The 30th edition of the fortnight-long India International Trade Fair (IITF) organised by the India Trade Promotion Organisation will kick off at the Pragati Maidan here on Sunday.

The IITF, which is one of the world’s largest integrated trade fairs, will showcase a range of products from diverse sectors including major multinational companies, small and medium enterprises and artisans and craftsmen, all on a single platform.

The first five days of the trade fair would be reserved for business and trade visitors. The practice which began last year had won appreciation from business visitors. The fair will be open for the general public from November 19 to 27.

Over 7,000 exhibitors from India and abroad are expected to take part in this year’s fair. IITF-2009 had also seen the participation of nearly 7,000 exhibitors from 28 countries. This year 23 countries are participating in the fair.

An exclusive business lounge catering to the overseas business delegation has been set up near Gate 2 of Pragati Maidan. Almost all the States and Union Territories, besides important public sector undertakings, are among the major exhibitors at the IITF.

While Maharashtra is the “partner State” this year, Rajasthan and Chattisgarh have been branded as “focus States”. The theme pavilion for this year’s event is named "Energytech & Envirotech" keeping in view this year’s theme of clean and energy efficient technology, products and services.

On Saturday evening, work on erecting stalls and applying last coats of paint to the halls, pavilions and temporary structures that have come up for the fair were still going on amid heavy security presence.

With the fair beginning, traffic restrictions have also come into force around Pragati Maidan. Vehicles will not be allowed to halt or park at Mathura Road, Sher Shah Suri Marg, Purana Quila Road and Bhairon Marg. The vehicles will be towed away and the violators will be challaned.

The Traffic Police have advised people to use the Delhi Metro and Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses to reach Pragati Maidan. Pre-paid auto-rickshaw facility will also be available for visitors at Gate Nos. 2 and 9. In addition to this, special DTC shuttles will connect the Pragati Maidan and Indraprastha metro stations with all the gates of Pragati Maidan.

Fair tickets would also be available at select metro stations from Sunday to Thursday and at all Metro stations thereafter. Entry tickets will also be sold at Gate 1 and 2 at Pragati Maidan. Entry to the fair will be barred after 6 p.m. on weekdays and 4 p.m. on weekends, the Traffic Police said.

A wide variety of cultural programmes will also be presented in the evenings at six venues inside Pragati Maidan. These include State-specific cultural programmes at the Lal Chowk Theatre, qawwalis and ghazals at Falaknuma Theatre, street plays at Itihasik Chowk and classical dance, vocals and instrumental music at the Shakuntalam Theatre and the Pragati Aangan.

Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma will inaugurate the trade fair on Sunday.

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