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Second group of Zimbabwean SMEs leave for Expo

2010. 15 June

( The second group of 10 Zimbabwean small and medium entrepreneurs left last week to attend the ongoing Shanghai 2010 World Expo, a cabinet minister said on Monday.

Small and Medium Enterprises Development Minister Sithembiso Nyoni told Xinhua the SMEs carried with them their products which they will market at the global showcase.

This was done after realizing that the first group which went in May suffered inconveniences as their shipped products were delayed.

"The shipping of products for the first group was delayed and we have decided to change the strategy this time around and make sure the products go as plane cargo," she said.

Due to the delay in arrival of products, Nyoni said most entrepreneurs lost out on opportunities to market their wares as they were now preparing to come back.

She said arrangements were being made to find alternative markets for some of the products while the remainder was expected to come back in the country at the end of the month.

The products range from crafts ware, art works and embroidery material.

Zimbabwe has planned to send a total of 60 SMEs during the six- month period of the Expo, with 10 going every month. The Expo runs from May to October this year this year.

Nyoni, who went to the expo last month, said she was impressed by the popularity of Zimbabwean products among exhibitors and buyers.

She said due to the popularity, the Chinese government has invited more Zimbabwean products to the expo.

The minister failed to attend the official opening of the World Expo but found time last month to visit Shanghai and see for herself what is happening on the ground.

The Zimbabwean government has since said it will take the expo as an opportunity to showcase to the world its vast business growth potential and investment opportunities, as well as build a positive image of the country after years of negative publicity by the Western media.