The Indian Express – Punjab International trade fair begins, Pakistan presence ‘negligible’

Several delegates from Pakistan attended the event during previous years. Delegates are those traders who come to develop relations at PITEX platform with traders of India and other SAARC countries traders

Kamaldeep Singh Brar

Amritsar, 9 December 2016. The 11TH edition of the Punjab International Trade Expo (PITEX) 2016, involving SAARC countries, kicked off in Amritsar Thursday.

Although some stalls will exhibit Pakistani flags and products, it has been the first time when the neighbour country will remain largely absent from the trade show. Organisers blamed demonetisation for the absence of Pakistani exhibitors.

The PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) has been organising the five-day long trade exhibition in association with the Punjab government. A total of 450 exhibitors had got clearance to instal stalls at the expo, including 54 exhibitors from Pakistan.

Talking to The Indian Express, Parveen Rathee, Regional Director, PHDCCI, Chandigarh, said, “As many as 54 exhibitors from Pakistan had got visas for the specific event. But none of them have come so far. All these exhibitors were from the Rawalpindi Chamber of Industry and Commerce.

Concerned chamber has sent a calarification for not attending the event. They have said that India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) expo at Pragati Maidan in Delhi witnessed huge impact of demonetisation and Pakistani exhibitors at ITPO suffered losses due to it.”

“They said ITPO started soon after the announcement of demonetisation on November 8 and they had applied for visas to participate in PITEX expecting that the impact of demonetisation would be less by then.

Rawalpindi chamber said that fresh reports from India suggest that things have not settled and hence exhibitors have hitch in mind for participating in PITEX. They have been fearing losses due to demonetisation,” said Rathee.

“We have told them to reconsider, but at the end of the day, it would be their decision to participate considering their profit or loss,” said Rathee.


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