Local companies are expecting joint venture deals with strategic investors at this year’s Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) to mobilise fresh capital and expand external markets.

The 2017 edition of the ZITF which will be held later this month is being considered an important event for the country to solve the foreign direct investment challenges which have seen the economy registering investment inflows worth US$500 million only, compared to neighbouring economies whose rates are averaging more than US$1 billion per year.

However, there is optimism that despite the challenging economic environment, local firms can take advantage of the trade fair by focusing on joint venture deals with investors to increase profits and broaden the regional and global market share, according to the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) president Mr Davison Norupiri.

“More can be done to tap the strategic markets as we seek to enhance viability of firms,” he said.

The 2017 edition of the ZITF will be held under the theme: “Harnessing Linkages For Industrial Development” in line with the government’s policy of adding value to raw commodities in order to increase earnings from the sale of products to the foreign markets.