Pak mega lifestyle exhibition in Delhi
Islamabad: Pakistan will hold its first mega lifestyle exhibition-cum-cultural programme in India for four days from April 12 as part of efforts to normalise bilateral trade relations and present this country`s "soft image" to the Indian people.
Over 100 Pakistani firms, including the country`s top brands and fashion outlets, are expected to participate in the April 12-15 event to be held in Delhi. The show will be inaugurated in the presence of the Commerce Ministers of the two countries. Besides helping push the normalisation of trade relations, the exhibition will allow Pakistan to display its "soft image" to the Indian people, officials said.
The Lifestyle Pakistan show is being organised by the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) to reciprocate The India Show held in Lahore in February.
Fashion apparel, textiles, furniture, leather items, home accessories, spices and marble handicrafts are among the numerous products that will be on display at the exhibition. Visitors will also have an opportunity to sample authentic Pakistani cuisine at a food court, TDAP chief executive Tariq Puri told reporters in Karachi Friday.
Top Pakistani brands and fashion outlets are hoping to generate huge business orders and conduct spot sales during the event, Puri said. A banking facility will be established within the premises to facilitate the transfer of funds to Pakistan, he said. "We are aggressively focussed on enhancing trade with countries in our region. The potential and opportunities are unlimited and we are not going to ignore one of the largest consumer markets of the world, that is India," he said.
Puri said two 40-foot containers loaded with Pakistani goods had already been dispatched by sea to India for the exhibition and more items will be transported via the Wagah land border crossing.
A 32-member team of representatives of the rice industry will accompany the Pakistani business delegation to explore the possibilities of obtaining technology from India for value-addition of rice, such as steaming plants and barn oil plants, officials said.
A Pakistani delegation will leave for Delhi on April 9 and more traders and officials will travel in batches later. Puri said Indian Commerce Minister Anand Sharma will host a dinner for the Pakistani business delegation after the show is inaugurated and this will be followed by a cultural and musical programme.
Pakistani Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim will reciprocate by hosting a dinner for Indian businessmen on April 13. Pakistan recently switched over to a negative list regime for trade, paving the way for giving India Most Favoured Nation-status by the beginning of next year.
The two countries have taken several steps to normalise trade relations since they resumed their peace process last year after a gap of over two years in the wake of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.
About 60,000 people visited the three-day The India Show in Lahore, the largest ever India-specific exhibition organised in Pakistan. Some 110 stalls showcased products as diverse as jewellery, cosmetics, chemicals, textiles, auto components, handicrafts and engineering goods.
India and Pakistan have said they intend to boost bilateral trade from the current level of about USD two billion to USD six billion by 2014.