Ludhiana, June 20 (ANI): A large number of people in Ludhiana recently got an opportunity to appreciate the artefacts of Pakistan displayed during the Northern India International Trade Fair 2009.
The week-long trade fair was an initiative to improve trade relations between India and Pakistan. It provided an opportunity to 36 members of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry to set up their stalls and showcase their products.
Pure embroidered cotton suits, handloom and the world famous traditional 'Kasuri Jutti' were on display during the fair.
Most of the Pakistani exporters, who brought special embroidered clothes from across the border already have good client base in India. But the fair helped in better interactions with Indian clients.
"The embroidery of Multan is well-known. Multan is considered the home of embroidery and all sorts of embroidery work is done there. We have a collection of handwork, threadwork, Kota work and Kamdani. We have tried to bring almost all sorts of embroidered suits from the region," said Sabeen, one of the exhibitors.
"Such fairs definitely bridge the gap between countries. If they come here and we cross over to the other side that for sure will reduce the gap. The Government should understand that this is the best way to lessen differences. The local public too enjoys the flavours of the fair," said Arpana Agarwal, a visitor.
Meanwhile, other major attraction of the fair was Onyx marble, which is exclusively available in Pakistan.
The success of Indo-Pak trade fair helps give a fillip to trade between two neighbours, particularly in the context of a recent study that indicated a downturn trend.
According to a survey by Federation of Indian Chambers of Industry and Commerce (FICCI), cross-border trade between India and Pakistan is likely to witness a 60 per cent decline in fiscal 2009-10 as a result of deteriorating Indo-Pak relations after the terror attacks in India.
"The government took a very good step. I came especially when I heard that Pakistan is coming to the fair. I came to know about Pakistani culture and other things, which are famous there. The onyx pieces and showpieces are very attractive which I am seeing for the first time. Such things are not available in Ludhiana," said Sunil Kumar, a visitor.
"Whenever there is any conflict between the countries it has a direct impact on the business. India and Pakistan should be natural partners; India is better in some fields whereas Pakistan is better in others. We should encourage cross-border trade without depending on other countries but for this to happen the differences should end," said
Tanveer Ahmed Sheikh, former president of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry.
The key sectors in India-Pakistan bilateral trade included textiles and clothing, cotton, agricultural products, steel and chemicals.
Such fairs provide a hope that better relations between both countries will give a boost to business as well. By Karan Kapoor (ANI)