Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Jyotiraditya Scindia on Friday said that the India Trade Promotion Organisation has to play a greater role in export promotion through new initiatives in close relationship with major industrial associations.

Speaking after presenting awards to domestic and foreign exhibitors who took part in the fortnight-long India International Trade Fair-2009 that drew to a close at Pragati Maidan here on Friday, Mr. Scindia said the fair had become an iconic event among international trade fairs: “The IITF has carved a niche for itself as one of the largest fairs in terms of visitor participation.”

He added, “All the States had showcased their art, crafts and culture in an imaginative way. The fair organised by ITPO is not only useful from the point of view of visitors but also acts as a platform for business-to-business interaction.”

“During the upcoming Commonwealth Games-2010,” the Minister said, “ITPO would provide state-of-the-art infrastructure at Pragati Maidan. Almost 1,000 journalists would be operating from the media centre here to disseminate news about the Games across the globe. There will also be an international food plaza.”

Mr. Scindia expressed optimism that the Indian economy was moving forward in the direction of rapid growth after being affected by the global economic downturn.

Describing the 29th edition of the Trade Fair as a happy hunting ground for consumers, ITPO Executive Director Rajiv Yadav said despite security concerns the fair attracted enthusiastic participation from across the country and abroad.

“New initiatives were introduced this year to make the fair green. We generated awareness about not using plastic bags and both exhibitors and participants minimised their use. The feedback we received from the visitors was encouraging as they were satisfied with the new arrangement of having the first five days reserved exclusively for business visitors and the rest nine days for the public.”

Describing the event as an amalgamation of culture and cuisine, Mr. Yadav thanked the State pavilions for shifting their food stalls to the newly introduced Bharat Ka Khana plaza.

In the foreign sector, Afghanistan won the gold medal for the best stall at the fair while Thailand bagged the silver. Among the Indian State pavilions, Kerala won the gold medal while Chhattisgarh bagged the silver.

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