The fortnight-long India International Trade Fair-2009 will be inaugurated by President Pratibha Patil at Hamsadhwani Theatre in Pragati Madian here on November 14.

Bearing in mind the country’s commitment to bring the benefits of technological progress to all sections of society, the fair – commencing on the birth anniversary of country’s first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru – will focus on consumer goods, ethnic handicrafts, tribal crafts and products of small and medium enterprises. One of the special highlights will be an Indian Space Odyssey display at the Nehru pavilion covering the milestones of our country’s entry into the space.

Addressing a press conference here on Thursday, IITF Chairman-cum-Managing Director Subas Pani said: “IITF, in its 29th edition, is an eagerly awaited event for traders as well as the general public. Over the years it has acquired a certain character, becoming the largest fair in terms of footfalls and exhibitors. This speaks volume about our country’s emergence as consumers and suppliers of consumer goods and service.”

“Exports of Services” – the theme of the fair – will figure prominently in the display scheme of pavilions of States and Union Territories. This year, Delhi with special emphasis on the Commonwealth Games next year and Uttarakhand are the partner and focus States respectively. About 7,500 exhibitors from India and 28 overseas countries are participating in the fair.

A number of countries including Afghanistan, Bhutan, Egypt, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Indonesia, Myanmar and Belgium are participating. Thailand and China have been accorded the status of partner and focus countries respectively. “Thailand will be represented by 60 participants who will bring with them handicrafts, textile, processed food items and dry flowers. This year, 115 companies from China will display light engineering, pharmaceuticals and handicrafts,” said ITPO general manager Naseem Ishaque.

As the upcoming IITF will be the first fair after the Mumbai terrorist attack last November, Dr. Pani and his team at ITPO is pulling out all stops to ensure that no untoward incident takes place.

“The Delhi police are regulating the time of entry and exit and have even issued instructions how I-cards of the large press contingent are to be prepared. It has installed over 80 metal detectors and scanners for those carrying bags,” said ITPO senior general manager Safdar Khan. Giving this year’s fair a pronounced business dimension, ITPO has decided to have the first five days open exclusively for business and trade visitors. The introduction of this measure will facilitate transaction of business by trade visitors in comfort and convenience. The International Business Lounge at Gate No. 2 and the Domestic Business Lounge at Hall No. 19 will be functional at the fair to provide professional facilitation services.

Dr. Pani is anticipating a bigger turnout as the DMRC will start the Yamuna Bank-Noida metro line before the commencement of the fair.

This year’s fair has been positioned as a green fair with Pragati Maidan being declared a “no-smoking zone”. Special kiosks will sell jute and textile bags and it is mandatory for participants not to give plastic bags.

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