Trade Fair to be a cultural bridge between India and Pakistan; neighbours to get special attention

To enhance friendly relations with Pakistan, the fortnight-long “India International Trade Fair” which opens at Pragati Maidan here beginning November 14 will give more space to exhibitors from the neighbouring country.

Disclosing this in an interview after announcing the measures being taken for the smooth conduct of the annual trade fair, India Trade Promotion Organisation chairperson Rita Menon said Pakistan will be given special attention at the 32 edition of the fair. “After we signed a memorandum of understanding with the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan, we hosted ‘Lifestyle’, an exhibition-cum-cultural show at Pragati Maidan earlier this year. In the upcoming exhibition, we have given more space to Pakistan. Keeping in mind that India shares a special relation with the neighbouring country, ITPO has extended all possible support and cooperation so that Pakistani manufacturers of onyx, handicrafts, women’s wear and above all exotic spices are given more prominence.”

As a special gesture, ITPO has allotted space to Pakistan for serving its famous cuisine including Mughlai and North-West Frontier Province dishes. “Pakistan is the only country we have given space to,” added Ms. Menon.

Even Belarus, earlier part of the erstwhile Soviet Union and now the partner country in the fair, will not be displaying its food stall.

“Belarus requested us to declare it as the partner country and we obliged. For the first time in IITF’s history we will have the Prime Minister of Belarus, Mikhail V. Myasnikovich, attending the inaugural day of the fair. Fifty two companies will be displaying high-tech equipment and heavy machines from Belarus,” said the ITPO chairperson.

Though the basic thrust of the fair is to promote trade during the first five days which would be exclusively reserved for business visitors, the fair will also be a one-stop destination for the large middle-class.

“Usually Myanmar and Thailand are the most popular among the foreign participants and do exceedingly good business. They come with a wide range of gems and jewellery items. Even Chinese products are a rage and get sold out within the first few days of the fair,” Ms. Menon said.

Besides the host country, exhibitors from Afghanistan, China, Cuba, Egypt, Russia, UAE and other countries will also display a range of products. In all there would be over 6,000 exhibitors.

To stimulate the mind, workshops and seminars have been planned. They all would relate to the theme “Skilling India”.

This year again, the sprawling exhibition ground would be a no smoking zone. Also, plastic bags would not be allowed.

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