New Delhi, Nov.11 : In anticipation of the Government of India's efforts towards encouraging Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations(ASEAN), the India International Trade Fair (IITF) 2008 will seek to boost trade ties with them this year.
In tune with the government's commitment to promote closer ties with its neighbouring countries, Pakistan has been accorded Partner Country status while 'ASEAN' countries have been selected as the Focus Region at IITF' 08 to be held between November 14 to 27.
The 28th edition of the India International Trade Fair 2008 will be inaugurated by Vice President M.Hamid Ansari on November 14 at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.
Union Minister of State for Commerce and Power Jairam Ramesh will preside over the inaugural function.
The ITPO is expecting over 1,000 delegates from 38 countries and the major participation is from Brazil from where, over 100 member delegation is likely to arrive.
This year, the twin themes of the IITF 2008 will be "Infrastructure' and 'Women Empowerment'.
Attracting over 7,000 participants from across India besides 38 countries, the fair provides befitting representation of both domestic and foreign sectors, covering a broad display spectrum.
Participating contingents from Afghanistan, Argentina, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bhutan, Brazil, China (Hong Kong), Egypt, France, Germany, Iran, Indonesia, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Myanmar, Montenegro, Netherlands, Nepal, Pakistan, Phillipines, Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Spain, Sudan, Tanzania, Trinidad and Tobago, Thailand, Taiwan, Turkey, UAE, UK, USA, Uzbekistan and Vietnam reinforce the brand appeal of the fair among an international audience.
The business hours have been increased this year from two to three hours (9.00 to 12.00) for the convenience of the business fraternity.
A number of seminars and conferences on subjects related to business opportunities, special displays and themes and other aspects of topical relevance are scheduled to be organized during this fair.
Diverse cultural programmes and State Day celebrations, delectable Indian as well as continental cuisines at different various food outlets at the Pragati Maidan will be among the major attractions for the visitors at the fair.
Besides, there will be a tight security arrangements this time at the trade fair. To keep an eye on any untoward incident the number of Close Circuit TV (CCTV) cameras have been increased to 70 from 50 installed last time. Apart from that there will be an enhanced number of observation towers, DFMD, walkie-talkie sets and inverted mirrors.
The central and State Pavillions have interwoven the infrastructure-related developments of their respective regions prominently in their display orientation, Orissa is participating as a Partner State while Kerala is the focus State.
The fair offers several facilitation measures for overseas and domestic delegations and buyers. These include dedicated reception, travel desk, foreign exchange counter, cyber-caf, camp office and escorted visit.
Apart from the International Business Lounge at Gate No.2, a Domestic Business Lounge at Hall No.19 is being set up at IITF 2008.
Considering the flow of traffic in and around Pragati Maidan, Parking facilities, to and fro Shuttle Service and entry ticket arrangements will be made at Metro Station, India Gate and the Boat Club.
Business visitors can visit the fair from 10.00 a.m to 12.00 on November 14, 17-21, 24 and 25. For general visitors, the visiting hours will be from 12.00 p.m to 8.00. Meanwhile, the general public is allowed to visit the fair from 10.00 to 8.00 p.m on Saturday, Sunday and Nov.26 to 27.
A significant feature of this year's IITF will be the facility of pre-arranged Business to Business meetings at a dedicated Domestic Business Visitors Lounge in Hall No.19 from 9.00 a.m to 10.00. on all days of the fair.
To curb large crowds on the weekends and holiday, the general tickets for adult and child have been fixed at Rs.60 and Rs.30 respectively. While for the weekdays, tickets will be available at Rs.30 and Rs.20. For the business time visitor, it will be priced at Rs.400 per ticket each day. By Ravi Khandelwal