But ZITF manager Daniel Chigaru was quick to dismiss growingspeculation that the 2009 fair could be postponed, insisting it wouldgo ahead despite the fact that no country within the region or furtherabroad had confirmed participation.
Ironically, organisers drastically cut charges in a bid to lure more exhibitors to ZITF, the country's premier traders' fair.
Charges for external sites per square meter were reduced from US$25 toUS$15 while hall space is now US$25 from US$40 per square meter. A preconstructed nine square meter space is now US$362 from US$587.
The rates are the lowest in the region. There is a lot of speculationthat the exhibition could be postponed but it will be held asscheduled, Chigaru told journalists at a press conference on Monday atthe ZITF Company premises.
The 50th edition of the country's 2009 annual trade showcase will runfrom 28 April to 2 May under the theme "Golden Platform for DynamicTake-Off".
Last year, only seven countries from the Far East participated at theZITF while the rest of the exhibitors were government enterprises andparastatals.
A number of countries that had confirmed participation withdrew at the last minute.
According to Chigaru, exhibitors from Far East countries who were amongthe seven countries at last year's fair have not yet indicated whetherthey will pitch this time round.
Inquiries for participation from our traditional exhibitors in theregion and beyond have been forthcoming but confirmation forparticipation is so far very disappointing and low, Chigaru indicated.
At its peak, the ZITF attracted dozens of international exhibitors andbrought together multi-sectoral interests across the whole businesssectors, mining, hospitality and tourism among others.
The annual exhibition was at the time celebrated as a platform toshowcase the vast investment opportunities in Zimbabwe, once a modelAfrican economy.
ZimOnline.Post published in: Economy