organisers said they wanted to make it accessible to everyone by making it affordable to attend.