Expo Pakistan again postponed till Feb 2010
* TI ranks TDAP in most corrupt govt organisations list
By Tanveer Ahmed
KARACHI: Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) has again postponed the mega trade event “Expo Pakistan” till February next year instead of December this year.
This is the second time that this mega trade and export promotion event has been postponed, which according to sources is obviously due to prevailing security concerns in the country. Earlier, Expo Pakistan was planned for October, however TDAP in the start of that month announced to hold it in December instead. Sources pointed out that further postponing the event to February 2010 clearly signaled the inability of the authorities to persuade the foreign buyers to visit Pakistan that is under the routine attacks of terrorists.
However, spokesman of TDAP claimed that he event has been postponed on the recommendations of Exhibition Committee headed by Sindh Commerce & Industry Minister, Rauf Siddiqui and comprises of 30 members representing trade & industry and federal & provincial organisations.
“After detail deliberations in its last meeting held on November 13, 2009, the committee recommended unanimously that Expo Pakistan 2009 should be rescheduled for February 2010,” a statement of authority declared and added that accordingly, TDAP accepted the recommendations to organise the event on February 26 to 28, 2010 in Karachi. k
When concerned TDAP’s official was contacted he said that the decision was taken with the broader consensus of all the stakeholders of the public and private sector.
However, he parried the question when asked what prompted the committee to put off the exhibition, which otherwise could project the country’s image positively abroad at this critical time.
On the other hand, sources privy to development told Daily Times that it was the discouraging response from the foreign buyers that led to postponement of this important trade event. “The response and confirmation for participation in early scheduled exhibition in December was so poor that it would have been useless exercise to hold this mega event,” sources said. Apart from convincing the foreign buyers to visit country, sources said that TDAP has also miserly failed to boost the exports. The export numbers of first four months of current fiscal show that exports fell nine percent over the same months of previous year.
Sources said that since the change of guard in TDAP when current CEO, Syed Mohibullah Shah took over, the situation has been worsening for export sector as well as of the authority.
Substantiating the claims, sources said that the latest proof came from Transparency International that ranked TDAP in the most corrupt government organisations in its report released last day.
The policies of the previous management were changed without any rationale, sources pointed out and added that new export strategy was formulated to boost export but what was the end result came in the substantial fall in export.
Strengthened by the success of last 4 exhibitions, The 5th Edition of Expo Pakistan is scheduled from February 26-28, 2010, promising more rewarding opportunities for its participants.
The government is making efforts to promote Pakistan’s exports by entering into free trade agreements with various countries. Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), in collaboration with the Ministry of Commerce, seeks to promote local manufacturers and their value added products in the global trade. Expo Pakistan is aimed at enhancing the country’s exports by organising a comprehensive display of diverse Pakistani products and bringing together representatives of leading chain stores and international buyers, all under one roof.
Expo Pakistan is an ideal global marketplace in Pakistan and surves the need of exporters from all segments of the industry.
He said the participation of Malaysian companies will certainly provide them the opportunity to interact with their Pakistani counterparts for business networking and will enable them to gain greater insight of the mutually beneficial trade and business opportunities available in Pakistan.
He said Expo Pakistan is aimed to provide unprecedented opportunities to its participants to display quality value added products to a wide range of high profile buyers.
The event acts as a one stop sourcing platform for new business alliances in trade, business and investments and provides ideal networking opportunities to the local as well as international participants through product workshops and one-to-one business meetings, he added.
The Commercial Counselor for Pakistan High Commission, Wajiullah Kundi who will accompany the Malaysian delegation to Pakistan, said that the 5th edition of Expo Pakistan with the theme “Opportunities Unlimited” has blossomed to become an emerging brand in the calendar of international trade events of the region and across the world.
He said that Expo 2010 will particularly showcase auto and auto spare parts, fabrics and apparels, food ingredients, gems and jewelry, home d’cor, industrial goods, information technology, leather goods, services sectors, sports goods, surgical and pharma and textile goods.
Wajiullah said the members of the Malaysian delegation amongst others include Executive Chairman Renexus Group, Regional Manager Malaysian Palm Oil Board, Senior Manager MATRADE, Chief Executive Officer Indah Profiles Sdn Bhd, Managing Director Pollution Engineering (M) Sdn Bhd and Executive Chairman of Syarikat Manora Sdn Bhd, Malaysia all high profile brands names of global repute.
He said the last Expo held in the year 2008 was a resounding success, and generated a business over US$ 50 million with 63 MOUs were signed between counterpart associations and chambers. The event was also attended by; 669 buyers from 66 countries.