President eyes US$20 million deals at Inter-Africa Trade Fair

PRESIDENT Mnangagwa arrived in Egypt yesterday to attend the Inter-Africa Trade Fair (IATF) where Zimbabwe is seeking to conclude deals worth over US$20 million and to also get new leads for exports market.

The premier African trade fair is being held in collaboration with the African Union and the secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement and is expected to attract participation from 75 countries and feature 1 600 exhibitors.

The fair is projected to facilitate trade and investment deals worth US$43 billion.

The venue of the Inter-Africa Trade Fair

In a virtual address Industry and Commerce Minister Sithembiso Nyoni, who is accompanying the President reiterated that Zimbabwe is open for business.

“Let me advise that His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe Dr ED Mnangagwa is resolutely determined to ensure that Zimbabwe is open for business to facilitate investment-led economic growth in Zimbabwe as well as in industrialisation.

“The Second Republic of Zimbabwe aspires to see industry, particularly the manufacturing sector, propelling Zimbabwe into the rightful destination of prosperity as an upper middle-income society by 2030.” 

In an interview ZimTrade chief executive officer Mr Allan Majuru said Zimbabwe brought a strong contingent of exhibitors that comprises of mainly youth and women, in line with President Mnangagwa’s thrust of empowering the specific demography and gender, respectively.

“What we have done is we have come with a number of companies that are exhibiting under the Zimbabwean pavilion and we are hoping to get deals in excess of US$20 million, but what is important are the back-to-back meetings that are going to happen for us to get leads for exports and also for us to learn international best practices so that we can foster intra-Africa trade.

“We also brought youth and women-led enterprises that we have been capacitating for them to now get into the actual deal-making for us to grow our exports.

“On the sidelines, I think a lot of deals have been signed for instance, Cabs have managed to get a facility for US$40 million, and also construction company Exodus has managed to structure a deal worth about US$140 million.”

He added that Zimbabwe will also get more deals as the trade fair progresses.

“So, we hope as the day goes, as the show commences, we will be able to structure more deals that will help us grow trade and the infrastructure base in Zimbabwe,” he said.

The trade fair offers a unique platform for businesses to access an integrated African market of over 1,3 billion people with a gross domestic product (GDP) of over US$3,5 trillion created under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The fair allows African businesses to forge new relationships, business opportunities and stimulate intra-African trade.

Not only will Zimbabwe have its own pavilion, with several firms that have been mobilised by ZimTrade exhibiting, but it will also be showcasing investment opportunities in the country on various platforms throughout the fair.

Yesterday, there was a side event on “Zimbabwe Trade and Investment Mission to Egypt: Promoting Trade and Investment under AfCFTA”.

Zimbabwe’s participation at the fair is in line with its engagement and re-engagement drive, which is being spearheaded by President Mnangagwa.

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