The Temple City is all set to get international connectivity soon as Sri Lankan Airways has expressed keen interest in connecting Madurai Airport to Colombo, Tamil Nadu Commerce and Industry senior president S. Rethnavelu said here on Friday.

“Madurai Airport has already been included in the Indo-Sri Lankan bilateral agreement on air services. Besides its new world-class Rs. 130 crore terminal, it has also been accorded Customs Airport status by the Union Finance Ministry.”

He was addressing the inaugural function of the 15 edition of Chamber Trade Fair being held at the Tamukkam Ground from December 16 to January 2.

The Sri Lankan Airways has also become the first multination company to set up a stall in the Chamber Trade Fair, he said, adding that the stall would showcase the airliner's flights to various parts of the globe.

This announcement assumed significance as the theme of the trade fair this year was ‘Tourism our culture.' Once international connectivity materialised, he said that southern districts of the State would receive a boost to tourism and industrialisation through increased export activities.

V. Neethi Mohan, Chairman of Vaigai Group of Industries, who inaugurated Chamber Trade Fair 2012, reiterated the call for a permanent trade centre in Madurai, a decades-long pending demand of trade bodies in the region.

In order to give shape to this demand, he also announced a donation of Rs. 50 lakh towards the Tamil Nadu Chamber Foundation.

Chamber President and head of the trade fair N. Jegatheesan said that over 300 stalls including air-conditioned ones has been erected. With 7,500 sq.ft., the stall by lead granite exporter P.R.P. Exporters is the largest one.

Further, daily entertainment events such as dance, magic shows, debates and ‘Pattu Mandram' have been arranged on all days at trade fair at 7 p.m.

A unique addition this year was the programme – ‘Unnal Mudiyum' on December 22 – which would feature programmes exclusively by different abled persons.

The Chamber Trade Fair will be open from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on week days and on week ends and holidays, from 11 a.m. to 9 a.m. While the entry fee is Rs. 10, no fee would be charged for children below 12 years of age. Paid vehicle parking provision has been provided inside the venue. Prizes would be given daily through luck draws.

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