New Delhi, Nov 14 : Twenty-eighth 'India International Trade Fair (IITF) -2008', one of Asia's largest trade expositions organized by India Trade Promotion Organization (ITPO) kick started in New Delhi on Friday.
Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari inaugurated the fair that has for over two decades provided a single venue outlet for showcasing the potential and achievements of not only all the Indian states but for various other countries as well.
The fortnight-long India International Trade Fair coincides with the birth anniversary of country's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, which is also celebrated as the Children's day.
The 28th IITF would have around 100 participating companies from Pakistan, India's partner country this year would be showcasing it's products. In all 7000 companies from India and 38 other nations are participating.
Anan De Alvis, a participant from Sri Lanka said that it was the company's second participating year at the IIFT and the experience has been really good.
"The response has been very good in the previous year. So far, for these few years, it has been quite good," said Alvis.
Textile and handicraft from Pakistan are going to be one of the biggest attractions. Participants from Pakistan said that it was like home coming when they visit India and the trade fair.
"For one, this brings us good income. We meet our people here. These people are very good, they cooperate a lot and they love us a lot," said Iqbal Khan, a participant from Multan, Pakistan.
However, Shahid Malik, Pakistan High Commissioner to India complained that the participants from Pakistan were facing problems on account of custom clearances and hoped that the issues would be sorted out soon.
"Our exhibitors who have come all the way from Pakistan, they have been facing immense problems in terms of getting the items released for putting up at the stalls.Today is the inauguration and because of the lack of support from the ITPO (Trade Promotion Organisation), we have not been able to put up our stalls and there is very disappointment," said Mallik.
Safdar H. Khan, Senior General Manager, Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) was quick to clarify that the arrangements are in place and there have been some problems with some clearances of the Pakistan's goods and that the issue would be sorted out soon.
"All the preparations are in place. Yes, some problems are there, the customs duties could not be cleared for Pakistan. Otherwise, all the arrangements are in place and even security arrangements are being taken care of," said Khan.
The fair provides a platform for trade promotion and facilitates interaction between close to 7,500 national and international business persons and organisations.
Besides business and industry, traditional crafts have attracted attention through the Fair.
This year's Trade Fair is being held at a time when the world is going through an unprecedented, 'once-in-a-generation', crisis attributed by many experts to the combined result of globalization, credit expansion and deregulation resulting in the creation of a shadow banking system.