For Chinese, South Korean exhibitors, trade fair means business

By Nayanima Basu, IANS

New Delhi : India International Trade Fair (IITF), pitted as one of Asia’s largest trade shows, is becoming a coveted platform for Chinese and South Korean traders for doing business as well as understanding the consumer’s mind.

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Compared to 36 last year, this time the IITF has attracted foreign exhibitors from as many as 44 countries, representing over 100 companies.

“We have been participating since 2001 and every year we are experiencing good business. I think it has lot to do with such a booming economy. People now have more money in hand to spend – which is good for us!” laughs Xie Dabin, a Chinese exhibitor.

Unlike other years, the 14-day event this year had only the first two days exclusively for business and the other 12 days for the general public.

Even though the fair is open till Nov 27, all the South Korean exhibitors and almost half of the Chinese participants have already wrapped up their business and left.

China and South Korea have put up stalls showcasing mainly consumer durables, electronic goods and engineering products.

Luke Jing, another Chinese participant who had been coming since 2004, told IANS: “Yes, it’s true that some of the Chinese exhibitors have gone back but it is not because they did not do good business.

“They bring limited goods and when that gets all sold it makes no sense to stay for all the days.”

Luke also lauded the new rule of having the first two days exclusively for business devoid of any general crowd. He said that IITF helps them understand the changing preferences of Indian consumers.

Sheela Bhide, chairman and managing director, India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO), reiterated what Luke said.

“This is the normal practice of the South Korean and Chinese participants. They set a specific target for themselves in terms of sales and revenues. Once they meet that they leave, but they have paid for the stalls for the 14 days,” Bhide told IANS.

“This way we are able to manage the crowds properly and business people too don’t face any problems. They had two exclusive days to them, and moreover this year we have made special arrangements for one-on-one interactions, special business lounges for important meetings to take place,” Bhide said.

Countries that have participated in this year’s IITF are Britain, US, Australia, Singapore, Germany, China, Afghanistan, Belarus, Belgium, Bhutan, Brazil, South Korea, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Egypt, Taiwan, Switzerland, Syria, Tanzania, UAE, Holland, Iran, Indonesia, Kuwait, Vietnam, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Surinam, Spain, Turkey and Thailand.

The fair is attracting over 120,000 visitors daily, of which more than 1,200 are business visitors discussing deals and large scale transactions.

Apart from the Chinese and South Korean stalls, stealing the show this year is Afghanistan, coordinated by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), with lip-smacking dry fruits, watermelons, besides carpets and fabrics.

“Every year, I come to this place with my whole family. The best part is, one gets everything under one roof. Sometimes the crowd is too much but then it’s worth coming here,” said Parkash Singh Sodhi, a visitor from Punjab.